Thinking Digital 2023 - Conference

Thinking Digital 2023 - Conference


Herb Kim welcomed everyone to Thinking Digital, this is the 14th Thinking Digital and was great to see everyone here and those on the Live Stream to the event. One of the nice things about having an event like this and advantages of an event in it's fifteenth year is there are a lot of people who have been here before. It has been a while to figure out why people come to this event, there will be talks from amazing speakers and sharing their insights. For those here for the first time, what this event is actually is that life is full of problems and is natural to focus on that, one thing about this event and it gives us a couple of days to leave the deadlines and challenges behind and allows us to see what is possible. Herb gave everyone the chance to say hello to those next to us in the room.

The Future of Large-Scale Autonomous Transport - Amanda Prorok

The first speaker is based at Cambridge University have made the trip up to Tyneside, looked up their stuff about autonomous transport but it is a radical vision of what the future will look like and the challenge.

We have entities that maintain equilibrium including organisms that organise themselves, collective intelligence across scales are resilient, we need to be able to do this with groups of robots to be connected, adaptive, efficient and resilient but are not benefiting from large scale collective intelligence. They designed an experiment to find out by building a miniature highway in the lab and equipped a small robot to drive autonomously and allowed them to communicate to find out what corporative schemes could provide us. When they stop a vehicle they saw what would happen with non-cooperative driving is that they will be blocked by those on the outer lane, something many of us would be familiar with. How do we manoeuvre so it is good for everyone so have a way to communicate in a local neighbourhood, the cars on the outer lane are ever so slightly slowing down to allow the cars to move into the outer lane and allow for a greater throughput.

If cooperative systems are a benefit then why don't we use them, this is because they are computationally hard, it takes time for computers to solve these problems and are hitting a trade-off, can't provide with optimum solutions, we want quick solvers and systems at scales. Looking at a quick solver with current techniques, all current solutions rely on centralised compute. But what if could rely on collective intelligence, designing systems for robots to communicate with each other is difficult and have to design solutions for each application. They began by modelling how one robot influences another and teach the robots to communicate to cooperate and scale this to an arbitrary number of robots. Robots can process incoming messages and make decisions, the multi agent pathfinding problem is one of the biggest problems, every robot at a given starting position has to reach another position and every other robot has to reach the same position.

They teach the robots how to communicate in a purely local version and allow them to figure out what the best action to take to get them to their destination, the agents are using their own local computational resources to calculate these solutions compared to how centralised solutions work. How do you apply this to the rea world, as have robots working in the real world is they collide and crash but these near collisions create a learning experience so need to create this in a safe manner so can train them in a mixed reality for the dangerous ones so can have virtual counterpart robots and the robot can learn how to deal with negative rewards but is happening very safely, the real vehicle learns how to drive more safely and avoids crashing in the real world. We have to deploy a whole range of sensors so they can operate in a standalone manner, but are setting ourselves up for a really hard task, maybe allow the robots to see around corners and predict approaching traffic and have them behave more robustly as they will have foresight and have the intelligence built into the infrastructure. How do you enable a robot to navigate to something outside by collaborating with a network of sensors so it can get to a target out of sight and have this disseminate information to the robot, these can even be moved as it is based upon visual information so allow a robot to see what it can't see. The true superpower of humanity is we can collaborate on a large scale and are really able to leverage this to share our collective intelligence, but we are not quite there with our engineered systems, and we can do this and would have extraordinary potential but the downsides are smaller than the upsides.

Simulation Hypothesis - Andrew Pontzen

They are a supercomputing cosmologist who has recently published a book and interested in how computer simulations are pushing back the edges of cosmology and the simulation hypothesis.

What do we mean by the universe, when look into sky at real stars you will see a few then when eyes adjust you will see more but in darker areas will see a few thousand and then may see a faint band across the sky which is the milky way and this is thousands and billions of stars and some are the same size or bigger than our sun. May of those stars have planets around them, when it comes to simulating the universe this is still the tip of the iceberg, if look in the sky there is a little smear of light in the sky and this is the andromeda galaxy with it's own thousands of billons of stars, there are many more galaxies, and JWST has seen in a tiny patch of the sky which is a third of the diameter of the moon and everything it saw was another galaxy. If extrapolate this to how far we can see then there are trillions of galaxies and may be stuff beyond that. If can zoom out further can see that galaxies are organised on a scale of thousands and billions of lightyears across where an individual galaxy is just a dot and forms a distinctive geometry known as the cosmic web.

