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Toby Walsh | Mutant Algorithms

Toby Walsh

By 2062, experts estimate that we will have created machines as intelligent as humans. Already AI has become so integrated into our everyday lives that it’s often hard to detect… from home robots to smartphones telling you the fastest route home at the press of a button. 

So what happens when those algorithms go wrong? Can AI be devious? And how can we be sure that we don’t lose the human touch when we get zeros and ones to do the work for us?

Computers can be frighteningly smart in some ways, but dangerously dim in other ways. We’ve seen plenty of examples in the news of algorithms exacerbating racial profiling, swaying election results, or increasing the spread of misinformation. 

The success of AI means we can and should hand over many routine decisions to machines, but we must ensure we are vigilant in preventing unconscious bias and unintended consequences that creep unnoticed into the algorithms we create.

In less than 10 minutes, or roughly the same amount of time it takes a computer to win a million games of chess, Scientia Professor of Artificial Intelligence Toby Walsh will explore how we can make sure mutant algorithms don’t go too far.

To access a transcript of this podcast please head here.

Introducing: 10 Minute Genius, a programme designed to create a space in which you can engage with new ideas. We have curated a collection of UNSW's thinkers, dreamers, and envelope pushers to  help you make some sense of this relentless information vortex. And because you’re busy, all we ask of you is less than ten minutes. Discover new episodes weekly here.

Toby Walsh

Toby Walsh

Toby Walsh is Chief Scientist of UNSW.AI, UNSW Sydney’s new AI Institute. He is a strong advocate for limits to ensure AI is used to improve our lives, having spoken at the UN and to heads of state, parliamentary bodies, company boards and many others on this topic. This advocacy has led to him being "banned indefinitely" from Russia. He is a Fellow of the Australia Academy of Science and was named on the international "Who's Who in AI" list of influencers. He has written four books on AI for a general audience, the most recent is Faking It! Artificial Intelligence in a Human World.

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