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Ask us anything about AI

What do you want to know about Artificial Intelligence?

This is your opportunity to ask leading researchers about your hopes, dreams, fears or anything else related to AI.  

The Concordia Digital Strategy initiative in collaboration with the Office of Research wants to foster a community conversation about Artificial Intelligence (AI). We've collected your questions and picked the following five to send to our researchers for their answers!

Our questions from the community

Source questions
  1. AI is an abstract noun, like happiness & risk & danger.  What would an AI image inventory look like?
  2. If you could pick one image of AI that looks like AI to you, what would it be? And please no stock  images of neural nets.
  3. How does AI work? How do you give a program the ability to learn and evolve?
  4. What is the end goal in AI research?
  5. Has AI developped as far as fiction currently shows it to have (ex. HER by Spike Jones)?
  6. How do the AI methods that have been developped relate to the way the human brain actually functions?
  7. How would you take a photograph of artificial intelligence? And what would I see?   It’s a very literal question based on the idea that artificial intelligence is often caught up in its capacity as a noun, as a tangible thing, embedded in everyday understanding  (a person, a place, a thing, a quality).
  8. If AI is about learning continuous learning, why do we use the term AI to speak of voice bot or chat bot?
  9. I've heard that AI is able to create morals or ethics. How far is reasearch so far on this, and can AI currently create morals or ethics?
  10. Were is the data that's being collected for AI going? What are people doing with it and what kind of plans to people have for it?
  11. What differences would be made if an effort was put into how AI looked? How would our perception/dedication/importance be put into an AI that looked either more or less like a robot  Would a certain-looking AI be in such a way that we would consider it more important than us?
  12. What is AI?
  13. Why would someone even want to create Artificial Intelligence?
  14. Why? (or Why create AI in the first place?)
  15. As someone with basic knowledge of programming language and how recurring neural networks function, I see no reason to believe machines will ever do more than they have been programmed to do. Please help. Am I wrong?

Source questions
  1. How can AI be useful to everyday people?
  2. How much is AI already present in our every day life?
  3. How will AI change the development of career or jobs, specficially in Montreal? Will AI play an important role at Concordia in the next 5 or 10 years?
  4. Is AI able to write a coherent book or story?
  5. What does AI do for us?
  6. What is the most basic use of AI a regular person could have access to?
  7. What roles does AI play in the video games, and in different periods of video games developments? 
  8. What's the most basic use of AI that somebody could get their hands on today?
  9. When will AI start to replace day to day utilities or actions?
  10. Which impact does AI have on the development of wearable technologies? Is it possible to compare the skin and beauty industry with AI technology?
  11. Why has Montreal developed into the AI research and development hub globally and how is AI already in use here in Montreal?
  12. Will there be more AI in the medical field?
  13. With increasing role of AI in healthcare, what can be best possible applications to ensure remote healthcare service (for example, patients making self-diagnosis of skin diseases through AI based mobile applications)
  14. What is the relationship between AI and innovation?
  15. This query is about internal process. Is there any plan to enhance internal collaboration in Concordia (between departments like:  CCSE and ECE, between schools like:  Gina Cody and JMSB) for holistic research-development on AI?
  16. Is it worth investing in AI?
  17. How much is AI involved in our lives, without us knowing?
  18. Is there an AI community in Concordia?

Source questions
  1. How does AI set in the video games influence players’ game experience?
  2. At one point, when computers take on more and more jobs will we be forced to take on basic income as a policy, and will we be able to recognize this?
  3. How much will AI replace people and labour, especially jobs that require less education?
  4. How much will it replace people? How do we create a progressive society if AI replaces jobs and puts people out of work?
  5. How will AI both help and hinder the assessment of student learning?
  6. How will AI change studying?
  7. How will AI contribute to our lives in the future?
  8. How will our economy pan out? Is it going to be in a way where we will just be purchasing different type of AI in order to do our jobs for us? 
  9. In the near future could you think that use of AI can help us with sustainable development, what are the possibilities that you think that use of AI can help the army?
  10. Is Advising moving toward AI and losing its personal touch? This is worrisome because the vast majority of students - even the new "linkster" generation -  prefer the person to person connection when it comes to advising. 
  11. What kind impact will AI have on our economy?
  12. Will AI replace human translators in the near future?
  13. How do we make sure that AI research is available to the public, or publicly owned?
  14. Is there a risk in the future of AI rendering human efforts pointless?
  15. Many jobs will be replaced by AI in the coming decades? In medical imaging in particular, the effectiveness of AI in identification has been demonstrated. Should the job of radiologist become obsolete, what measures would be put in place to avoid abandoning the knowledge of the profession to machines? In the event of a catastrophic scenario, would one still be able to make a diagnosis without a machine?
  16. What are the expectations in regard to language in Artificial Intelligence?
  17. What happens with our labor once we have enough AI to take over? 
  18. What role will AI play in healthcare? How will healthcare professional be taught on how to use AI in healthcare?
  19. What types of professions that may not yet exist would be essential in a society where artificial intelligence is ubiquitous? What skills will the workers of tomorrow have to develop?
  20. When and in what order should we expect various jobs to become automated? How will this affect the wages of less skilled workers, the creative professions, and various kinds of information workers?
  21. Will AI become our whole labor force with humans able to focus on education?
  22. Will AI once be able to replace humans, and do experts want it to? Is this the current research's aim?
  23. Will jobs in AI increase in the near future?