One of our fundamental questions is how did the universe get this way? How did it get to be organised like this, although the cosmic web is a simulation and Euclid Telescope is designed to scan across the whole sky and build up a picture of this cosmic web. One of the things we have learned is the cosmic web is still the tip of the iceberg and this only makes up 5% of the universe and the rest of this is made up of materials that don't reflect light known as dark matter and dark energy, they aren't dark they are transparent to light, in terms of physics it isn't a large problem but is difficult to observe. So can use computer simulations using the laws of physics and can tell it the materials we believe to be there such as dark matter that will pull things around with gravity and can tell the computer how the universe formed, that 13 billion years ago it was very small, you can perform the simulation and see what happens and can instruct the computer to show what dark matter looks like in this universe. Can see the universe expanding once it started and can see structure of dark matter being represented and it forms structures from quantum ripples from beginning of time in sheets and then filaments and forms these large cosmic webs but wouldn't be able to see this but can then can get the computer to show what it would look like and what the dark matter will have organised, this forms a kind of scaffolding to build the galaxies. The mini galaxies fall down this scaffolding and build things that are larger and larger and end up with many larger galaxies and can look at what this would look like and in the simulation looks a lot like the night sky.

We are doing so well at recreating reality, imagine a future civilization of humanity has done a good job of recreating the universe such as planets and life evolving and is a small leap from there to think maybe we are inside a simulation conducted by a far future version of ourselves but that is taking too big a leap. The VR we can do uses 10 to the 14 bits of information, the number of bits to describe the number of bits for the universe as a whole which is 10 to 124 qubits where the computer to do this is a long way off.

People like Elon Musk say that computer games will become indistinguishable from reality so the odds we are in one is one to the billions but also Richard Dawkins also said we could probably be part of a simulation by future humans. Would need to use the whole universe to simulate that we are in a universe. We have to be really careful about how we treat these ideas, these are not just games we are playing, we shouldn't be talking about them unless we are sure, is too much of a leap to say we are in a simulation. Can read the book Universe in a Box by Andrew for more information.

Generative AI - Sean Williams

This speaker had been working on a Large Language Model before it became more well known, a nd a few weeks after Herb had heard from them OpenAI launched ChatGPT and by now has Generative AI been over covered by now, but there is still a whole lot more to discuss.

They are founder of AutogenAI and talking about why they are so magical and will change the world is so many ways since the Internet. Innovation is about speeding things up, such as abacus that speed up maths - this allows you do add up and multiply faster, but if can do this you can trade faster and perform more complex trades, if take something fundamentally human and speed this up it will change society. The printing press sped up the sharing of ideas and sharing ideas and writing stories is also fundamentally human and speeds up this activity. Steam engine allowed us to make things faster by orders of magnitude along with electricity and the internet which transformed how humans communicate.

Large language models speed up the creation of content which is a fundamentally human thing, allowing unprecedented access to information and expertise and has been integrated into Music Streaming, Art, Science and Search Engines. They have worked in many areas then later decided to do some learning about things including blockchain but couldn't see ways it would speed things up, then looked into IoT and thought this would change the world in agriculture and manufacturing. Someone who worked for Google's deep mind told them about LLMs that could do things they thought computers wouldn't be able to do. Why are people blown away as people are used to computers adding up but to be able to write or create faster than us? How did this happen, they got bigger over the past few years from 0.1 billon parameters to 1000 billion parameters, they have also read over 7,000 billion words which would take 23,000 years for a human to read. They have now read everything out there. The new idea was to create a network architecture which was the transformer was based on attention models. If are trying to work out what next word in a sentence would be, the things at the start of the sentence of narrative is extremely important. Large language models can do extraction and repurposing such as summarising War and Peace in a minute on what a chief executive could get from it. Ideation and first draft production is slow, such as things like bids, tenders and proposals and want to get as low as cost as possible to persuade someone to take a service so want to reduce this as much as possible. LLM can produce orders of magnitude speed, but problems can include loops where they are not saying anything new, they can also sound confident but can be completely untrue and has no basis in reality - also known as Boris Johnson problem. Judgement can be difficult where have to produce multiple items and pick the best one, hard to know how to solve this issue, they aren't going to get better as have read everything and can't read anymore.

The fact generative AI makes things up isn't a big issue as scientifically verifiable propositions are not a major use case or where truth is important, so need to couple this to a knowledge base. Generative AI will not replace humans everywhere, this will just move humans onwards, the most important advances will be at the application layer, this will be the interesting bit where underlying models will become commoditised.

