Whether we realise it or not, anyone alive today is living through a renaissance. The ubiquity AI in our day to day lives – plus the knock-on effect globally – is rewriting our understanding of the human experience. It’s taking what we knew and took for granted – concepts like truth, democracy, and purpose – and making us reconsider our fundamental understanding of our place in the world. Data Summit 2023 is going to explore a wide variety of these impacts – from social justice to religious faith, personalised medicine to democracy, and contemporary culture to humanity’s future among the stars – to spark conversation, innovation, and inspiration.
I can help you do that, Hal
Progress in the development in AI has been steady throughout the 20th and 21st centuries and it has been a perpetually popular trope in science fiction. Recent advancements in large language models and generative mimetic tools, in particular their ease of use, has brought unprecedented attention to the study, and implications, of AI. Artificial intelligence does not exist solely in the Western world or the realms of fiction, however, nor are its impacts felt only in our Alexa assistants and Spotify playlists. AI is a global phenomenon with global implications. It is vital that the progress we’re making is scrutinised. It’s even more vital that this scrutiny is diverse and inclusive. This is the foundation that Data Summit, and DataFest as a whole – is built upon.
I think, therefore I am (maybe)
From Talos – the bronze guardian of Crete – to the Golems of Jewish mythology to the Mechanical Turk (which inspired Charles Babbage on his journey to creating the difference engine), humankind has always dreamed of imbuing facsimiles of ourselves with the essence of humanity – intelligence. So, can what we’re experiencing now be called a renaissance if AI has never gone away? A renaissance is a rebirth – a revival. The Renaissance in Europe from the 15th to 16th centuries was an effort to build upon and surpass classical thought. Now we have LLMs, machine learning tools, and enormous data sets being used to take our technological progress over the last century and optimise it, enhance it, and even improve upon it. Not only has there been a revival in the public’s interest in AI, there is a renewed urgency to understanding our trajectory and how we’re changing the fabric of the human experience.
Beyond the Anthropocene
While the European Renaissance shepherded Western civilization from the Middle Ages to modernity, perhaps too the AI renaissance will usher in the next epoch of humanity – from the Anthropocene to something less destructive, more egalitarian, and more conducive to human happiness. Only by bringing people together and having the conversations you’ll hear at events like Data Summit will this be possible. We look forward to welcoming you to the EICC in November and adding your voice to the conversation.