press release
Published: 15 December 2021

Teamwork between people and machines crucial to future of AI

Two experts from the Surrey Institute for People-Centred Artificial Intelligence comment on today's BBC Radio 4 Reith Lecture on AI

Commenting on this morning’s Reith Lecture by Professor Stuart Russell, the University of Surrey’s Professor Adrian Hilton, Director of the Surrey Institute for People-Centred Artificial Intelligence, said:

“As is so often the case in debates around AI, today’s Reith lecture carried the implied assumption that we will lose control to machines, yet it is within the power of humans – and is our responsibility – to design AI which ensures decisions are made in the right places. When we design AI systems, we must ensure humans are the final arbiter when decisions about human values are involved and that systems are designed to promote teamwork between people and machines.

“There is huge value in AI and I see it as a moral imperative to harness the benefits in a responsible, inclusive and people-focused way. As Professor Russell said, it may not be the answer to global warming, but it can contribute to tackling the problem, and it has the potential to personalise education and healthcare in a way which enhance individual learning and the treatment and prevention of disease to improve quality of life across the globe.”

Professor Iis Tussyadiah, Head of School of Hospitality and Tourism Management at the University of Surrey and Professor of Intelligent Systems in Service, said:

“Regardless of whether you agree that the end of work is good or bad, we need to ready ourselves to live in a different world where leisure will be abundant. However, humans will still be in demand when it comes to interpersonal interactions with an emphasis on emotional and social relations and people will play an important role in human-AI teams. It is important for us to shape what effective human-AI collaboration should look like, as well how best to manage interpersonal service provision. We need to address questions like whether and how AI might manage how humans serve other humans.”

Professor Tussyadiah contributes to the Surrey Institute for People-Centred AI, which brings together over 30 years of leading expertise in AI and machine learning foundations and practice with domain expertise across the humanities, law and regulation, ethics, politics, business and the physical and health sciences to inform future AI policy and ensure that people are at the heart of future AI.