Dr Peter Lewis, University of Aston; We are entering into a world where many of the machines that we are developing, using, and working with on a day-to-day basis behave in ways that we neither understand nor can fully control. The complexity associated with so-called intelligent systems, and how they work, is fast surpassing human understanding, yet this complexity is often where their value lies. It is perhaps not surprising, then, that ‘trust’ has become a hot topic in AI, but what does it mean to trust a machine? Can machines really be trustworthy? How might we make trust decisions, given the nature of machines? And should this be the same as the way humans make decisions when deciding whether to trust other people or animals, or is it more like the informal way we might talk of trusting a car to start on a cold morning? I will construct a thought experiment: ‘what is it like to trust X’, where X may be any of the wide variety of things animate, inanimate, human, animal, vegetable or mineral, that are both found and built by people. I will propose and illustrate an integrated model for trust decisions, and illustrate how it varies between kinds of objects that we might be considering trusting in a particular context.

Peter’s research aims to understand how to create autonomous, socially intelligent systems that perform higher-level cognition like self-awareness. He is interested in where AI meets society, and how to help that relationship work well. Peter has made significant contributions to the field of self-aware computing, including the foundational book Self-aware Computing Systems: An Engineering Approach, in 2016. More broadly, his research is often inspired by biological, social and psychological processes, and has been applied in smart camera networks, interactive music, manufacturing, cloud computing, and IoT. He is Director of the £1.7m Think Beyond Data initiative, which provides an artificial intelligence R&D capability to SMEs across the Midlands of England. Peter also co-founded the software house Beautiful Canoe, a social enterprise whose vision is to develop the technology leaders of the future. He is a member of the Steering Committee of the International Conference on Autonomic Computing and Self-Organizing Systems (ACSOS) and an Associate Editor of IEEE Technology & Society Magazine.