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Press Release / March 24 2019

Artificial Intelligence’s Risks and Rewards to Be Focus of Doha Debates’ Next Live Debate

Press release, March 24, 2019

In Doha Debates’ next live debate, four of the world’s top experts on artificial intelligence (AI) will debate its pros and cons, and try to reach common ground on how the world should proceed with it.

The Qatar Foundation (QF) production’s April 3 debate comes as AI increasingly reshapes day-to-day life for billions of people, revolutionizing communications, transportation, workplaces, housing, and healthcare.

However, with AI also being blamed for job losses, data breaches, and disasters, critics ask whether its benefits outweigh what they see as its negative consequences.

Debate participants will examine the merits and challenges of AI and, in the program’s unique consensus-building Majlis segment, discuss ways in which everyone can address these risks, despite their different perspectives.

Among those participating in the debate will be Joy Buolamwini, a Ghanaian American computer scientist and digital activist at the MIT Media Lab at Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and Nick Bostrom, a Swedish philosopher and bestselling author, and director of the University of Oxford’s Future of Humanity Institute.

They will be joined by Muthoni Wanyoike, a Kenyan data scientist and organizer at Code for Africa and Nairobi Women in Machine Learning & Data Science; and Dex Torricke-Barton, a former communications executive at Facebook, Google and SpaceX, and a British bestselling author. Govinda Clayton, a conflict-resolution expert and researcher at Swiss science and technology university ETH Zurich, will be the debate’s bridge-building “connector.”

The debate at QF partner university Northwestern University in Qatar will be livestreamed on Facebook and Twitter. The majority of the debate’s in-person attendees will be students from universities at QF’s Education City, with the audience — including people participating digitally from around the world — playing an active role in shaping the debate and solutions.

Doha Debates’ moderator will be Ghida Fakhry, and Nelufar Hedayat will be the digital host for the debate livestream.

Amjad Atallah, managing director of Doha Debates, said, “This debate on AI is timely and critical. Our hope is that the debate will lead AI advocates and critics to agree, in at least a few ways, on AI’s path forward, while providing people everywhere with suggestions for how to maximize AI’s rewards and overcome its challenges.”

Doha Debates’ February 2019 debut debate at Education City, which examined the world’s worsening refugee crisis, garnered over 4 million views around the world.

To register to attend the AI debate on April 3, please visit You can also watch the livestream on Facebook and Twitter @DohaDebates at 7 p.m. Qatar time, GMT +3 hours, and join the conversation using the hashtag #DearWorld.


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