February 03, 2016, 03:30 PM - 05:00 PM

03:30 PM

Peter O'Donnell, Jr. Building (POB 2.402)

The Evolution of AI and its Impending Impacts on Law, Ethics, and Global Society
February 03, 2016, 03:30 PM - 05:00 PM
The Evolution of AI and its Impending Impacts on Law, Ethics, and Global Society

On Wednesday, February 3, the Robert Strauss Center hosted Michael Stewart, founder, chairman, and CEO of Lucid, for a conversation on the law, ethics, policy, and future of artificial intelligence, as part of the Strauss Center's new Artificial Intelligence Program. In his talk, "The Evolution of AI and its Impending Impacts on Law, Ethics, and Global Society," Michael Stewart discussed the history of the work that has brought us to the present state - where AI is taking on new dimensions.

Michael Stewart 1

Since Alan Turing and his team developed a code-breaking machine in WWII, humans have questioned how far we can go in developing machines that can mimic human reasoning and logic. Today, great advances have been made in creating systems that are capable of pattern matching at impressive levels. Mr. Stewart emphasized there is a more difficult component in the development of AI – recreating the causal reasoning humans are dependent on in problem solving. Being able to mimic and create causal reasoning in machines is at the heart of the work he and his company are doing. Linking the capabilities of pattern matching and causal reasoning is bringing the development of AI to unprecedented levels

Michael Stewart 2

According to Mr. Stewart, AI is reaching a level of complexity where there will be challenges in ethics and data privacy to any company deploying these capacities. He spoke of the importance of being sensitive to the issues of protecting data and privacy rights, as computer systems become more complex and able to acquire and process data on their own. Also, the legal aspects of using advanced AI in running a country, state, or local government poses ethical questions of protection of privacy and basic human rights, in addition to the question of whether governments can keep up with the AI they deploy.

Michael Stewart 3

Mr. Stewart emphasized that we are in a time when AI is reaching levels of unprecedented complexity, and the opportunities that will be created by this evolution lead us into uncharted territory that is both exciting, fruitful, and full of legal and ethical questions that will have to be addressed with clarity and understanding of AI.

Michael Stewart 4

More photos from this event can be accessed here.

Video of the talk can be accessed here.


Michael Stewart is the Chairman, CEO and a Founder of Lucid. He has a long career as an entrepreneur and innovator. As a partner in the Torii Group (2005 to 2009), Mr. Stewart performed consulting services in business change management, enterprise risk management and IT systems for the commercial real estate and insurance industries. As Chairman and CEO of Express Star Systems (1990 to 1998), Mr. Stewart designed software to pioneer the first integrations between CAD systems, relational databases, and business analytic algorithms. These software solutions optimized the operations and asset management needs of large commercial real estate businesses. In the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, Mr. Stewart served as a principal systems design specialist for the U.S. government, pioneering next-generation Knowledge Computing and Intelligent Software Agent systems. The sophistication of some components in these complex systems took more than 15 years to fully materialize. Michael returned to government systems design and optimization work from 2001 to 2005.