Concord

student stimulates Artificial Intelligence debate amongst young people

Tuesday October 2, 2018

A Concord student has embarked on an ambitious initiative to gather the opinions of young people on both sides of the artificial intelligence debate - from the benefits to the potentially 'terrifying' consequences of AI. In what she describes as her 'AI Journey,' Anastasiia in 6.2, has launched a website for young people mainly in the 15-25 age range to share their views. She has given presentations to two Concord College assemblies and hopes that from the feedback she receives on her website www.i-or-ai.com she will be able to write an open letter to the United Nations with recommendations and suggestions from young people to improve the regulation on AI. She hopes that their recommendations and suggestions could result in a separate UN committee on AI so that this committee would have a link to young people. Anastasiia, who is in her second year at Concord, said she was 'quite unexpectedly inspired' by Yuval Harari's lectures at the Davos Conference as well as his books on the development of humanity and the implications of the ever-increasing technological progress. "He said artificial intelligence was no longer something in movies or we read about in science fiction books, but it is here and will quickly take over our whole lives. "I have read books and articles on AI which is a very interesting topic and is not something that people think about as dangerous.  But when personal information is used to feed data to algorithms we don't know where this will lead.  Robots are doing people's work which is a benefit to companies and owners, but doesn't help people who lose their jobs.  All of this is terrifying." Anastasiia, who is studying Spanish, economics and maths, is establishing a small team to help promote the project.  Even at the start of what she describes as 'this exciting journey,' the team is receiving a lot of feedback and regular posts on their Facebook page of AI related news and articles written by young adults from all over the globe. She said:  "My teammates and I are optimistic about the initiative's future development.  We are confident that this project has the potential to bring improvements to society and raise awareness among young people about issues related to AI development and what it could mean for the future." The Facebook page has already attracted 160 followers, a figure she would like to see grow to 1,500, as she believes it is important to encourage people to talk about AI. "I would like to show to the world that young people must have a say in what happens to the future and what is best for them.  I believe this initiative has the potential to go viral, not just at Concord, but internationally with young people contributing articles to the website, sharing their opinions on the Facebook group and the blog at www.i-or-ai.com/blog," she added. Anastasiia is being assisted to gather young people's opinions by fellow 6.2 student Joey and they can be contacted through the website. Said Concord Principal Mr Neil Hawkins:  "This is a great example of students engaging with the wider world and with issues that are relevant to the lives they will lead. "This is surely the ultimate purpose of any education:  to encourage young people to question and contribute to the society in which they live."