Source questions
  1. AI builds its knowledge from what is available to it, and will access to online information, AI will be fed the dark underbelly of the human condition, those that sleep on the cloud... how can you control the information that builds AI functionality?
  2. How do we make ethical calls when making systems that make decisions?
  3. Considering that systems will become increasingly complex and AI-based cyberattacks may be extremely effective, while on the other hand, the use of AI and machine-learning techniques along with significant progress in low-level system reliability may render hardened systems much less vulnerable than today’s, will long-term progress in AI make the overall problem of security easier or harder? 
  4. At what point would Artificial Intelligence become 'too intelligent'? Would there be a point of no return?
  5. Considering that systems will become increasingly complex and AI-based cyberattacks may be extremely effective, while on the other hand, the use of AI and machine-learning techniques along with significant progress in low-level system reliability may render hardened systems much less vulnerable than today’s, will long-term progress in AI make the overall problem of security easier or harder?
  6. How to enable meaningful human control over an AI system after it create or begins to operate. (OK, I built the system wrong; can I fix it? can I stop it anytime I want?)
  7. Have Isaac Azomov's laws been implemented at all in any robotic/ai system? Why?
  8. Does training create bias in AI?
  9. Are experts in AI worried about anything with regards to AI? Are there any scifi or modern day developments that they find scary?
  10. Are there biases in AI because of math?
  11. As a researcher, what issues are you most concerned about in the evolution of AI?
  12. Facebook abandoned an experiment after two artificially intelligent programs appeared to be chatting to each other in a strange language only they understood. How do we prevent that kind of behaviour in the future as AI autonomous systems will become more prevalent?
  13. How do you program Artificial Intelligence without imbuing it with programmer's own bias? 
  14. How will Artificial Intelligence choose what to prioritize when faced with moral quandaries?
  15. How would you make sure that AI going forward isn't as racist as it's been in the past? For exemple, automated cars not stopping as often for black folks than for white folks, or surveillance software specifically targeting POC.
  16. Is the lack of governmental laws surrounding AI a problem?
  17. Is there a risk of overdependancy on AI? 
  18. Is there any ethical supervision or regulation in AI research?
  19. Looking at Chinese face recognition and use of AI, and the amount of financial investment, in an AI dystopia possible?Is there any accountability in how AI is used or created?
  20. What are or should the limits be around AI?
  21. What are the dangers of algorithmic AI online?
  22. What kind of accountability can be expected from algorithm intending to radicalize opinions?
  23. Which moral philosophy should be applied when working on decision making in AI that can have life and death consiquences, such as automated vehicles?
  24. Who should be in charge of regulating and how should we be regulating it? What role should private experts play in formulating those regulations?
  25. Why are we inventing something that one day (not so far in future) may surpass our intelligence and put the whole human being in danger?!
  26. Will AI harm humans in the future?
  27. Will Artificial Intelligence be the end of humanity?
  28. The AI questions span law, public policy, professional ethics, and philosophical ethics, and require inputs and expertise from computer scientists, legal experts, political scientists, and ethicists. Do researchers and developers at Concordia work in collaboration with professionals from these fields regarding the impact of AI?
  29. It is well understood how AI is going to affect all of us in near future, but how will it be ensured that AI will not be misused by Private Giants? Can there be AI which will track the misuse of AI systems owned by Individuals or Private Companies?


Source questions
  1. Following a singularity, Robert Kurzweil predicted self-awareness in 2029.  Do you believe than it can happen within 10 years?
  2. How long before AI is smarter than us?
  3. If AI can get to a point of developing itself does that mean that robots are technically consious?
  4. Since the inability to process empathy is one of the tell-tale markers of psychopathy, I wonder how one can truly ever trust AI as it is not capable of this emotional differential?
  5. When is AI considered Human?
  6. Can Artificial Intelligence respond to human emotion?
  7. If being human is the capacity to think, and fear for our own lives, would a robot be recogized as human if it feared for its life?
  8. Can AI understand the way we treat it (if we're mean, or kind, etc.)?
  9. If an Artificial Intelligence sufficiently develops itself, how do we treat consent with robots?
  10. Is it possible to measure the difference, quantitatively or qualitatively, between human intelligence, and artificial intelligence?
  11. Should we treat AI (artefacts) like humans, and what are the grey areas involved?
  12. Since the inability to process empathy is one of the tell-tale markers of psychopathy, I wonder how one can truly ever trust AI as it is not capable of this emotional differential?
  13. Since the structure of how we frame society relies on the ways that humans thinks, and if AI means there are neural networks powerful enough to adapt to situation more quickly than humans, wouldn’t that mean that things like our identities, our personal securities, everything about lives becomes compromised?
  14. Will we ever get to a point where we'll have to rewrite our constitutions to accomodate AI?
  15. What can AI mimic in terms of emotional intelligence?
  16. The only time I have seen something related to AI is in futuristic TV shows/series where there is a super advanced computer/devise that performs the commands ordered by a human voice and these are very complex/fantastic (i.e. The 100, Travelers, etc). Do those actually exist? If they don’t exist, how far are we from having those in the future?
  17. Why do so many people believe in a 'singularity' wherein AI takes over control of human endeavours?



November 2019
Crowdsourced community questions.

February 2020
Collected responses from faculty and graduate researchers.

April 2020
Released final response videos.

Project team


Guylaine Beaudry, University Librarian

Project lead

Paul Fournier, Director, Digital Transformation Office

Team members

Prem Sooriyakumar, Knowledge Broker, Office of Research
Shevaughn Battle, Director, Strategic Content & Digital Marketing, UCS
Émilie Trudeau, Student Assistant
Nicholas Gertler, Student Assistant
Étienne Lacelle, Student Video Editor

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