Start Up Competition Final

Herb began the second session by thanking the people who make it possible including the headline sponsor along with the partners along with those who supported The Startup Competition along with supporters and venues along with friends of the conference. The conference has a pro-north agenda, but this event could exist anywhere but allows us to promote our home. Was started by company called Codeworks but wasn't allowed to use the name so it became Thinking Digital, back then it was a big risk but these days it isn't a big deal. Everyone involved is either based here or living here or spending more time here. Tenth Annual Startup Competition was held the day before the conference with Nanovery, Hey! Food is Ready and The Smart Container Company getting through to today but with thanks to all the start ups who partipated.

Hey! Food is Ready. Food at events lack personality, but there are talented cooks creating food with skills with passion and these can be connected with companies to provide diverse selection of event catering. Can share culture and identity through food, they are building out their technology and can receive orders via the platform. Is heart is helping the community and to allow people to share their food, by supporting cooks and share this with wider community. They have over 65 cooks with 25 clients with over 50% reoccurring orders with 30% for referrals and charge 15% referral fee for corporate clients. Winner of Durham University Biggest Social Challenge award and are helping making catering cultural.

Nanovery uses DNA nanorobots to diagnose the world's diseases, thought about if could make a quick test possible. They build a novel platform for DNA and RNA biomarkers that look for specific diseases and they light up, the nanorobots are made from synthetic DNA which can detect and amplify and respond and use technology to develop these. The first target is micro-RNA which is work over a $1 billion and will triple over the next few years. Micro-RNA has complex workflow over a few days, but they have shorted this to 30-90 minutes and this has been tested, shown to work and shown to produce same results as PCR and have just tried this on patient blood samples and it actually worlds!

Smart Container Company connect kegs to the internet to monitor real-time market and supply chain activity for beer kegs or oxygen tanks. They encourage use of keg as most sustainable packaging option for beer, it produces 10 to 20x less carbon emissions than bottles and cans. Poor container visibility leads to losses and inefficiencies. Not having the right product at the right time can lead to lost sales and for deliveries can have better deliveries. It is done with an IoT device with sensors but measuring what is inside is unique to them using patented technology and also have an intelligence platform, they have worked with breweries and have multinationals talking to them. Potential customers are wide ranging, not just beer as oxygen is next target as this was issue during Covid and are raising money to commercialise the technology.

Physics of Oceans - Helen Czerski

They are a physicist who studies the ocean, they are here to tell us that the real story of the ocean is the physics and can see with it how everything in our planet works. They showed the spilhaus projection which shows the ocean we must cut the land and also represents the currents and shows a connected entity that surrounds everything. The Blue Marble photo from Apollo 17 as they were moving away, they were between the Earth and the Sun and there are no shadows and can see they we are blue and have been calling ourselves the Blue Planet from then. The ocean engine does things that a very fast, very slow and hard to say what it does in a few sentences. There are three things to talk about but there are hundreds and thousands of ways of looking at the ocean, the more you know about it the richer and better it gets.

The ocean is structured, it has different characteristics in different places such as a Greenland Shark that lives for over 400 years but it lives slowly as it lives in cold and dark water. When looking at the North Atlantic has warm water around tropics and towards the north where the Greenland Shark. While studies were happening in the Gulf of Mexico and they found a young Greenland Shark which was not expected, but they weren't that surprised but knew something about anatomy of the ocean where there is a warm mixed layer that sits on the top like a lid and cooler ocean depths as the water where it came from was 4 degrees Celsius compared to 30 degrees at the surface. Water can have different characteristics in different places.

The ocean isn't silent, Jacques Cousteau did a film and called it the Silent World but this isn't correct name, in the ocean the roles of sound and light are switched. On the surface we use light and sound doesn't travel very well and very far, but in the ocean the sound travels far and the light travels short distances. Whales have ear wax as they evolved from mammals had ears but evolution got rid of those and this is not useful, when underwater you hear from your jaw with bone conduction and the tubes are still there and the ear wax was still made and build up inside and is just a dimple on a whale. By analysing whale ear wax plugs to see what was going on with the whales and measure cortisol the stress hormone but could see at increase when commercial whaling was at it's peak and correlate this really well but there is a period where this goes away which was during World War II as whale stress was going up and the ocean was being filled up with noise pollution at the time, and in the modern day this is going up as we are still stressing the oceans.

Tuna are extremely agile and can travel a really long way and travel wherever they want to hunt, if you can go anywhere to hunt - where do you go? The ocean isn't featureless, the gulf stream is not a smooth stream of water which moves through the middle and starts to wobble and gets bigger and a small circle can spin off by itself as an eddy and can see floating islands of warmer or colder water and are packets of eco system that follow along with. Blue Fin Tuna like warm ones and Yellow Fin Tuna follow the colder ones around the ocean, and the ocean is full of features like this and has an influence on what we do. Artemis missions are going back to the moon and will be able to see the Blue Planet from space for the first time in fifty years. Travelling across the cosmos is what we do and this sends a message, when far enough way to read this message, have to understand it and learn and understand that we are ocean.

