AI, gender parity and US alumni engagement

19th April 2018

News, Alumni news

An academic discussion of Artificial Intelligence and a reception hosted by the Mayor and First Lady of Los Angeles were highlights of a series of Wadham events in North America this month.

  • Mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti (The Queen's College, 1993) and First Lady Amy Elaine Wakeland (Wadham, 1993) (centre) with Warden of Wadham College Ken Macdonald QC and his wife Linda Zuck (right)

The Mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti (The Queen's College, 1993) and First Lady Amy Elaine Wakeland (Wadham, 1993) welcomed Wadham and Queen’s alumni to their home, Getty House, for a reception and musical performance by Queen’s College Choir. 

Speaking about the tangible impact of Wadham’s widening participation efforts, Lord Macdonald highlighted the links between the College’s social mobility ethos and the impressive changes initiated by the Mayor and the First Lady to increase social justice and diversity across the LA government. As a powerful example of how progressive policies can create a seismic shift, Amy Wakeland explained how they had vowed to reach gender parity on all LA’s boards and commissions, including the Fire Department, the Police Department and the Transportation system. Thanks to the commitment of all involved, this impressive goal was reached within 6 months and has created a precedent for setting ambitious targets in other areas. 

  • Wadham's Chris Summerfield discusses AI in New York

'What is happening in Artificial Intelligence research, and what does it mean for society?' was the question addressed by Wadham's professor in Experimental Psychology, Chris Summerfield, at an event at Soho House, New York.

Generously hosted by Stephen Reade (Wadham,1985), the talk provoked a lively discussion about the rapid advances in AI research and what it holds for the future.

In addition to addressing concerns about the consequences of AI, Chris also referred to his newest research into ways that AI and VR can support the development of a context-blind admissions test, something which could in the future provide talented students, regardless of background and location, access to Oxbridge and higher education assessment.

Alumni living on the US West and East Coasts, or travelling in the region, also joined the Warden Ken Macdonald QC, his wife Linda Zuck and Development Director Julie Hage for events coinciding with the University's 2018 Alumni Weekend in North America. Old members met at the Oxford Gala Dinner at the Ferry Building and heard the Chancellor speak about the importance of our transatlantic friendship. The following day, a packed programme of academic events and talks was on offer at the Westin St. Francis Hotel. Following this event, the Warden hosted an informal dinner at the nearby Café Claude.

Upcoming events in the US and beyond will shortly be listed in Wadham events.

  • Chancellor Chris Patten addresses alumni in San Francisco

    University of Oxford Chancellor Chris Patten addresses alumni in San Francisco

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