Artificial Intelligence: 'Seize the Opportunities, Avoid the Hazards'

A one-day international symposium on 1 March 2024

De Montfort University in Leicester, England, is running a one-day international symposium on the topic of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Our subtitle 'Seize the Opportunities, Avoid the Hazards' is meant somewhat ironically, since this is obviously what humanity needs to do but just how we do it is not well understood or agreed upon. AI

The talks at the symposium will focus on the technological state of the art and the immediate future -- just what is being done now with AI and what can we expect to see coming soon -- and also the sociological implications of the technology. 10 years ago techno-optimists predicted imminent widespread adoption of self-driving cars in the developed world but this has yet to happen, not least because citizens and lawmakers are not satisifed that the ethical implications regarding collisions and blame have been resolved. Ethical considerations are also paramount in the application of AI in the fields of medicine, law, and employment. In creative endeavours, the training of AIs on human-created content seems to some an unreasonable misuse of published works. This symposium will range across these problems, hearing from experts and seeking to discover areas of consensus and possible pathways through the most contentious areas of disagreement.

Confirmed speakers include:

*Simi Akintoye *Eerke Boiten *Kinga Bochenska-Colinet *Rachel Coldicutt *Arina Cirstea *Damian Eke *Rowenna Fielding *Bev Hancock-Smith *Zara Hooley * Mariam Kiran *Neil McBride *Joyce Nabende *Bertha Ochieng *George Ogoh *Oluyinka Oyeniji *Adebowale Owoseni *Daniela Romano *Kelvin Summoogum *Chris Stokel-Walker *Kutoma Wakunuma *Sara Wilford *Sitira Williams


The event will be at De Montfort University, which is the middle of the city of Leicester in the middle of England. Fly in using a London airport (we're 100 miles north-west of it) or Birmingham airport (we're 35 north-east of it) or the regional East Midlands Airport (we're 20 miles south of it). Fast trains to/from central London take 65 minutes and sensible driving (100 miles straight up or down the M1 motorway) takes about 120-150 minutes (mainly in getting in/out of London).

The specific room on the De Montfort campus to head for is the Hugh Aston Building Room HU 2.07 and main entrance to the Hugh Ashton building (on Vaughan Way, Leicester LE1 5SG) which is here, will have a reception desk for the symposium:



Registration is now open: use the link on the left of this page. The symposium in free but booking is essential as places are limited. The symposium includes a free light breakfast and free lunch and refreshments.

Student Bursaries

To enable students (other than those from De Montfort University) to attend there are 10 bursaries on offer of 100 GBP each to defray the costs of travel and accommodation incurred in coming. Applications for bursaries should be made by email to Professor Gabriel Egan <> giving an explanation in no more than 500 words of the applicant's circumstances and reasons for wishing to attend the symposium. The deadline for bursary applications is Friday 23 February 2024.


Leicester has over 100 hotels and the most competitive rates are often found by online comparison websites. If you want the nearest hotel to the conference venue, that would be the Holiday Inn Leicester at 129 St Nicholas Circle, Leicester LE1 5LX (about 500 meters on foot), not to be confused with the Holiday Inn Express at Filbert Way, Raw Dykes Road, Leicester LE2 7FL (about 1200 meters on foot).


All sessions take place in the Hugh Aston Building Room HU 2.07.


8.45-9.15am Arrival with free light breakfast

9.15-9.30 Welcome and introduction to the day

9.30-10.45am Panel One. Sara Wilford, Oluyinka Oyeniji, Adebowale Owoseni "Charting the Course: Regulatory Policies for Harnessing ChatGPT in Higher Education and Academia"

10.45-11am Tea break

11am-12noon Panel Two. Neil McBride, Simi Akintoye, Technology Company Speaker (TBC) "Future implications of the EU AI Act on Innovation, Education and Public Opinion"

12noon-12.45pm Lunch provided

12.45-1.45pm Panel Three. Sitira Williams, Zara Hooley, Bev Hancock-Smith, Kinga Bochenska-Colinet, Arina Cirstea "Academic writing in the age of Open AI"

1.45-2.45 Panel Four. Kutoma Wakunuma, Simi Akintoye, Damian Eke, George Ogoh "AI, Ethics and Governance: The interrelation between the Global South and the Global North"

2.45-3pm Tea break

3-4.15pm Panel Five. Ira Haraldsen, Rahul Katarya, Joyce Nabende, Bertha Ochieng, Daniela Romano, and Kelvin Summoogum "Global Ethics and Regulations in Medical AI Technology"

4.15-5.30 Panel Six. Eerke Boiten, Rachel Coldicutt, Rowenna Fielding, Chris Stokel-Walker "Risks and Limitations of AI"

5.30-6.45pm Invited Keynote Address in which Dr Mariam Kiran of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in America will address us on the topic of "AI, Quantum Computing and Ethics"

6.45-7.15pm Drinks Reception


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