Seeds to Solutions - Pam Warhurst

They have continues to campaign about the power of small actions. Have heard about magic in cosmos and in the oceans. Want to remind us all that we can be magnificent, we can find brilliant solutions to things by living our lives differently and learn to collaborate more. Use food to demonstrate how people can live their lives more connected, where you eat, you're in. Demonstrate a new hopeful alternative with small actions around food.

Fundamentally it is a story around food, don't pass the buck, recognise you are a story founder. They just planted food around public places without asking, putting up signs and called them propaganda gardens. You just wake up and see a bit of street and start to plant food in it, don't bother asking for permission as it makes them feel negative about it, by the time have wasted months so just get up and plant food in public places. Serendipity around it is amazing if you just do it, stop whinging and just do it. Why bother? Huge weather swings, heath problems, water wars on horizon and increasingly divided societies.

What can we actually do, the one thing that connects is food as it cuts across boundaries, age and ability. Spinning plates such as planting it somewhere can see it, can galvanise community and growing and celebrating local food and change the look of the place you call home. Find the people who knows how to use things that can grow and can bring learning to life from plot to playground, start to meet people who has skills about agriculture and growing and talk to people like that and extend the conversation. It is about creating a new culture around food and get people to come together to create an alternative proposition around food, about how we share food and food justice.

Fundamentally it makes changes to places, people can work out what they can grow and how to share food, places where communities have come together and become the next urban planners. People are walking past edible food and people could bring in next generation of food producers and processors. It is for kinder prosperity, you can trust people to create a kinder world, can help people make it happen, change the system and change the rules. Don't need to wait people saying it doesn't fit in or with a strategy, show how every neighbourhood was Incredible Edible and allow people to adapt to climate change and imagine if didn't need to rely on goodwill to grow local food but be a part of the local realm, get more people with win under their sails so they can fly.

The right to grow, a vision to empower communities to cultivate nutritious food on public land, can shift dial on local supply chains, have more community farms and more local farming. They have cross party support as need to support this, the need to say why you can't support people to grow your own food. The real powerbase is private sectors or local authorities with land, we can grow the food on those areas. Are getting more people interested such as the NHS, need to press for change in a short period of change. They are supported by traditional organisations, people across places who are ready to start a demand a right to grow, to call for justice at a grass roots level. Build happier and more connected lives, there is a different future and haven't waited for permission or arrive and build a world where children can thrive.

Startup Competition Winner

Winner of the Tenth Annual Startup Competition is Nanovery

The CEO Adventurer - John Beamson

Featuring someone with a remarkable story, with last year being the story about taking an eclipse photo in 2018. John says what a phenomenal time to be alive, whenever they meet someone, they say that. Live gives you challenges and need to have a resilient mindset, when they got the news their Dad had died, they got the news when roped to a client 600 metres above the ground. They have evolved and grown but they are grieving and hurting but when at that height that is not the time for it to come out. Safety and security is universal, mindset is more than a LinkedIn post such as consistency if do anything be consistent at it - don't be brilliant for an hour and no good for the rest of your life. Be open-minded don't be closed off to anything. Have a growth mindset, this isn't their group, but they are going to do it, move towards things that make you uncomfortable. Desire to learn but know more things about something you might not know anything about. Build abilities and take feedback constructively. Daily discomfort - do one thing a day that makes you uncomfortable, do this and be your lighthouse to your community.

They were ex-Army but were close minded, how to deal with conflict with more conflict by being confrontational. Lot of them live in the past, if are not adding new stories and still talking about old ones you need to get more stories. RA RA energy at the time and also thought everyone owed them a favour because of what they had done and being entitled.

Be brave, move towards discomfort. If want to be humbled go into a small space, calm energy will get you through something like a cave, don't stay away things that will challenge you. Rather be somewhere dangerous and slightly scary like on a line and then do a confidence test and just let go. If want to do things that challenge people you need to do it yourself, they did the Yorkshire three peaks seven days in a row and have to be attached to your outcome and keep doing it, if doing it because want attention of others it won't last. If going to sign up for 100K ultra race in under 20 hours then train for them as will turn into a sufferfest otherwise and was also over 100K, they learned to suffer, and suffering is a big skill.

