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Our Future in a world of Artificial Intelligence



Thursday 21st September


7 pm to 9 pm followed by dining cocktail

in St James’

Price Member (please login) Free 
Price Non-Member £40




Thursday 21st September 2017

7 pm to 9 pm followed by dining cocktail



Kleinwort Hambros

8 St James’s Square

St. James’s

London SW1Y 4JU

The B&C Club thanks Kleinwort Hambros for kindly hosting this event with us at their office in Mayfair.


Alex Lebrun leads the Facebook AI Research engineering team (FAIR) in Paris. He was previously founder and CEO of, an AI platform for developers bought by Facebook early 2015. Previously, Alexander was founder and CEO of VirtuOz, a « Siri for Business » enabling companies like eBay, AT&T or Travel-SNCF to automate their customer service. VirtuOz was acquired by Nuance Communications in early 2013.

Alex graduated from Ecole Polytechnique, and spent many years learning Chinese language and culture.



Artificial intelligence (AI) is intelligence exhibited by machines. In computer science, the field of AI research defines itself as the study of « intelligent agents »: any device that perceives its environment and takes actions that maximize its chance of success at some goal. Colloquially, the term « artificial intelligence » is applied when a machine mimics « cognitive » functions that humans associate with other human minds, such as « learning » and « problem solving ».

As machines become increasingly capable, mental facilities once thought to require intelligence are removed from the definition. For instance, optical character recognition is no longer perceived as an example of « artificial intelligence », having become a routine technology. Capabilities currently classified as AI include successfully understanding human speech, competing at a high level in strategic game systems (such as chess and Go), autonomous cars, intelligent routing in content delivery networks, military simulations, and interpreting complex data.

AI research is divided into subfields that focus on specific problems, approaches, the use of a particular tool, or towards satisfying particular applications.

The central problems (or goals) of AI research include reasoning, knowledge, planning, learning, natural language processing (communication), perception and the ability to move and manipulate objects. General intelligence is among the field’s long-term goals. Approaches include statistical methods, computational intelligence, and traditional symbolic AI. Many tools are used in AI, including versions of search and mathematical optimization, logic, methods based on probability and economics. The AI field draws upon computer science, mathematics, psychology, linguistics, philosophy, neuroscience, artificial psychology and many others.

The field was founded on the claim that human intelligence « can be so precisely described that a machine can be made to simulate it ». This raises philosophical arguments about the nature of the mind and the ethics of creating artificial beings endowed with human-like intelligence, issues which have been explored by myth, fiction and philosophy since antiquity. Some people also consider AI a danger to humanity if it progresses unabatedly. Attempts to create artificial intelligence have experienced many setbacks, including the ALPAC report of 1966, the abandonment of perceptrons in 1970, the Lighthill Report of 1973, the second AI winter 1987–1993 and the collapse of the Lisp machine market in 1987.

In the twenty-first century, AI techniques, both hard (using a symbolic approach) and soft (sub-symbolic), have experienced a resurgence following concurrent advances in computer power, sizes of training sets, and theoretical understanding, and AI techniques have become an essential part of the technology industry, helping to solve many challenging problems in computer science. Recent advancements in AI, and specifically in machine learning, have contributed to the growth of Autonomous Things such as drones and self-driving cars, becoming the main driver of innovation in the automotive industry.