Generative AI, Chat Bots and Large Language Models are radically changing how we relate to work, education and leisure. Artificial Intelligence is revolutionizing healthcare, social interactions and the law, but also brings new problems with it such as unequal access to data technology and an unbalanced representation of already vulnerable groups. Although, every generation thinks it lives in a time of unprecedented change, there is much to be said for the fact that the times we live in does indeed offer an important tipping point. The future coexistence of humans and machines is being shaped now and we are in a unique position to influence that future.

AI is currently being hyped and we seem to be particularly mesmerised by the underlying mystical technology: autonomous, self-contained technology, beyond the control of its creators. Although a belief in unbridled digital progress prevails in our modern society, the speed at which AI is currently changing in combination with the lack of technical knowledge by the majority of its users, on top of the machine’s ability to educated itself, also comes with more dystopian scenarios. Some people fear the moment in time when machines suddenly become smarter than humans, and for some that moment seems to arrive all too soon. 

It is time to separate sense from nonsense and demystify AI’s alleged magical powers. Let’s study AI for what it is: a material object embedded in social relationships, with a profound impact on everyday life that does indeed makes us reflect on our future. 

The half-day conference The Future of AI is Here (and Guess What … it’s Human) brings together policy makers, researchers from Leiden university and international scholars to discuss the sense and nonsense of the current AI craze. We invite you to come and reflect with us on which past events brought us here, what AI is already able to do and how it might very well unfold soon, with ample attention for possible prospective scenarios that have so far received less attention.