IEEE Canada Technology Leadership Webinar Series - IV


Please note our speaker and topic change for this month's webinar.

IEEE Canada is hosting a webinar series on Technology Leadership.  We are inviting professional associations, learnt societies, think tanks, governmental agencies, and other institutions to participate and contribute speakers.  This webinar series is a platform bringing our thought leaders from different stakeholders, from all walks of life to present their views and advocate their positions on science, technology, society, and future economy.  It will be open and free to the general public. 

  Date and Time




  • Online
  • Webinar
  • Ottawa, Ontario
  • Canada
  • Starts 23 June 2020 07:16 PM
  • Ends 16 July 2020 10:00 AM
  • All times are America/Montreal
  • No Admission Charge
  • Register


Peter MacKinnon of Synergy Technology Management


Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Society, Governance, and Future Scientific Research

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is constantly in the news with stories of promise and peril. Political leaders have declared it a national priority, the global high tech industry is racing AI apps to markets and policy and governance implications of AI are in their infancy.  We will explore where this is all heading.

We will begin with some definitions and a bit of history behind the rise of AI.  The talk will then place AI in the context of being a potentially disruptive technology on society. This will lead to a discussion about ethics and moral issues regarding the development and use of aspects of AI as a dual-use technology.  Time permitting, the role of AI in defence and security will be used as an example for appreciating the complexity and ethical issues brought on by AI. We will then turn to the role of the engineer in this new world being enabled by AI.

Finally, we will review potential governance and policy issues and options to address the rapid unchecked development and application of AI within society at large; and, ultimately end with a precautionary note.


The speaker was a pioneer in the commercialization of AI in the 1980s and today is actively involved in ethical and policy issues related to AI. Peter has an extensive background on the forefront of scientific and technological breakthroughs around disruptive technologies and their impacts on society. 
He was an early proponent in the development and promotion of Big Data and data analytics using High Performance Computers, and was a major contributor in creating the Internet in Canada, among other accomplishments.
Peter has a background as a scientist, business manager, entrepreneur, domestic and international bureaucrat, executive, diplomat, management advisor, and academic; including most recently affiliation with both Telfer School of Management and the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Ottawa and the Faculty of Engineering at Carleton University. Peter also blogs on AI for the Institute on Science, Society and Policy, an interfaculty organisation at uOttawa.

Address:Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Disclaimer: the statements and opinions expressed by the webinar speakers are those of the speakers, they do not neccessarily represent that of the IEEE Canada.