“AI needs us” – a conversation with Janet Adams, Chief Operating Officer, SingularityNET
by Alexandra Bustos Iliescu
In the midst of the AI for Good Global Summit, a transformative gathering of AI enthusiasts and experts, we were privileged to engage in a comprehensive discussion with Janet Adams, the Chief Operating Officer of SingularityNET. Known as the world’s leading decentralized AI marketplace and platform, SingularityNET thrives under Adams’ leadership, which she deftly utilizes to reshape the AI landscape.
AI revolution and the ethical imperative
As the conversation unfolded, Adams’ immense passion for AI technology became evidently clear, notably through her characterization of the current AI environment: “We’re at the foothills of the AI revolution.” She resonates with Jeff Bezos’ prediction of the AI revolution surpassing the combined impact of mobile and internet revolutions.
Adams affirms, “It’s going to be the biggest, the vastest, and the fastest technology revolution ever.”
Her potent conviction underscores the colossal scale and unprecedented speed of AI’s evolution in our world.
However, Adams doesn’t just emphasize the magnitude of the AI revolution, she also accentuates the moral compass guiding it. Her vision isn’t merely of a world transformed by AI, but a world improved by it.
“The most important imperative of our time,” she says, “is that these technologies are used for good, and that the technology-generated wealth goes to the people who need it.”
This altruistic perspective sets the tone for our ensuing discussion about AI’s potential to not just bring change, but to bring about change that is equitable and inclusive.
At SingularityNET, Adams works tirelessly towards this mission of ensuring AI’s benefits are disseminated universally. She reveals, “Our core mission is the development of AGI – artificial general intelligence.”
She also discloses a timeline for this lofty ambition: “We’re estimating that we’re 3 to 7 years away from human-level artificial general intelligence.”
This idea of AGI – an AI that can comprehend, learn, and execute tasks across a broad spectrum just like humans – forms the bedrock of SingularityNET’s mission.
The importance of women in AI
Adams strongly believes in an egalitarian approach towards the benefits of AI.
“The most important thing is that these technologies, when they’re developed, are for everybody,” she insists.
She highlights the necessity to decentralize access to wealth and democratize access to technology, thereby ensuring the rising tide of AI benefits all and leaves no one behind. This foundational belief of inclusivity is deeply ingrained in SingularityNET’s ethos.
SingularityNET’s commitment to AI for good is manifested in its determination to address global challenges like poverty and other societal woes. Adams underscores the immense potential of AGI as a tool designed to tackle issues that humanity grapples with today, including every goal outlined by the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). AGI’s potential, in Adams’ view, is practically ‘unimaginable’, hinting at its transformative potential for our planet.
On a more practical level, SingularityNET is leveraging AI in healthcare and entertainment. Adams unveils two of their ground-breaking creations: Grace, a robot designed to provide compassionate care to the elderly, and Desdemona, a pop star robot intended to stimulate art and creativity while fostering a positive perception of AI.
The role of guidelines and diversity in AI
Adams also addresses the complex issue of AI regulations and guidelines. With her extensive background in regulation, financial services, and a master’s thesis on regulatory compliance of AI, Adams acknowledges the critical role of guidelines. However, she also highlights the persistent challenge of ensuring these guidelines keep pace with rapidly evolving technology. Instead, she views diversity and inclusion as potential keys to success in AI, stating that a broader group of people, including women and individuals from every country, should be involved in the development and oversight of AI.
Adams strongly advocates for greater women’s representation in AI.
“Women are so important… We bring beauty, we bring femininity, we bring care,” she says.
She is convinced that the unique perspectives, abilities, and nurturing nature of women are essential in shaping AI technologies. SingularityNET mirrors this belief with its active policy of promoting and hiring female executives and encouraging other genders as well.
In this context, Adams underlines the crucial role of education in promoting more female participation in the AI field, and in STEM subjects more generally. With the release of the latest versions of OpenAI’s chatbot GPT in 2023, Adams perceives expanding opportunities for non-technologists, including women, to use AI to amplify their impact and productivity. She passionately urges women to delve into the AI field, stating emphatically, “AI … needs us.”
This rich dialogue with Janet Adams offers profound insights into the potential of AI to shape our future. Her unwavering commitment to harnessing the power of AI for the betterment of society, and her adamant belief in the value of inclusivity and diversity in AI development, construct a compelling narrative of the future. A future where the transformative power of AI benefits everyone, and a world where the rising tide of AI uplifts all. With such visionary leaders as Adams spearheading the AI revolution, we can look forward to a world where technology serves not only economic growth but humanity and the common good.
Our Summit Sponsors
Thank you to our Global Summit 2023 Sponsors, co-convener Confédération Suisse, our diamond sponsors Immersion4 and Technology Innovation Institute, our gold sponsors Monash Data Futures Institute, ZTE Corporation, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft, our artistic intelligence sponsor Shutterstock, our networking sponsors Rohde & Schwarz and KUKA, our digital art AV technology partner Dorier Group, our captioning provider Interprefy and our supporter Samsung Electronics.