Exploring the future of AI with Matthew Blakemore, AI Strategist - Creative Industries

Posted by World Summit AI on Oct 6, 2023 8:33:04 PM
World Summit AI

Ahead of World Summit AI (11th-12th October 2023, Taets Art & Event Park, Amsterdam), we asked Matthew Blakemore, AI Strategist - Creative Industries, his thoughts on the future of AI.

As an expert in the field, what critical challenges do you believe the AI community needs to address to ensure responsible & and ethical AI deployment?

Addressing the ethical deployment of AI presents multifaceted challenges. Notably, the EU AI Act provides a framework by categorising AI risks. Key concerns include ensuring ethically sourced data, addressing biases, and maintaining transparency in AI operations. Additionally, data privacy, security, and ensuring a human-centric approach to decisions remain paramount. It's essential to foster a culture that encourages discussions around AI ethics and to continually intertwine our AI advancements with a commitment to uphold human values.

How has AI impacted your specific field of expertise, and what transformative changes do you foresee in the near future?
In the creative industry, AI has been a game-changer, offering both opportunities and challenges. While it's true that AI tools, especially Generative AI, have democratised content creation and enhanced productivity, there are genuine concerns about job displacement and pushback from traditionalists. Drawing parallels to platforms like Spotify reshaping the music landscape, I anticipate AI will continue to redefine our field, although the journey might be accompanied by resistance and a need for adapting skill sets.
How do you envision AI shaping various industries, and what advice would you give to businesses seeking to integrate AI into their operations?
AI has the potential to revolutionise industries by enhancing efficiency and productivity. An array of accessible tools now allow companies to explore AI solutions with minimal initial investment. But simply testing these tools isn't enough. It's essential for businesses to evaluate their data, understand the implications of AI for their business model, and devise a comprehensive AI strategy for the future.
However, a challenge faced, especially by SMEs, is the lack of AI comprehension at the senior leadership level. This can put undue pressure on AI product teams, leading to potential burnout as they navigate resistance to change and the intricacies of implementing AI solutions. Recent data from Forbes highlighted that a significant number of product teams felt overwhelmed, with many contemplating leaving their roles due to stress. For SMEs, safeguarding these valuable team members is crucial.
To businesses, especially SMEs, I'd advise: Value and support your product teams. Don't embark on an AI integration journey without genuine commitment and readiness to stand behind and support those spearheading the initiative.
In your opinion, what opportunities and challenges does AI present for job markets and workforce development worldwide?

AI is certainly reshaping the global job market by introducing high-tech roles, such as Prompt Engineers, Chief AI Officers, and numerous data-centric positions. However, its rapid evolution also threatens to displace traditional jobs, as AI can optimise tasks or even perform them more efficiently.
A notable concern is AI's application in recruitment. Historically, this sector has faced bias issues, which can be exacerbated when AI mirrors these biases in its algorithms.
Regarding workforce development, it’s vital for governments worldwide to emphasise lifelong learning. A potential solution might be the establishment of "skills accounts" for citizens, accumulating funds dedicated to ongoing training. This initiative would ideally be a collaborative effort, funded by governments, employers, and employees alike.
Can you share an example of an AI application or project that has personally impressed you, and explain why it stands out?
An intriguing application of AI that has captivated me is the deployment of robotic bees that assist in pollination and monitor hive activities. However, within the creative domain, Amped Studio truly stands out. They utilise AI to help budding musicians produce royalty-free backing tracks for their compositions. The brains behind this innovation, the humble Bil Bryant, has consistently brought forward groundbreaking solutions in the music industry. I believe his contributions deserve recognition, and I'm pleased to highlight his work today.
What measures do you believe should be taken to bridge the AI research gap between developed and developing nations to ensure equitable technological progress?
To address the AI research gap between developed and developing nations, it's crucial to recognise the foundational disparities, particularly in education and available skill sets. For equitable technological advancement, it's imperative to focus on capacity-building in developing countries. By equipping individuals with relevant skills, they can, in turn, educate others, ensuring the technology is tailored to address the unique challenges inherent to their regions.
What 2 people do you admire most in the world of AI in terms of their work?
Two figures in the AI realm that I deeply respect are Bil Bryant and Dr. Julian Padget. Bryant's pioneering work has democratised music creation, enabling individuals to craft meaningful pieces regardless of their background. On the academic side, Dr. Julian Padget, an AI authority at the University of Bath, not only excels in his research but is also passionate about developing AI standards for societal betterment. I had the honour of collaborating with him, Colin Crone, and Jeremy Swinfen Green on the International Standard Organisation (ISO) AI Data Lifecycle Standard (ISO/IEC 8183), which was approved earlier this year.
What advice would you give to aspiring AI researchers and enthusiasts who want to make a positive impact in the field?
For those eager to make a meaningful contribution in AI, I cannot emphasise enough the value of collaboration. It's crucial to balance innovation with responsibility and ethics, often by forming an AI Ethics Committee. Drawing guidance from frameworks like the EU AI Act and the ISO AI Data Lifecycle (ISO/IEC 8183) can provide a solid foundation for your endeavours.
If you could solve any global problem in the world with AI, what would it be and why?
In response to such a thought-provoking query, it's tempting to envision a cinematic solution where AI preemptively identifies potential wrongdoers. However, navigating the ethical maze of such an application is undoubtedly complex. On a more grounded note, inspired by Brittany Kaiser's 'Targeted' detailing the misuse of AI by Cambridge Analytica, I'd advocate for AI's role in safeguarding truth in politics. The proliferation of misinformation, especially in the political realm, poses significant threats to democratic principles. As technology potentially amplifies this challenge, I believe AI can be a beacon, identifying and countering falsehoods in real-time across media platforms. Addressing misinformation is paramount to preserving the values and progress we cherish.
What inspired you to participate in this AI summit as a speaker, and what message do you hope to convey to the audience?
My deep-rooted passion for AI, stemming from over a decade of involvement, inspired me to speak at this summit. Having observed the transformative journey of AI, I’m an ardent supporter of 'tech4good.' While it's undeniable that AI poses challenges and garners apprehension among many, I remain optimistic about its potential to uplift humanity. The creative industry, in particular, has the opportunity to harness AI for productivity, product enhancement, and democratising creativity. This summit provides a platform for the launch of the 'creative industry AI study' (ciai.study), an initiative aiming to shape AI policy, standards, and discourse. I urge creative professionals to contribute, ensuring comprehensive insights in our biannual reports. With my background, notably co-authoring the International Standard Organisation AI Data Lifecycle Standard, I want to underscore the importance of ethical AI integration in businesses. The EU AI Act offers a robust framework in this regard. And for those businesses seeking a seamless transition into AI, my consultancy, 'AI Caramba!', is poised to guide and support.

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