Journey, they heard about something called burn the boats, it won't ever be a good time to start a business and there will always be something going on, but they made that big decision and went all in on themselves, go all in on whatever you are doing. Asking powerful questions will lead to powerful answers - their own worst environment was their home. They aren't the same person now as they were before and needed to ask if we happy or are they in a relationship of convenience. They managed to rebuild those bridges and needed to learn how to be good in a relationship and be a good partner. What's on the bucket list? On theirs is Land's End to John O'Groats, jumping of a bridge, climbing the Matterhorn, and swimming with sharks - this is their bucket list and works for them, what is on yours and is it getting done? Get looking and start thinking how you get to that.

Crypto Critic - Ben McKenzie

Ben is a critic of crypto currency and was coming in live from Brooklyn via Zoom. Ben spoke about his projects, the OC, then went on to Southland and most recently Gotham as the young commissioner Gordon. They have a degree in Economics. They had a mini mid-life crisis during lockdown and had a lot of time on their hands as entertainment industry had closed down much. They got FOMO from seeing people investing in stocks and they didn't know what to get and this led them to read a lot, and economic industry and realised they were somewhat in a bubble. The US government was worried about a crash and put a lot of money into the economy. It was hard to tell apart the fraudulent companies predicated on hype. They bet against crypto and business they suspected were over valued or fraudulent. A friend told them to invest what was penny stocks and lost money but later came and spoke to them about crypto currencies and was suspicious. Economically speaking crypto currencies are not money and this led them down a rabbit hole to find out what they are which is unlicenced securities which was a bubble that would pop when this burst or the biggest Ponzi scheme in history.

Crypto currencies are not operating as currencies currently, if a nation state is not issuing the money, then it is crypto currency mining firms, it is created from mining, they come from companies, In the US they had the free banking era, where could get a charter to issue their own currency, this did not work very well and there was a lot of fraud. You would set up your bank charter as far away as your customers as possible to make it hard to get their money out. When take something that is a public good like a monetary system and privatise it, what is stopping big corporations from manipulating us further. Incompetence and failure can lead to fraud - the need to commit fraud happens because you've made a mistake like a rogue trader who has bet too much on a particular financial instrument and they bet more and more and loses millions of dollars. In terms of FTX, it may not be they intended to commit fraud, but they made a mistake.

There was a Terra Luna Stable Coin, this was marketed as a stable coin, this collapsed but was able to keep the plates spinning for a while. The words they use is the opposite of what they say, decentralised is centralised, stable is not stable and a currency is not a currency. When you create money which is unregulated and unlicenced what is stopping someone from committing fraud. When value is being transferred between people in a crypto currency system there is nothing disincentivising people from committing fraud - if people can do it why not try it to? All of the prices of the crypto currencies have been built up with things like wash trading to trade back and forth and inflate the price but there is no actual demand.

Why go so public with this? They turned this into a campaign as very few people have been vocal, so what was the thinking there? Ben was interesting and troubled by the fact like companies who were publicly listed were being investigated but crypto currencies were not. Massive number of people were buying something that was essentially valueless and people didn't understand that and it wasn't being marketed that way, was being marketed as build the future of wealth or generational wealth. Ben read his daughter The Emperors New Clothes and only the smartest people can see these clothes, and the end of the story where the emperor is parading naked all the adults say nothing and only a child calls them out, Ben has spent twenty years as an actor and knows about lying as he does it for a living and saw some many people lying and wanted to write a book about it.

Are there any other well established critics of crypto currency, Ben is not the only one, there are thousands of critics of varying degrees, he is the only one is a former teen idol, but people have been critical of crypto since there has been crypto. There have been seven Nobel Prize economists who have said that crypto is a bubble and is ironic they are the public face of this.

Do they see a future of digital currencies in some form? Our currencies are already digital, most of the money in the world exists in a digital state, what will happen is we will transition into a central bank digital currency system. One good thing about crypto it points out issues with regulated banking system as banks being intermediary between people and governments and sometimes need to be bailed out.

The Great Crashes - Linda Yueh

They are an economist based out of Oxford University and worked with UK Treasury and looking how to deal with banks which looked safe and sound since the last economic crisis.

Lessons from global meltdowns and how to precent them. They are an economist and economics is describing things you knew your whole life in a language you don't understand. There are two certainties in life death and taxes along with a third there will be a global banking crash, but this doesn't drive all of us down with them.

There are three phases common to each financial crash, there can be few fields in human endeavour which history counts so little in the world of finance. Mark Twain said it best history doesn't repeat itself but it does rhyme. Look at similar episodes that are happening today, crashes are different, but they do look similar. The savings and loans crisis in the 1980s was the worst crisis until 2008, today there have been some mid-sized banks failing but the three that failed recently are in the top five bailouts in US history.

