Answers With… Dr Catriona Wallace

Dr Catriona Wallace

Dr Catriona Wallace is the Founder and Executive Director of Artificial Intelligence FinTech and ASX Listed company Flamingo Ai, provider of Machine Learning based Cognitive Virtual Assistant technologies. Catriona has a PhD in Organisational Behaviour: Human Technology Interaction and is a well published author and commentator. She is one of the world’s most cited experts on the Future of Customer Experience, Artificial Intelligence and Bot Strategy.

What scientific or medical breakthroughs or discoveries are you most excited to see within your lifetime? – Milena, year 11 student from Springbank Secondary College, SA

 

The scientific breakthrough I would most like to see within my lifetime will be heading towards a time of singularity where the super computers are actually smarter, faster, better than humans in what we can do, how we think, and the activities that we do.

So, in order to make sure that the machines don’t run away with humanity we need to enter a phase called transhumanism which is where we start to embed software in our bodies. This can happen now – in fact it has started happening now, all the technology exists – we start a different type of human evolution where we are part human and part software. Is there the technology today? Yes. Is it a matter of time? Yes. So, we the AI philosophers, think half of this could go really well, and we think half of it will go extraordinarily badly – autonomous weapons, autonomous medical practices gone wrong, problems where the machines go bad are all ahead of us– and this is why there needs great leadership now.

At the moment we really struggle with diversity and inclusion in STEM, but particularly in my field of artificial intelligence. Less than 10 per cent of the coders internationally in this field – the largest and fastest growing tech sector in the world with 38 billion dollars invested in AI in the last year – are women, yet 90 per cent of the two million jobs that will be lost due to AI in the next two years will be those of women and minority groups. Can the government lead this? No, they are way behind. Can business lead this? I don’t think so, so it will take individuals like us to start to provide great leadership, essentially so the robots don’t take over the world!

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General Capabilities:

Literacy

Numeracy

ICT

Critical and Creative Thinking

Ethical Understanding

Additional: Careers, Technology, Engineering

Years: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, Senior Secondary

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