Humans set Limits, Machines Crunch Numbers. From #AI to #SmartKnowledge? @turinginst @DameWendyDBE

This was another superb Turing Lecture: AI through the Looking Glass by Dame Wendy Hall DBE at the Knowledge Centre of the British Library, where the Alan Turing Institute is situated.

That’s where American Professor Lenore Blum said that girls only need more support to get into science and technology and she proved this at Carnegie Mellon University where she achieved a 50/50 balance. Women do not need their own curriculum! The support is needed against what’s now called unconscious or cognitive bias.

In that context, Dame Wendy Hall reminded us that Facebook was started as a site by boys rating girls at Harvard! She put her excellent and most interesting historic overview of AI into a ‘socio-technical’ context. Professor Nigel Shadbolt had spoken about Social Machines at the Blackett Memorial Lecture of the Operations Research Society.

Dame Wendy Hall DBE made a few mare salient appeals to our ethical and moral standards. She even wondered whether we need to press RESET and Restart!? But genies can’t be put back into bottles. Hence I can only hope that we can make a difference with our contribution of making Excel charts sexy – besides re-visualising images and time series [not yet ready].

Making Excel sexy is the new motto that emerged thanks to the panel of seven marvellous women at Wominspiration of the North London Branch at the British Computer Society. The one who was most shy said “We must make IT sexy.” That was my trigger for saying that we make Excel charts sexy by layering them. Choosing different colour schemes adds to the sex appeal!

With respect to AI, we turn it into Smart Knowledge, because

  • our algorithms are new visualisation styles that allow humans to understand better by seeing more, not by outsourcing thinking to machines;
  • domain experts set upper and lower boundaries, before we start automating by crunching numbers;
  • Visual Data Science is our way of advancing ‘software-aided understanding’.

Limits to Growth is as important as knowing that success is NOT selling out to Google, as Dame Wendy Hall put it! Our Visual Data Intelligence is thus the combination of the best of humans, pattern recognition, and the best of machines: number crunching. May we, as a species, remain masters of our fate and not become the sorcerer’s apprentice who let the genie out of the bottle… May we keep shining the light on making IT good for society!

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About Sabine Kurjo McNeill

I'm a mathematician and system analyst formerly at CERN in Geneva and became an event organiser, software designer, independent web publisher and online promoter of Open Justice. My most significant scientific contribution is www.smartknowledge.space
This entry was posted in Alan Turing Institute, british computer society, Smart Knowledge Systems, Tech for Good Challenge. Bookmark the permalink.

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