Thursday, August 30, 2018

Reflections on the Human-Level AI Conference 2018

SUMMARY

  • This month GoodAI organized the Human-Level AI Conference in Prague. 
  • Over 500 people attended to see over 40 speakers. 
  • I met some great people and had some excellent discussions and would like to thank everyone involved.


GoodAI team, conference chair Tarek Besold and the AI Safety panel share the stage at the end of the conference.

This month over 500 people attended the Human-Level AI Conference in Prague, which was organised by the team at GoodAI. The attendees got the opportunity to see over 40 experts in the AI field covering a wide range of topics.

The conference was a combination of three established conferences AGI, BICA and NeSy, as well as an extra Future of AI Track aimed at a wider audience.

The range of issues discussed was extremely impressive, from detailed research on human-level AI to issues such as AI safety, societal impacts and investment.

The conference truly exceeded my expectations. The quality of the keynote talks was fantastic, the media coverage (see a few examples in Czech and English below) was extremely wide and the atmosphere was very warm and welcoming. Both participants and speakers seemed to enjoy themselves very much! 

Dileep George (Vicarious) delivering a keynote at HLAI 2018
One of the highlights for me was welcoming the finalists of our Solving the AI Race round of the General AI Challenge to take part in the AI Race and Societal Impacts panel. You can read about some of the discussions surrounding whether to publish an evil AI in Futurism


One of the things that made the sessions, and the conference as a whole, so interesting was the diverse group of contributors sharing their different approaches to general AI or human-level AI. We had representatives from some of the top tech companies (Microsoft, Google DeepMind, Uber AI Labs, Facebook AI Research and more), from the top global academic institutes (University of Cambridge, Harvard, John Hopkins, University of New York, UCL and more), from international organisations (United Nations, DARPA, Aspen Institute and more) and from exciting private sector organisations (ARAYA, Vicarious, SingularityNET, Zeroth.AI to name a few).


It was this diversity and representation from across the world that added real value to the lively discussions. However, it was not just in the official sessions that I found such thought-provoking people. We were lucky to have a brilliant selection of volunteers helping us coordinate the conference and the participants too were extremely interesting. I had many fascinating conversations and my only regret is that I did not have time to talk more with all of our friends and participants.

The Investing in AGI panel
Throughout the conference I felt like I was constantly exchanging ideas and learning, from the sessions and the social activities. It was inspirational to see so many people with a genuine interest in general AI / human-level AI.

AI enthusiasts enjoying Hybernia Theatre

I would like to send a huge thank you out to everyone involved in this conference. I would like to thank my team at GoodAI, especially Olga Afanasjeva, Daria Hvizdalova, Will Millership, Marek Havrda, Tomas Strouhal and Lucie Krestova, who all worked tirelessly putting it together. My big thanks also belongs to Tarek Besold, the conference chair, who did an excellent job of making people feel at home. I would also like to thank the speakers who flew in from around the world, our volunteers, our sponsors, community partners and media partners, everyone at AGI, BICA and NeSy, and finally all the AI enthusiasts who visited the conference!


You can now watch all keynotes and AGI sessions as well as a selection of videos from the AI Race & Societal Impacts session.

Thanks for reading,

Marek Rosa
CEO, CTO, Founder at GoodAI
CEO, Creative Director, Founder at Keen Software House

For more news:

Space Engineers: www.SpaceEngineersGame.com
Medieval Engineers: www.MedievalEngineers.com
General AI Challenge: www.General-AI-Challenge.org
AI Roadmap Institute: www.RoadmapInstitute.org
GoodAI: www.GoodAI.com
Keen Software House: www.keenswh.com


Personal bio:

Marek Rosa is the CEO and CTO of GoodAI, a general artificial intelligence R&D company, and the CEO and founder of Keen Software House, an independent game development studio best known for their best-seller Space Engineers (2.5mil+ copies sold). Both companies are based in Prague, Czech Republic. 

Marek has been interested in artificial intelligence since childhood. Marek started his career as a programmer but later transitioned to a leadership role. After the success of the Keen Software House titles, Marek was able to personally fund GoodAI, his new general AI research company building human-level artificial intelligence. 



GoodAI started in January 2014 and has grown to an international team of 20 researchers. At this time, Marek is developing both Space Engineers and Medieval Engineers as well as daily research and development on recursive self-improvement based general AI architecture.

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