The Global AI Summit

About this ThinkIn

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What else we’re reading…

Gemma Milne’s new book Smoke & Mirrors shows us how to separate the truth from the hype around nine cutting-edge areas of science and technology.

The Global AI Talent report by Jean-François Gagne, Simon Hudson and Yoan Mantha.

Tabitha Goldstaub’s How to Talk to Robots: A Girls’ Guide To a Future Dominated by AI explores both the risks and benefits to AI, whilst spotting gender bias along the way.

Last December, Tortoise launched the Global AI Index, the first to benchmark nations on their level of investment, innovation and implementation of artificial intelligence. For the past year, our team has been working on expanding the Index, adding another 10 countries and bringing in further metrics to deepen the analysis on the battle for AI domination.

On 3rd December, we’ll release the Index’s second iteration as the centrepiece of an AI digital summit where leaders in politics, technology and business will imagine a world with AI at its core. We’ll discuss the geopolitical implications of AI development, how companies can avoid “ethics washing”, the key breakthroughs in AI-led technology, and how gene-editing may change the human experience.

How it works

The Tortoise Global AI Summit is a one day programme of virtual conversations hosted by Tortoise. The summit will bring together 20-30 leading thinkers and commentators along with 2,000+ individuals from around the world.

Sessions will be hosted using Tortoise’s award-winning ThinkIn format, encouraging open, two-way dialogue between experts and attendees. Sessions will be moderated by senior Tortoise Editors, including James Harding, Co-Founder and Editor, Alexandra Mousavizadeh, Director of Tortoise Intelligence, and Alexi Mostrous, Editor and Partner, Investigations.

Your ticket will give you access to all of the sessions, but just like an in-person conference you can dip in and out. Recordings will be available in our members’ app the next day.

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Responsible AI and AI for Good Lead at PwC

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Entrepreneur and founder of Exponential View

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Consultant and long-time mobile analyst and pundit

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Managing Director for Innovation, The Alan Turing Institute

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Entrepreneur, investor and CEO of ElementAI

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Partner on the Investment team at Atomico and co-founder of the Climate Corporation

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Project Lead for AI at the World Economic Forum

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Science and technology writer and researcher; co-host of the Radical Science podcast

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Award-winning Harvard and MIT neuroscientist and CEO of Pymetrics

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Professor of Computing Science at the University of Oxford and Chairman of the Open Data Institute

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Founding engineer of Skype, computer programmer and investor

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Associate Professor in Philosophy at the Institute for Ethics in AI, and a Fellow at Hertford College at the University of Oxford

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CEO of Genomics England; formerly COO of QuantumBlack


Our team

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Co-founder and Editor

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Partner and Director of Tortoise Intelligence

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Partner and Editor

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Partner and Editor

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Data Journalist

More to be announced.

08.30-09.00

Opening keynote


09.00–9.45

The Tortoise Global AI Index: 2020 results

What are the key changes in the last year? Who is up and who is down, and why? How quickly is China catching the US? Will the UK lose its position to Canada? We reveal key findings from the Index.

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Co-Founder, Tortoise

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Partner, Head of Tortoise Intelligence


10.00-10.45

Geo-politics: does AI give the 21st century to corporates not nations?

AI could bring advances in almost every sector of life, such that AI dominance has become a defining objective of the world’s biggest powers. But private companies are driving innovations that shape state interactions – from trade to the military. How is AI redefining power between states, and between the state and the private sector? And what is the end point of the international AI-race?

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Co-founder, Tortoise

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Consultant and long-time mobile analyst and pundit

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Entrepreneur and founder of Exponential View


11.00–11.45

AI’s ugly underbelly: winners and losers of the workforce

The success of AI superstar companies often depends on an unseen army of people: low paid, data labellers, hired remotely to perform on-demand tasks that computers still can’t do, known as the MTurks. Meanwhile, the talent pool at the top end is increasingly in demand, pushing pay up to levels unseen before. Is this creating further fault lines in our society?

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Partner and Editor, Tortoise

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Managing Director for Innovation, The Alan Turing Institute

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Entrepreneur, investor and CEO of ElementAI

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Award-winning Harvard and MIT neuroscientist and CEO of Pymetrics


12.00-12.45

AI you can trust: taking ethics from rhetoric to reality?

How do developers, businesses and governments move beyond “ethics washing” and make ethical AI a reality? Some companies are hiring auditors to review AI processes – looking specifically for unfairness. Others are offering “bias bounties”, financial rewards for anyone who can prove the presence of bias in their AI systems. Is this enough? Which companies and countries are taking the most practical steps to ensure AI development has ethical considerations baked in?

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Partner and Editor, Tortoise

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Technology journalist and co-host of the Radical Science podcast

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Project Lead for AI at the World Economic Forum

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CEO of Genomics England; formerly COO of QuantumBlack

13.00-13.45

AI: the breakthroughs that will shape your life

What breakthroughs can we expect over the coming decade, and in what order? What can AI offer to humanity by 2030? In this session we will set out the roadmap to an AI future.

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Partner and Editor, Tortoise

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Co-founder of Skype

14.00-14.45

Closing keynote