It’s All About AI at Canada’s Biggest Tech Event

AI

The three-day Collision conference welcomed over 36,000 attendees to hear from technology leaders, including Google DeepMind’s Colin Murdoch, the “Godfather of AI” Geoffrey Hinton, and Cohere’s Aidan Gomez. Photo: Just_Super/Getty Images

The biggest artificial intelligen … sorry, tech event in Canada has drawn to a close.

Driving the news: The three-day Collision conference welcomed over 36,000 attendees to hear from technology leaders, including Google DeepMind’s Colin Murdoch, the “Godfather of AI” Geoffrey Hinton, and Cohere’s Aidan Gomez.

Dozens of panels pondered the application of AI in everything from predicting weather to medical research to (yikes) robot-fuelled warfare.

Why it matters: 2023 will forever be remembered as the year that AI launched into the mainstream. The tech has the potential to touch everything from driving to writing, and businesses are trying to figure out how not to get left behind.

What they’re saying: Leading the pack of AI optimists is Murdoch. He spoke about the applications of the AI system AlphaFold in research and how AI could forecast weather. In his words, AI can “solve some of our biggest challenges.”

ClimateAI Founder Max Evans highlighted AI’s adaptability. “It’s crazy to me how the same technology that can power a robot or car can power a climate model,” he told The Peak. 

On generative AI, executives including 1Password CEO Jeff Shiner and Amazon AWS CEO Adam Selipsky pointed out some… concerns. Selipsky noted many Fortune 500 CEOs had banned AI chatbots because they’re not seen as secure.

Meanwhile, the “Godfather of AI” Geoffrey Hinton sent attendees into a doomsday spiral after outlining that advancements in AI are pushing the world into “a period of huge uncertainty” and outlined his top areas of concern.

 

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Geoffrey Hinton, Godfather of AI, University of Toronto, on Centre Stage during day two of Collision 2023 at Enercare Centre in Toronto, Canada. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Collision via Sportsfile

 

“If they get to be smarter than us, which seems quite likely, and have goals of their own, which seems quite likely, they may well develop the goal of taking control,” he said.

Yes, but: Many founders will tell you AI is a sea of untapped opportunities and express confidence in the industry’s ability to mitigate against bad actors. For now, the vibe is all upside as money keeps flowing into AI at unprecedented rates.

Bottom line: The urgency to be a disruptor—and not be disrupted by—AI is very real.

This story was originally published by the money experts at The Peak [a ZoomerMedia property]. Get smarter about what matters. Sign up for The Peak, a free 5-minute daily email on Canadian business, tech and finance that you’ll actually enjoy reading.

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