It's a wonderful life, a character uses some of his money to save a local S&L. S&Ls got into trouble in the 70s and 80s when interest rates raised, and they started to take on too much risk and lent too much and was hastened by “junk bond king” Michael Milken where at least one failed in each of the fifty states. Is there a lesson we can draw to today, just because it is midsized banks doesn't mean the current crisis couldn't trigger something larger, it can still be systemic and solving the banks quickly and credibly is key. Dotcom crash based on internet stocks promising e-commerce, irrational exuberance, money piled into e-commerce, but people were using dial up and could barely get on the internet and the whole thing collapsed in 18 months and took 15 years for NASDAQ to recover.

To prevent the next crash from becoming a global meltdown, euphoria fuelled by debt. Don't know if going for something that will be a fundamental change, don't do this with too much debt. You need to be credible and quick to resolving but building back confidence takes time. It compare high flyers today with Dotcom peers those values are similar, euphoria around it is very similar, but whether this triggers a crash is how much debt has been used.

The UK in 1992 experienced a currency crisis and Mexico had a crisis in 1994 but the UK had a good 1990s due to the credibility of institutions and quickly, but Mexico's institutions were deemed no credible. ECB president gave their “whatever it takes” speech, which they had adlibbed that part, this resulted in changes in the market and the speech itself was viewed as credible.

Debt is the worst, if you want to safeguard the economy going forward and make sure firms have access to liquidity, the worse outcomes are that companies suffer. The next Great Crash, you can predict the event or the timing, it is only a matter of time that there is one in China, they are the biggest lender in the world. If China were to crash this would trigger a developing country crash.

The Great Reset? This term has been used in various ways, we have actually reset as we have changed the ways in which we live and work, to have a fair and greener life, debt levels have been higher but there has been more support for a greener life, if invest more money for a greener life this can expand the economy even if debt levels are high which the pandemic has given an opportunity to do this.

Great Resignation if told to come back to office full time half would come back but a third would return and look for another job but around 6% would quit even without another job. Lessons we have learned that the most satisfying solution is to just reset and change how we live and work and don't repeat, or if do repeat it but do it better.

AI Ethics - Mhairi Aitken

They are based at the Turing Institute as an AI researcher, there are lot of things to worry about such as money or bumble bees going extinct, but we are also at risk of extinct. Claims that AI will form own intelligence, become a risk to humanity and end humanity. This does keep them up at night, not because they think it is true.

Over the last six months we have seen an amazing transformation in the field of AI, an example is how this affected their children and their interest in what they were going, they came home school and wanted to talk about them working in AI, and asking if working on computer programs that will take over the world and destroy us all.

The narrative around AI has changed and reached into public discourse and wider public discussions about AI, if you asked what AI means to them would have said self-driving cars a year ago but would not say ChatGPT. The AI system that we interact with are not physical devices, these are computer programs in the background. It is clear we have an image problem with AI, why is the idea of super intelligence is so prevalent, such as AI may choose its own actions and people have seen that movie such as Terminator and 2001: A Space Odyssey along with media reporting of AI on how to represent it is difficult, but these depictions are not real.

People were saying if AI went wrong, it would be the end of all of us, an engineer who resigned from Google said an AI may supersede human intelligence and become a threat to humanity, some are the big names in Silicon Valley. The media reports of existential threats from AI make it seem like these people are the leading AI researchers, the titles and accolades that come up such as being the Godfather of AI, which has three of these but no Godmother. The AI industry is still dominated as most of the tech sector by Men, and these claims about existential risks are coming from affluent and privileged but many others have been speaking about the risks of AI, a good list would be the list of brilliant women in AI ethics. Two women were dismissed from Google about talking about the ethics of large language models, the fears and concerns were different such as risks of environmental impact and building them on vast datasets full of sexist and racist language and other very real and present risks.

What is really going on here, what is all about? Deception, it is all an illusion and distraction, when claims are made about existential risk it takes us away about real risks and concrete risks and to future and farfetched risks, this often comes when there is increased regulation and moves the focus away from the real risks that people have been warning about. What keeps them awake a night to hear that those who state existential risks are being heard and listened to. ChatGPT has no understanding of language, it is sophisticated predictive text, but only a small number of people to access expertise to understand what is happening and makes it seem like need to speak to them to understand what is happening. If look behind the curtain would reveal corporate decisions that can be controlled. What they actually do at work is they are an ethics fellow, their work looks at risks of AI and develop approaches that mitigate the risks and ensure that benefits are to society, it is not just large language models. They have been collaborating and speaking to children that need to be heard along with other people, AI can have positive impacts, in helping developing systems to access complex information and have this in the hands of the public, need to put AI in the hands of everyone and have everyone have a hand in shaping the technology.

