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Sat, 01 July


Hutton Theatre, Otago Museum, Dunedin

NZ International Science Festival - We should fear AI

A special NZ debut for Sci Fight - looking at the horror of Artificial Intelligence

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NZ International Science Festival - We should fear AI
NZ International Science Festival - We should fear AI

Time & Location

01 July 2023, 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm NZST

Hutton Theatre, Otago Museum, Dunedin, 419 Great King Street, Dunedin North, Dunedin 9016, New Zealand

About the event

This round, we debate: should we fear AI?

Just this year, AI chatbots have given people instructions on how to build a bomb, told users that they loved them, and instructed one user to leave their spouse and a child to stick nails into a live power socket. Before now you had to go to 4chan for that quality of abuse. Has Silicon Valley simply built a better troll?

Programmers are running behind ChatGPT and other AI trying to fix the problems as they arise and yet for every bit of foolproofing they achieve, humanity builds a better fool. Our one saving grace right now? It’s bad at Wordle. But this will surely not be the case for long.

There’s a growing fear about our inability to predict what AI might do - could it build a separate AI that doesn't abide by the programmed controls? Could it create DNA for entirely new species that we would have to compete with? Car manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies don’t have the regulatory freedom to release a new product to the public and just see how it goes. Why does the tech sector have such free reign? And what happens when AI realises the major obstacle to it achieving its goals is … us?

Or is AI overhyped? Is our distrust of AI just our barely concealed sense of inadequacy, concern that a jacked-up two-bit calculator might prove a more sparkling conversationalist than we do?

Or is the real fear that the true flaw of AI is that it is built on data that humans made, and that all of its shortcomings were inherited from us? Do we simply fear ourselves?

Come and watch 6 very human scientists and comedians assess whether we’re on the brink of the AI-pocalypse a UptopAI.

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