Geoffrey Hinton to give scholarly talk on whether AI will eclipse human intelligence 


Geoffrey Hinton (photo by Polina Teif)

After capturing the world’s attention with his warnings about the existential risks posed by rapid advancements in artificial intelligence, Geoffrey Hinton will be engaging directly with researchers and scholars at a University of Toronto event. 

A U of T University Professor emeritus who is often referred to as “the godfather of AI,” Hinton will tackle the question “Will digital intelligence replace biological intelligence?” during an academic talk at Convocation Hall on Oct. 27. (Tickets to the in-person event are sold out, but a recording will be shared publicly at a later date). 

His lecture will be followed by a Q-and-A session co-ordinated by Sheila McIlraith, a professor in the department of computer science in the Faculty of Arts & Science who is a Canada CIFAR AI Chair and an associate director at U of T’s Schwartz Reisman Institute for Technology and Society

The session will give Hinton an opportunity to directly engage with researchers and scholars from across the university regarding the revolutionary technology he helped create.  

“AI is re-shaping the way we live, work and interact with each other,” says McIlraith. “Given the current public discourse about AI, it’s particularly important that scholars across disciplines learn from each other and engage in an informed exchange of views regarding the societal implications of this transformative technology.” 

U of T provides an ideal forum for such scholarly discourse, she adds, because of U of T’s historical role in the development of AI, the “breadth and depth” of expertise at the university and the city of Toronto’s position as a global hub of AI research and development. 

"The conversation around AI is no longer housed in the computer science lab or within the offices of Big Tech. It needs to be multidisciplinary to advance our collective understanding of the opportunities and the potential risks so we can work to avoid the risks while benefiting from all that AI has to offer.”  

The Schwartz Reisman Institute for Technology and Society and the department of computer science in the Faculty of Arts & Science are co-hosting Hinton’s talk in collaboration with the Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence and the Cosmic Future Initiative at the Faculty of Arts & Science.