How the Earth Shaped Human History - Lewis Dartnell

Covering the notion of destiny and the idea that there may be other forces at play. Look at all the different ways that the features of the planet has defined human history from tectonic plates to where resources can be found. Mesopotamia was surrounded by the edges of the different plates where there are Y-shaped plates and where these opened up it tore off a portion of Africa to form the Arabian peninsular and slammed into the continent of Eurasia and formed Zagros Mountains, when have this it causes the crust to sag into the Earth and often have foreland basins in the area of Mesopotamia and two rivers formed and made this part of the planet very easy to do primitive agriculture with fertile soil and can feed a growing population of humans and created the first cities on Earth including Babylon.

In identical conditions an environment like this occurred in India. Civilisation spread from Mesopotamia to the Mediterranean where many cultures were clustered on the Northern boundary but not the Southern one, but for many thousands of years there was a disparity between the lively north and boring south. We have to understand where the Mediterranean came from was an ocean much larger called Tethys from the super continent to when they split apart and in the process of continental drift this ocean was subducted into the interior of the planet, Africa crumpled up the Earth in the North with inlets and coves, ideally set up for sailing, because the south is being subducted it is smooth and unremarkable. This shifting of the plates has had an influence on civilisations, which remains today, can see the geological reasons behind many things such as politics. For example, in southern states of United States there are mostly Republican voters but there are clusters of Democrat counties that form a crescent but it doesn't account for any terrain features, but if look at geological map can see the band of rocks matches with the political map. There is no direct link between rocks and how you vote but there is a long chain of cause and effect reaching back, when this band of rocks was laid down and sea levels were higher and seas lapped up further and the edge of this was the band of rocks, it was realised that soil on surface was thick, black and fertile where could grow cotton, and this was worked on by slaves on plantations on that band of rocks, but even after all this time the largest concentration of black Americans live along this same band of rocks and also the civil rights movement started right in the middle of this band of rocks with Rosa Parks in Montgomery.

This is not the only place where this works, where compare rocks that correlate between areas and one where trees grew during carboniferous era where trees didn't rot much, and this later became the coal seams and coal mining areas. There were also other things such as what spit Britain from Europe, how did Holland landscape create modern financial system. You can get the book Origins: How the Earth Shaped Human History.

The Future of Education with AI - Dan Fitzpatrick

Is based locally and involved in education futures and another area of impact of AI is in education, but there is a lot more to consider than just using ChatGPT to create essays. Tech will turn our children into robots, they think the education system has turned children into robots, our system has made us envy of people around the world, regurgitation of information is what we are training our children to do. They were asked to write a book to introduce AI to teachers and how it can be used for education.

We'll experience more tech progress in the coming decade than we did in the preceding 100 years put together, things that happened during that time included the moon landings and computing. Didn't understand ChatGPT at first, if you have used it then you will see the potential in this tech for all of us.

Model is no matter what you do is three boxes, optimising the current system which is whatever we do and the performance engine and can do things to optimise it and reduce workload but best you get is limits of the system. Creating a future that serves learners and the world, could have spoke about generative AI was going to be a huge thing and maybe could have started preparing for. Letting go of old values is the hardest box. The education system has never created a future that serves learners and the world. Education has knack of sidestepping non-linear innovation, just putting a screen instead of a blackboard isn't enough, have something that supports something they are already doing.

AI images were appearing online such as those of the Pope and Donald Trump and a song generated from AI had to be taken down as used Drake and Weeknd with lyrics by ChatGPT. Living in a new era where will create new worlds with just words. Natural language systems will mean that creativity is democratised, there is a lot of hope for those with technical skills, the talk itself is using images generated with Midjourney using AI.

In Japan they trained an AI model to understand AI scans and then put these scans in the AI machine, and it would learn what it would look like and get the participants to think of an image and then took these scans to produce the images they were thinking of.

They got ChatGPT to be Henry VIII and then used Midjourney for an image and used an AI voice to make it speak and even looked a bit like Dan, although they denied this! They repeated this a few months later and was able to produce better results, where this technology gets better and better, such as creating an immersive world in seconds that would have cost thousands just a few years ago.

