Murray Shanahan is Professor of Cognitive Robotics in the Dept. of Computing at Imperial College London, where he heads the Neurodynamics Group. Educated at Imperial College and Cambridge University (King’s College), he became a full professor in 2006. His publications span artificial intelligence, robotics, logic, dynamical systems, computational neuroscience, and philosophy of mind. He was scientific advisor to the film Ex Machina, and regularly appears in the media to comment on artificial intelligence and robotics. His book “Embodiment and the Inner Life” was published by Oxford University Press in 2010, and his new book “The Technological Singularity” was published by MIT Press in August 2015.
Lisa Knoll is a post-doctoral researcher at the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience at University College London. Her research interest is in the field of developmental cognitive neuroscience and she is an expert in neuroimaging and behavioural studies of social cognition and language development. During her PhD at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig, Germany, she studied the underlying brain mechanisms and structures involved in language processes in the developing brain. At UCL her research focusses on periods of neural plasticity that might facilitate maximal learning in adolescence and the development of social cognition in the typically developing adolescent brain.
Future Forum invited Murray and Lisa to look at the fascinating developments in artificial intelligence and ask the question to Future Forum students, “will machines become cleverer than humans?”
Adolescence is an important transition time between childhood and adulthood, during which individuals develop their identity and improve the skills necessary to start living an independent life. Several structural and functional MRI studies have shown that adolescence is also a time of extended brain development, during which the brain appears to be highly sensitive to external influences.
Lisa’s talk addressed social and affective development in adolescence from a neurobiological perspective and presented recent studies investigating the relationship between peer influence and adolescent behaviour.
Murray’s talk explored the subject of creativity in artificial intelligence and whether ordinary humans will someday be overtaken by artificially intelligent machines or cognitively enhanced biological intelligence.