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Invited talk

Artificial Intelligence: Are you ready for the robot apocalypse?, R. Petrick, slides from a talk presented to the Science and Religion MSc programme, School of Divinity, University of Edinburgh, UK, 2017-02-06.

[ slides (coming soon) ]


In recent times, stories about artificial intelligence (AI) and its rapid progress seem to appear regularly in popular media, with accounts ranging from the promise of a technological utopia to the dangers of the robot apocalypse. While some of the accounts of the growth of AI may appear fantastical or overly optimistic, AI nevertheless has the potential to bring about fundamental societal change, due to the variety of AI applications that have been envisioned or that are currently being developed.

However, like any scientific endeavour, AI is both a broad and complex research field, with a wide range of practitioners, approaches, and goals. In this talk, I will present an accessible overview of artificial intelligence research from the perspective of automated planning and cognitive robotics: two subareas of AI that are attempting to endow AI applications with reasoning and decision making capabilities. Using examples from research projects performed at the University of Edinburgh and Heriot-Watt University, I will highlight some of the objectives, goals, and progress in this area and contrast this with some of the recent accounts of AI in the media.