Doha Debates held its second event at NU-Q in April with a focus on the development and integration of artificial intelligence (AI), presented by four experts in the field: Joy Buolamwini, a Ghanaian-American computer scientist and digital activist at MIT’s Media Lab; Nick Bostrom, a Swedish philosopher, bestselling author, and director of Oxford University’s Future of Humanity Institute; Muthoni Wanyoike, a Kenyan data scientist and organizer at Code for Africa and Nairobi Women in Machine Learning & Data Science; and Dex Torricke-Barton, bestselling author and former communications executive at Facebook, Google, and SpaceX. 

During the debate, Buolamwini pointed out the flaws and biases in AI systems that could worsen existing societal issues such as inequality and discrimination. Meanwhile, Torricke-Barton argued for having politicians and leaders in place who understand AI and are able to make informed decisions. Meanwhile, Wanyoike argued that AI could be used for good or bad, and humans have the ability to either “ruin the universe… or ensure our continued existence.”

The interactive debate allowed viewers to engage through a live voting app on their smartphones and invited viewers from Kenya, Gaza, and California to contribute by asking the experts questions during the debate.