Artificial Intelligence is here to stay. It’s raising fundamental questions about the nature of consciousness, which Wolff Olins global chief executive officer Sairah Ashman explored in her session.

Ashman said that, as consumers and people working with tech every day, the audience have the power to set the agenda. She discussed how it is vital to think carefully about ethics as increasingly sophisticated products, services and brands develop, making sure to design with a heart.

Referring to leading futurists, she discussed the polarising views of pro-AI Ray Kurzweil and sceptics like Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk and Nick Bolstrom who said “we’re like small children playing with a bomb”.

She talked about how China is investing in AI, building a research unit to the tune of $10bn for 2020 with the capability of all the computers in the world. Discussing bias, she pointed that a machine can be incredibly objective, discounting race, gender and age.

Ashman encouraged the audience to think about how AI can be focused on humanity, to work with us not against us, referring to Guy Hoffman’s TED Talk, Robots with Soul.

She concluded that we must think about the role of AI in the future and about how we want it to develop, and for whom. She ended “make sure you are definitely on the right side of history”.