On behalf of the ECIAIR 2019 organising committee, we are delighted to announce the inaugural European Conference on the Impact of AI and Robotics (ECIAIR 2019) at the UK campus of the EM-Normandie Business School in Oxford, UK.
The motivation to launch ECIAIR has come about as a result of the maturing of artificial intelligence and robotics, particularly of the cognitive computing kind, which is producing an unprecedented revolution in the role of knowledge work and the professions in society. While it is clear that we cannot delay the progress of technology and its applications, we need to understand in advance of events what will be their impact. Too little has been done on this front on other technological developments with sometimes highly negative impacts for which society was not prepared. We cannot allow this to happen in areas such as cognitive computing due to the serious impact this could have: What are the risks that AI will reach a point that it completely supersedes and substitutes human intelligence?
Consequently, this conference aims to focus not so much on the technology itself, but rather its impact on knowledge work and society. We have received papers with a broad set of approaches from the future of the professions; through knowledge networks enabled by cognitive computing and other technologies; education issues; collaborative robots; ever-more autonomous machines and their relationship with humans; whether we will need to demand ethical or at least acceptable social behaviours on the part of machines; considerations on assigning personhood to machines; to name a few topics.
By the caliber of participants from different disciplines that ECIAIR is attracting, we are anticipating a highly thought-provoking conference and we thus look forward to sharing ideas and networking with a diverse group of ECIAIR participants.
ECIAIR is conceived as an annual, itinerant conference that will take place in campuses across Europe. The 2019 edition is being held at EM-Normandie Business School, Oxford, UK on 31 October – 1 November and the Conference Chair is Prof Paul Griffiths. The location and date of ECIAIR 2020 will be announced at this year’s event.