Plenary session three: Ethics, society, and the case for AI

The potentially exponential risks and opportunities presented by the rapid advancements in AI and its widespread take-up, raise a lot of questions: ethics and bias, alignment, truth, concentration of power, privacy and surveillance, job displacement and job opportunities, and how to manage the wide impact it looks like having have on society. How can or should AI development be regulated? What role is there for often slow-moving governments to influence, and encourage cooperation in establishing clear guidelines, and safety standards around responsible use of AI? What role does Big Tech play in making AI safe and ethical? Or, are we at a seminal moment in history where AI, a creature of Big Tech, destroys the dominance Big Tech has enjoyed for the past two decades? Beyond the often-cited risks of AI, what are the opportunities? And do they outweigh the risks? Will AI be the transformational technology that will propel us into an unknown but exciting future, or will it be the end of us?

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Director and Founder of the Centre for Independent Studies

Professor of Public Policy and Director, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis in the Crawford School of Public Policy at the Australian National University


Sociologist, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Sydney.
Author of The New Authoritarianism

Director, Free Market Foundation, (Hungary)

Health Director, Health and BioSecurity, CSIRO

Director and Founder, Academy of Ideas, London, (UK)

Founder and CEO, Cognoscenti Group

Executive Director, The New Zealand Initiative (NZ)

Australian writer and columnist for the News Limited Press

Research Director, CIS

Programme Co-ordinator of the Masters of Urban and Regional Planning, The University of Western Australia

Chinese Canadian human rights advocate

Senior Research Fellow, Culture, Prosperity & Civil Society Program, CIS

CEO and Founding Director, China Matters

Former Liberal member of the Australian House of Representatives and Cabinet Minister

Pro Vice-Chancellor Arts and Academic Culture, and Professor of History, Australian Catholic University

Cancer researcher and clinical oncologist, with Genesis Care Newcastle

Founder and President, Middle East Forum, publisher Middle East Quarterly Journal, (US)

Professor of Economics, University of Melbourne

Senior Research Fellow and Director, Culture, Prosperity & Civil Society Program, CIS

Internationally acclaimed novelist and journalist, (US)

Head of Economic Research, Reserve Bank of Australia

Executive Director, CIS

Professor of Economics at Stanford University; Senior Fellow in Economics at the Hoover Institution and Chair of the Working Group on Economic Policy, (US)

UQ-CSIRO Chair in Personalised Nanodiagnostics, Professorial Research Fellow, School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences, University of Queensland

Diplomat, American Board of Pathology

Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure

Liberal Party Member for Berowra

Australia’s Ambassador to China from 2007 to 2011, Chairman & CEO of Geoff Raby and Associates Ltd based in Beijing

Director of China and Free Societies program, CIS

Senior Research Scholar, Marron Institute of Urban Management, New York University, (US)