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"Can AI be held responsible?" - a keynote speech by The Rt Hon Lord Reid of Cardowan

ISRS releases transcript of a keynote speech by the Rt Hon. Lord Reid of Cardowan at the 2018 Tech Law Day of global law firm, Bird & Bird on the topic of AI, with implications for human and machine decision making.

LONDON — 9 October, 2018 — The Institute for Strategy, Resilience & Security (ISRS) at University College London (UCL) today released a transcript of "Can AI be held responsible, a keynote speech given at the Bird & Bird 2018 Tech Law Day.

The Rt Hon. Lord Reid of Cardowan, Executive Chairman of ISRS commented:

“Machine intelligence will provide greater functional or predictive value, while more human-like interfaces will improve the perception of empathy and therefore value-extraction from interactions with humans. The ability to appear human-like, based on the ability to recognise facial emotions accurately and to conduct sophisticated, responsive conversations in any language, about any topic, for example, will allow organisations to project human-like responsibility from what are actually software agents.

Until AI is demonstrably superior to humans in its ability to make moral, ethical and social decisions, this lack of emotional parity with humans could be seen at best as immaturity, or at worst as sociopathic or even psychopathic. AI will require continual psychological evaluation to ensure that it is acting in the desired manner, as well as human supervision and an accountability mechanism to ensure that someone - a human - takes responsibility for its actions."

The full transcript can be downloaded here.



The Institute for Strategy Resilience & Security (ISRS) ( at UCL serves as a pioneer and forum for next generation thinking. Founded by the Rt Hon. Lord Reid of Cardowan, ISRS provides analysis and assessment of the major issues of resilience with respect to national and global infrastructure and the ability of governments, regulators and businesses to respond to them. The Institute advises industry and the public sector on the persistent challenges to their agility, stamina and capacity for strategic decision making, so as to better face existential threats and disruptive innovation that are not addressed by conventional strategy and forecasting.


Institute for Strategy, Resilience & Security (ISRS)

University College London

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