As AI surpasses human abilities in Go and poker – two decades after Deep Blue trounced chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov – it is seeping into our lives in ever more profound ways. It affects the way we search the web, receive medical advice and whether we receive finance from our banks.
The most innovative AI breakthroughs, and the companies that promote them – such as DeepMind, Magic Pony, Aysadi, Wolfram Alpha and Improbable – have their origins in universities. Now AI will transform universities.
We believe AI is a new scientific infrastructure for research and learning that universities will need to embrace and lead, otherwise they will become increasingly irrelevant and eventually redundant.
Through their own brilliant discoveries, universities have sown the seeds of their own disruption. How they respond to this AI revolution will profoundly reshape science, innovation, education – and society itself.
Deep Mind was created by three scientists, two of whom met while working at University College London. Demis Hassabis, one of Deep Mind’s founders, who has a PhD in cognitive neuroscience from UCL and has undertaken postdoctoral studies at MIT and Harvard, is one of many scientists convinced that AI and machine learning will improve the process of scientific discovery.
It is already eight years since scientists at the University of Aberystwyth created a robotic system that carried out an entire scientific process on its own: formulating hypotheses, designing and running experiments, analysing data, and deciding which experiments to run next.