Who's in Charge?: Living with Artificial Intelligence

This is a lecture series presented by Third Age Learning Lakehead (TALL), a partnership between the Office of Community Engagement and Lifelong Learning and the Third Age Network.

Speaker SeriesSept. 9 to Oct. 7Wednesday9:30 - 11:15 a.m.
Fee: $59 (plus hst)
Location:Via Zoom

Wednesday, September 9
Beginning with the Basics: How AI is Affecting our Lives Today 

AI has become pervasive, with services like Siri and Alexa in many homes. But the technology is also impacting our lives in ways we do not even realize. Increasingly artificial intelligence is determining who gets a loan, a job or even a date. As science fiction writer Philip K. Dick once said: “There will come a time when it isn't 'They're spying on me through my phone' anymore. Eventually, it will be 'My phone is spying on me'.” Are we in this time now? Are algorithms ruling our lives? This presentation will take a look at this question and show the many ways in which AI is impacting society today.

Tom Taulli

Tom Taulli is the author of The Robotic Process Automation Handbook: A Guide to Implementing RPA Systems (2020) and Artificial Intelligence Basics: A Non-Technical Introduction (2019). He also writes a column for Forbes.com, where he covers topics like AI. Besides his writings, Tom has founded several high-tech companies, including WebIPO, BizEquity, and Hypermart.net, which was sold to InfoSpace.

Wednesday, September 16 
Who’s in Control?: The Risks and Rewards of Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence is already delivering innumerable benefits to society in the form of enhanced medical capabilities, safer transport and all manner of smarter technologies. If we lost these capabilities tomorrow we would sorely miss them. The flip side of that coin however is the capabilities it gives to those who control the technology. Who are they and are we comfortable with their use of it to shape our society? This talk will outline how AI is changing our world and how it will shape our future. What are the risks and rewards when AI is controlled by the good, the bad and the non-human? Do we get to choose? 

Robin Winsor

Robin Winsor first studied artificial intelligence at the University of Edinburgh in the 1970s with some of the pioneers in the field. He went on to apply machine vision algorithms in X-ray imaging and invented the world's first direct digital X-ray system. Over the last 10 years Robin has been based at the University of Calgary's research park as CEO of Cybera, a not-for-profit research and networking group responsible for extending digital networks and computer capabilities beyond academia to the general public. Robin's upcoming book on the impact of artificial intelligence on education is entitled School's Out.

Wednesday, September 23
Think for Yourself: Restoring Common Sense in an Age of Experts and Artificial Intelligence: A Conversation

Have you ever followed your GPS device to a deserted parking lot? In his recent book, Vikram asks this question and many more. According to that book, we live in a complex, data-flooded world which has made us reliant, in part, on technology. Too often, we’ve stopped thinking for ourselves, instead outsourcing our thinking and, at times, relinquishing our autonomy. Computer-based systems are essential to helping us make informed decisions, but how can we integrate the value they provide without undermining our ability to think for ourselves, particularly when we think about artificial intelligence itself?

Vikram Mansharamani

Dr. Vikram Mansharamani is a global trend-watcher who shows people how to anticipate the future, manage risk, and spot opportunities. He is the author of the recently-released Think for Yourself: Restoring Common Sense in an Age of Experts and Artificial Intelligence (2020) and BOOMBUSTOLOGY: Spotting Financial Bubbles Before They Burst (2011). A current lecturer at Harvard, previously at Yale, Vikram teaches students to use multiple perspectives in making tough decisions.

Wednesday, September 30
Talking about The AI Effect: Demystifying Artificial Intelligence and Looking to the Future

Amber Mac has been leading the conversation about Artificial Intelligence in our country through her award-winning podcast, “The AI Effect.” What is the current state of AI in Canada? How do we embrace and examine, and at times resist, the realities that AI brings into our lives? Amber is ready to unpack the issues that Canadians are facing today, and she does not hold back. There are perils, and there are possibilities… what will be good for you, and what do you want to actively fight back against? These are key questions we must address! What does the future of artificial intelligence look like, and what will it mean for the average Canadian citizen

Amber Mac

Amber Mac is an entrepreneur and Canadian television personality. She’s also a bestselling author and podcast host. She began in the trenches of start-ups until she joined Microsoft and built one of the first female-focused lifestyle portals. Since then, Amber has started her own digital agency, written bestselling books (Power Friending and Outsmarting Your Kids Online), and in 2018, she was named one of DMZ’s 30 inspirational women making a difference in tech. Her podcast, “The AI Effect,” has won several awards including Best Technology Series (2019) and Best Innovative Media Award (2019).

Wednesday, October 7
Deep Learning, Computer Vision, and Envisioning the Future of AI

Many people have drawn parallels between Artificial Intelligence and electricity, in terms of its importance to our future. After tracing some of the key developments in deep learning and computer vision as well as recent advances in AI, this talk will focus on the tremendous potential of AI in relation to health, assistive technology and beyond. Can AI be used to diagnose brain tumours more effectively than doctors? Can AI be used to help the blind and visually impaired? What are the current limitations and future possibilities for AI in relation to these examples and beyond? And how can Canada, which has served as a leader in academic advances in AI, position itself as a key component of an international ecosystem of AI research and development and help lead us wisely into the future?

Dr. Chris Pal

Dr. Chris Pal has been actively researching in the field of AI for over 20 years. He holds a Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) Chair in Artificial Intelligence, he is a professor at Polytechnique Montréal, a faculty member at Mila, the research institute in artificial intelligence in Montreal which rallies over 400 researchers specializing in the field of deep learning, and the Principal Research Scientist at Element AI.