NEWS  –  SHDP DIRECTOR JOHN CORNWELL’S AEON ARTICLE  Alpha Golem – “When we pit ourselves against machines, the game can only end in tears. It is in our gift to imagine another way.”


NEWS  –  ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE IN SCIENCE FICTION – watch our short film on AI in Sci-Fi, the subject of our March 2018 conference. AI experts and Sci Fi authors and film makers discuss how Sci-Fi addresses AI, and the roles both the AI and Sci-Fi communities can play to communicate and discuss the hopes and fears of Artificial Intelligence.

SHDP  is a public understanding of science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) program based at Jesus College, Cambridge.

Through conferences, lectures and publishing, SHDP brings together the scientific research community  with experts from industry, government and the media to deepen and broaden the appreciation of new ideas and discoveries in STEMM, and to ask searching questions about their impact on humanity.

SHDP also addresses important ethical questions, such as the controversy over human embryonic stem cell research, super intelligent machines and artificial intelligence (AI). At times we are intent on tackling subjects illustrative of knowledge purely for its own sake.

SHDP helps researchers and companies bring their work and ideas to a wide audience of experts and general public through well organised events with carefully chosen participants. We have worked with many research groups and businesses and in 2017 we collaborated with DeepMind to deliver a conference on their latest AI research in memory and imagination.

SHDP and outreach – we have a strong track record in achieving outreach from the university and the laboratory to the media and a wider non-specialist public through journalism, film and books.  The project directors have produced conferences and reports on a wide range of vital issues including: Consciousness and Human Identity, Artificial Intelligence, Cyber Security, Food Security, Inequality, Infrastructure, the Financial Crisis, Big Data, Blockchain and Bitcoin, the Future of Research-based Universities, the North-South divide, Ageing in the UK, and the Future of Work. Conference proceedings and books have been published by SHDP, Oxford University PressBloomsbury, Viking Penguin and Profile.

AI & the Future of Humanity Project – from August 2017 SHDP is running a two-year project consisting of three conferences on AI and the Future of Humanity. The project is funded by Templeton World Charity Foundation (TWCF). The first conference took place on 15-16 March 2018 and discussed our hopes and fears for AI as featured in Science Fiction – read the AI in Sci Fi conference report.  The second conference, The Singularity Summit, is in September 2018, and third on AI and ethics in May 2019 – all details here.

SHDP AI in Sci Fi conference
Olle Haggstrom on existential risk at the AI in Sci-Fi conference March 2018 at Jesus College, Cambridge


Science Human Dimension Project SHDP logo