CSAR Debate: This house believes that Artificial Intelligence / Robotics will make us happier

  • Mon 22nd May 2017

Presiding: Dr. David Cleevely, CBE

David Cleevely CBE (FREng, FIET) is an entrepreneur who has founded a series of companies including Abcam, Analysys, 3waynetworks and others. He also co-founded Cambridge Network, Cambridge Wireless, Cambridge Angels, the award winning restaurant Bocca di Lupo, as well as acting as government advisor and founding the Centre for Science and Policy at the University of Cambridge.

Proposing: Prof. Alan Blackwell, University of Cambridge

Alan Blackwell is Professor of Interdisciplinary Design at the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory, where he teaches human-computer interaction, and leads a research team exploring socially integrated technologies. He has a Master's degree in artificial intelligence, and a PhD in Psychology. Before starting his academic career, he spent over 10 years working as an artificial intelligence and robotics engineer.

Seconding: Dr Fumiya Iida, University of Cambridge

Fumiya Iida is a university lecturer of mechatronics at Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge, and the director of Biologically Inspired Robotics Laboratory. His research interests include embodied artificial intelligence, soft robotics, legged robot locomotion, dexterous robotic manipulation, and self-reconfigurable evolutionary robotics. Prior to Cambridge, he was a robotics researcher at ETH Zurich (Switzerland), MIT (USA), University of Jena (Germany), and Tokyo University of Science (Japan).

Opposing: Dr. David Good, University of Cambridge

David Good is a member of the Psychology Department and a Fellow of Kings College. His work has focusses on using psychological theories and methods to policy and design challenges. In 2000 he founded the Crucible network with Alan Blackwell to further this work through diverse interdisciplinary collaborations. He has held a number of important educational and governance roles in Cambridge, and at the Royal College of Art where he is an Honorary Fellow.

Seconding: Dr. Advait Sarkar, Microsoft Research, Cambridge

Advait Sarkar, winner of a 2017 CSAR student award, is a postdoctoral researcher at Microsoft Research Cambridge, working at the intersection of artificial intelligence and human-computer interaction. He is interested in the design of systems that enable people to understand, control, and benefit from machine intelligence. Advait holds PhD, MEng, and BA degrees in computer science from the University of Cambridge.

Floor discussion for up half an hour, then:

Sweeper against: Dr Beth Singler, University of Cambridge

Social and digital anthropologist Dr Beth Singler is the Research Associate on the "Human Identity in an age of Nearly-Human Machines" project at the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion, where she is exploring the social and religious implications of advances in Artificial Intelligence and robotics. As She is also an associate fellow at the Centre for the Future of Intelligence where she is collaborating on their Narratives of AI project, which is running in partnership with the Royal Society.

Sweeper for: Nigel Miller, Telegraph Media Group

Nigel Miller, currently Technology Director at the Telegraph newspaper, has 24 years in technology engineering and delivery roles across retail and media industries. He is interested in all aspects of software engineering and how it facilitates modern information-hungry industries. His experience in recent years has been heavily focused on implementing cloud based scalable media delivery, with machine learning and AI having an ever increasing influence on understanding audiences. Nigel holds a BSc in combined studies from University of Hertfordshire.

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