On Thursday morning, grades 10, 11 and 12 Computer Science students were treated to a presentation from Peter Suma, the co-CEO and co-founder of Applied Brain Research (ABR) among many other things.
The team behind ABR builds models of the brain to understand how it works, and then applies the findings to artificial intelligence (AI). Their goal is build the best integrated AI systems, ultimately resulting in devices that can work in the real world.
AI is fascinating, especially considering the capabilities. Examples could be a robot to do your laundry, provide protection, or even prepare dinner. However, with so much innovation it’s normal to feel cautious.
Mr. Suma addressed some common fears of the creation of AI: “If you build a robot smarter than a human, then what are we for?”
Not to worry… yet. Mr. Suma assured the students “there is still a long way to go” until AI can seamlessly imitate a human’s brain.
As humans, our ability to understand and process information creatively sets our brains apart from those manufactured in a lab. “True magic will come when humans can combine their creativity with AI intelligence and data. A lot of start-ups are chasing that thought,” Mr. Suma said.
Along with an illustrious academic career, Mr. Suma’s professional endeavors and research are well respected in the industry. He contributes to the Artificial Intelligence and Human Rights Advisory Board at the Balsillie School of International Affairs, and was able to shed light on a number of quality AI programs available for students interested.
“Canada is at the forefront of AI research,” Mr. Suma said, naming the University of Toronto, McGill University, and the University of Waterloo. It was encouraging for students to learn some outstanding programs are so close to St. Andrew’s College.
What does this mean for students? Change is occurring in the workplace, and it’s going to revolutionize the business and engineering fields.
“Take this into account as you plan your futures. It’s exciting; keep it on your radar.”
Story by Sean Maillet