IFIP was highly visible in Geneva this month at the ITU’s AI for Good Global Summit, which was founded and moderated by IP3 Vice Chair, Stephen Ibaraki.

The IFIP-organised side event involving Ibaraki and eminent mathematician, physicist and human consciousness expert, Sir Roger Penrose, was a hit with attendees, many of whom also heard Penrose’s earlier keynote, “Why Algorithmic Systems Possess No Understanding”.

As the world moves inexorably towards more Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine-driven functions and processes, there is growing debate and even concern in some quarters about the potential negative consequences for humans. While some highly visible players in the ICT sector warn of the dangers of Singularity – when machine capability exceeds that of humans – Penrose is sceptical.

He argues that the quality of understanding is a feature of consciousness, and that consciousness can come about only through physical processes not yet properly understood, most likely at the boundary between quantum and classical processes, as argued for in the Orch-OR proposal.

The 90 minute-long IFIP session entitled “The Future of AI” was moderated by Stephen Ibaraki and featured a brief discussion between him and Sir Roger, followed by an extensive Q&A where questions were taken from the floor and answered jointly by the pair on the podium.

A highlight of the event was when everyone in the audience stood up to take a group selfie with Sir Roger!

If you weren’t able to attend the session, you might like to view this six minute video in which Sir Roger Penrose explains his thinking.

Recording of all the AI for Good sessions can be accessed here.