AIhub monthly digest: April 2021 – ethics, music, education and Westworld

04 May 2021

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Welcome to our April 2021 monthly digest where you can catch up with any AIhub stories you may have missed, get the low-down on recent conferences and events, and much more. In this edition we cover a diverse range of topics including AI ethics, education, music, GPT-Neo, and Westworld.

AI ethics

Marija Slavkovik wrote this very interesting retrospective on the AAAI symposium on implementing AI ethics. The aim of the symposium was to “facilitate a deeper discussion on how intelligence, agency, and ethics may intermingle in organizations and in software implementations.”

Another ethics conference on the horizon is the AAAI/ACM conference on artificial intelligence, ethics, and society, scheduled for 19-21 May. The event boasts an exciting line-up of keynote speakers – Ifeoma Ajunwa, Timnit Gebru and Arvind Narayanan – and you can view the list of accepted papers here.

For the next topic in our series covering the UN sustainable development goals (SDG), we’ll be taking a look at SDG number 10: “reduced inequalities“. There is still time to contribute. If you are interested, just send us an email.

European vision for AI

The European Vision for AI event, held on 22 April 2021, provided an opportunity for the public to hear from members of the European artificial intelligence (AI) community and representatives from the European Commission and parliament. This event followed hot on the heels of the announcement from the European Commission regarding proposed new rules and actions for artificial intelligence. Read our write-up of the event here.

Focus on quality education

Recently we focussed on AI education – looking at how to better teach AI, and how AI can be used to enhance teaching in general. We wrote a summary article with lots of links to other articles and resources for you to explore.

Read all of the articles on this topic here.

Computer Science professors explore Westworld

In a ten-part video series, Michael Littman and Charles Isbell talk about Westworld Season 1, commenting on the AI, machine learning and computer science ideas touched on in the show. Some of the specific topics they talk about in the different episodes include programming languages, technical debt, stack overflow and reinforcement learning. Watch the trailer here, and get stuck into episode one here.

AI music

We love music here at AIhub, so this series from Artificia is right up our street. It explores the use of AI to enhance improvisation, composition, performance and music education. Two of the sessions have already taken place, but, if you missed them, fear not: the recordings are available on YouTube.
Session 1 · Musical Improvisation with AI
Session 2 · Musical Composition with AI
The final session is scheduled for 6 May (18:00 – 19:30 CET) and will be streamed live on YouTube (link below).
Session 3 · Musical Performance & Education with AI

Stop calling everything AI

It is well worth checking out this article by Kathy Pretz featuring Michael Jordan. The article gives a brief history of how he got into the field and what he is interested in. Michael also seeks to counters some of the hype that has arisen regarding AI. “People are getting confused about the meaning of AI in discussions of technology trends — that there is some kind of intelligent thought in computers that is responsible for the progress and which is competing with humans,” he says. “We don’t have that, but people are talking as if we do.”


EleutherAI is a grassroots collective of researchers working to open source AI research. Their flagship project is the GPT⁠-⁠Neo family of models designed to replicate those developed by OpenAI as GPT⁠-⁠3. At the end of last month, the researchers announced the release of two mid-sized models in their GPT-Neo library, pre-trained using 1.3 billion and 2.7 billion parameters.

Why AI is harder than we think

In Why AI is harder than we think, Melanie Mitchell, describes four fallacies in common assumptions made by AI researchers, which can lead to overconfident predictions about the field. She also discusses the open questions spurred by these fallacies, including the age-old challenge of imbuing machines with human-like common-sense.

AIhub awarded charity status

You may have seen our recent announcement celebrating AIhub’s new charity status. The aims of our charity are to “Advance the education of the public in the field of artificial intelligence, including the science, applications, and ethics of artificial intelligence, and by the free dissemination of authoritative, high-quality, research and useful accessible information about such research”.

Sabine Hauert, executive Trustee of AIhub, commented “I’m excited we’ve gained charity status, it shows that we’re aiming to do good and really reflects our educational purpose. In all my conversations with the public, there is a clear thirst to learn about technologies such as AI, but it’s not always obvious where to go for useful, truthful information that is accessible. I’m hoping AIhub can serve this role.“


Lucy Smith , Managing Editor for AIhub.

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