Who's Afraid of Artificial Intelligence?

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Jun 22, 2018
by Oscar Tollast
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Who's Afraid of Artificial Intelligence?

As the Board of Directors Weekend investigates future ramifications of AI, experts reshaping tech, finance, education and health to convene at Schloss Leopoldskron Photo by EV on Unsplash

At the beginning of the year, Mónica López-González, co-founder and executive scientific and artistic director at La Petite Noiseuse Productions, wrote for Salzburg Global Seminar artificial intelligence (AI) “is a human product made for humans to engage with and use… Data points alone are meaningless; it is how we interpret and use them. If anything is to be feared, it is none other than ourselves.”

AI presents new challenges at the intersect of people, power and policy, and the need to understand. López-González and others will further explore this topic this over the next few days during Salzburg Global Seminar’s Board of Directors Weekend – “Who’s Afraid of Artificial Intelligence?”

Starting on Friday, June 22, experts reshaping technology, ethics, finance, education and health will convene at Schloss Leopoldskron, in Salzburg, Austria, to assess the impact of technological transformation taking place around the world.

Geoff Mulgan, chief executive of Nesta, a global innovation foundation that develops new ideas as a key to human progress, prosperity and happiness, will add to this conversation by delivering the second Salzburg Global Lecture on Saturday afternoon.

The author of Big Mind: How Collective Intelligence Can Change Our World co-chairs a World Economic Forum group which looks at innovation and entrepreneurship in the fourth industrial revolution. He is also chair of an international advisory committee for the mayor of Seoul, and a member of advisory committees for the prime minister’s office in the United Arab Emirates, the French government’s digital agency, the Scottish Government and SITRA, the Finnish Innovation agency.

Conversations throughout the weekend will centre on topics such as AI and human creativity, AI’s relationship with capitalism, and participants’ hopes and fears for the future. This Board of Directors Weekend will also include an Imagination Lab for the first time. Guests will engage in an interactive showcase exploring the applications and impacts of AI and deep learning in music, visual arts, and life sciences. Ingo Hoffman, managing director of ADI Innovation AG, and the technology startup MIMI is among those who will present.

While much of the focus will keep an eye on the trends to come, the weekend will also provide a nod to the past . Beyond discussing AI, guests will discover the intriguing cultural heritage of Schloss Leopoldskron and its former owner Max Reinhardt. Reinhardt, one of Europe’s most well-known theater impresarios and co-founder of the Salzburg Festival, bought Schloss Leopoldskron in 1918. In 1938, the Schloss was confiscated by the Nazi government as “Jewish property.” Reinhardt, who was living in Hollywood at the time, never returned. He died in New York City in 1943.

Before being welcomed by Victoria Mars, chairman of Salzburg Global’s Board of Directors, guests will have the option to take part in the Max Reinhardt Centenary Tour of Schloss Leopoldskron. Led by Daniel Szelényi, general manager of Hotel Schloss Leopoldskron, guests will be told inspiring and tragic stories of the Schloss and its many owners. Snapshots of Reinhardt’s life and work, from Berlin to Hollywood, will also be on display in a specially curated photography exhibition.

As the weekend draws to a close, Reinhardt’s legacy will also be celebrated during a Roaring Twenties Gala Evening on Saturday, featuring live music and a promenade theater performance.