CERN organizing Public event Sparks! for future intelligence

Sparks! The serendipity forum is a two-day multidisciplinary science, innovation event will be organized by CERN.

The upcoming first edition of Sparks!, which will be held 17-18 September, adopts the theme of future intelligence, and paves the way for two more pilot events in the lead up towards CERN’s new Science Gateway, opening in 2023.

According to CERN, the public event on 18 September will be available to watch through the live 16:00 – 20:00 CET.

“Sparks! aims to create a platform to drive innovation on topics relating to science, technology, engineering and maths, reflecting on their relevance in society and how to collaborate to address them,” CERN says.

The forum will bring together 50 global experts, from scientists and ethicists, to philosophers and psychologists, to provoke discussions around the future of artificial intelligence, and what this means for society.

Sparks include short talks and discussions on the topic of future intelligence. It will also share information and generate debate through various platforms such as the podcasts and videos of the launch already published, in addition to articles and other academic materials.

The impact of AI, now and in the future, is experienced on a global scale. The theme of future intelligence demonstrates the benefits AI has for CERN, but also highlights the wider impact on global society and the challenges that it brings.

Charlotte Warakaulle, Director for International Relations at CERN says, “We want to bring CERN’s spirit of intellectual and practical innovation to the cutting edge themes in science, technology, engineering and maths.”

“The idea is to focus on areas that are important for CERN as a research laboratory and to everyone as citizens – and artificial intelligence is an example of this. It is an opportunity for us as a scientific community to learn and also engage with society on the challenges we face globally. We believe that pooling ideas and working across boundaries is essential to finding good solutions,” Director Warakaulle added.

In addition, the Sparks! public event will hear from some of the most prominent names in artificial intelligence. The lineup includes Daniel Kahneman, discussing the psychology of decision making, deep-learning expert and director of machine learning at NVIDIA, Anima Anandkumar, Koray Kavukcuoglu from DeepMind, Hiroaki Kitano, CEO of Sony AI Inc., and Jaan Tallinn, founding engineer of Skype and founder of the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk, among many others.

Sparks! is part of the CERN & Society programme. The 2020-2021 Sparks! event is supported by Edmond de Rothschild, with support from the Didier et Martine Primat Foundation.