We need a strategy, which is leadership in the future, in a world where the only constant is change, the education system needs to adapt and adapt fast. Based on experience we are not going to move fast enough. There may be an alternative that will reach there, there are schools appearing around the world that will give children a phenomenal education such as Synthesis who meet with children around the world and teach problem solving and collaboration skills, where can learn by playing a game and also have an AI maths tutor, which helped Dan learn binary and helped a child learn maths and helped them win an award.

Non-traditional education is coming, a decentralised education journey is coming, children will learn via Synthesis and are living in a time where can't just farm out education and be sure that the education system knows what is doing. In 1997 it was said chess was over due to loss to Deep Blue but is chess over? No, it isn't, we could watch two AI play chess but we choose to do it with humans. The nature of the dance between machines and humans and the next step has to be intentional from us, someone has to lead and do it with intent and have that hopeful future with AI.

Riding the Wage of the Energy Transition - Yazmin Ali

They have had an interesting career arc. We treat climate change and net zero as something like how is it really going to happen? How hydrogen could present a very practical solution, to enable a totally autonomous solution.

They were told to apply for a summer placement with Eon and began their career in the energy sector, but being at a power station they realised they could contribute, the energy from this power station flows into homes and businesses and powers everything in our lives that relies on electricity. They then got into oil and gas extraction including remote gas fields but felt more and more guilty about being part of the fossil fuels industry, but they justified it to themselves as we all use electricity and it has been like this since the industrial revolution and after rise of coal had the rise of oil, it is not that fossil fuels are evil but we have a lot more knowledge now and the damage that they cause, it is time to say thank you and let them rest in piece in the ground and move onto other things. Battersea Power Station is now for example a shopping centre now.

They were made redundant and eventually got a job with the UK government's energy innovation team and in that time, they started to get that overall picture and connect dots, how generate energy from different sources and how it is moved around and used in different sectors. They also started to see that link between energy and climate change. They find it helpful to break it down to see what sectors emissions come from, with most coming at transport and energy supply then businesses and residential. Quarter of emissions come from petrol and diesel vehicles and in some countries, they are having massive up-takes in electric vehicles and a fifth of emissions comes from electricity generation and is from gas as coal has been retired in the UK, if you charge electric vehicles from fossil fuels you aren't changing anything. There has been a huge rise in off-source wind electricity generation but there is a lack of on-shore wind generation. Business and residential are a third of emissions and this is mostly heat related so something like The Sage, which is made of glass, steel and concrete and for the processes to work to make these it needs a lot of fossil fuels and once it is up you need to keep it warm in the winter and that is where these emissions are coming from. We need to do something about this such as double-glazing, electric heat pumps or even hydrogen is an option and make things as efficient as possible. 11% of emissions is from agriculture and a good way to reduce this is to eat less meat.

Energy transition needs to be looked as a system and in the context existing in the world. Something that cuts across this is hydrogen, they left their job and joined private industry as a green hydrogen developer. Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe and when it is consumed it does not emit carbon dioxide, the catch is it doesn't exist alone and is bound to other elements such as with water or hydrocarbons. To use it as a fuel is to get it away from these other elements can generate blue hydrogen which uses fossil fuels and this produces carbon dioxide and green hydrogen uses electricity to split hydrogen from water, so to do this need cheap and abundant renewable electricity. Once have hydrogen can replace fuels such as in a hydrogen powered car, truck or plane, could also have a hydrogen powered furnace in a factory or a hydrogen boiler in a house. Lots of countries are supporting the growth of the hydrogen economy. It is resource intensive to make hydrogen, you could use the electricity directly but it does have it's role where you can't use electricity directly and can be used as an energy store and use it later on. Hydrogen will work along side wind, solar and nuclear. There isn't one thing that will get us there, it will be a combination of things.

The energy sector as they knew has been picked up and shook up and they believe it will be something better, need to put in more wind turbines but if not so good if can't have any more electricity. There are people in the fossil fuel industries need to be taken along, we have consumer choices to make, if it is affordable or practical we can put solar panels on the roof or have more insulation, or support political parties that support energy transitions Education will help make informed choices when it comes to energy, they started on the heights of wave of fossil fuels and have been picked up by wave of hydrogen fuels, we are not sure what it will look like at the end, but hope can contribute to a more sustainable future where everyone has access to a clean and affordable energy future.

Andrew Szydlo

Science of chemistry has disappointed many people someone was told they could make gold and after toiling for several hours only produced an awful smell so were executed for their failure. An understanding of how substances turn into different substances and has evolved into the grand science of chemistry. Thanks to the science of chemistry, we have many things and unbelievable range of products and massive chemical industry. Andrew then performed a series of experiments that were amazing, impressive, and loud!