Stephen is Executive Director of the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence.
The mission of the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence (CFI) is to build a new interdisciplinary community of researchers, with strong links to technologists and the policy world, and a clear practical goal: to work together to ensure that we humans make the best of the opportunities of artificial intelligence as it develops over coming decades.
Funded by a £10 million grant from the Leverhulme Trust, CFI will explore the opportunities and challenges of this potentially epoch-making technology, short-term as well as long-term. We are based at the University of Cambridge, with partners at the Oxford Martin School at the University of Oxford, at Imperial College London, and at the University of California, Berkeley.
Our research is mostly structured in a series of projects. There are seven of these in our first three-year phase with more to follow in later phases, plus two additional research exercises. These projects are the root structure of CFI’s new community, reaching out to brilliant researchers and connecting them and their ideas to the challenges of making the best of AI. Topics range from algorithmic transparency to exploring the implications of AI for democracy.
Many researchers now take seriously the possibility that intelligence equal to our own will be created in computers, perhaps within this century. Freed of biological constraints, such as limited memory and slow biochemical processing speeds, machines may eventually become more intelligent than we are – with profound implications for us all. As Stephen Hawking has put it, “when it eventually does occur, it’s likely to be either the best or worst thing ever to happen to humanity, so there’s huge value in getting it right.” We therefore aim to bring together the best of human intelligence so that we can make the most of machine intelligence