Artificial Intelligence


Why This Debate and Why Now?

Robots and artificial intelligence aren’t just rising — they’re here, reshaping our digital landscape. AI is revolutionizing highways, hospitals and homes, from driverless cars to automated medical devices and delivery drones. The rewards are promising, but at what cost? And who’s left out?

The risks and unintended consequences of AI are not evenly distributed or transparently regulated: data breaches, identify theft, job loss, widening wealth inequality and human rights violations that challenge top programmers and policymakers to search for safeguards. But AI also promises to cure diseases, improve climate science and save more lives.

Is AI worth the risk? Is the revolution even containable? Could we pull the brakes if we tried?

On April 3, 2019, Doha Debates will weigh the merits and challenges of AI by inviting speakers to debate critical scenarios:

  • AI will improve humans’ overall well-being, so AI should be unleashed.
  • AI will harm humans’ overall well-being, so AI should be slowed down and strictly regulated.
  • A balance can be found between raw innovation and ethical restraint.

Advocates for AI defend it as manageable and say the risks are marginal, and the rewards life-improving, by empowering more people with instant information. But critics warn about transparency gaps and power disparities, including a slippery slope into a digital apocalypse where superintelligent machines surpass humans’ ability to control them. More than one top engineer has called AI the greatest threat to human survival.

Is common ground possible?

Mark your calendar for April 3 and search for solutions now @DohaDebates with the hashtag #DearWorld.

Our Participants


Four speakers, four perspectives. Each invited speaker presents a view and opinion on a possible solution to a world challenge.

Nick Bostrom

Swedish philosopher, bestselling author, and director of Oxford University’s Future of Humanity Institute

Joy Buolamwini

Ghanaian-American computer scientist, digital activist at MIT’s Media Lab, and founder of the Algorithmic Justice League

Dex Torricke-Barton

Former communications executive at Facebook, Google and SpaceX

Muthoni Wanyoike

Kenyan data scientist, team lead at InstaDeep, and co-founder of Nairobi WiMLDS


The role of connector is to combine elements of each opinion to create a new response that deconstructs arguments and examines their consequences.

Govinda Clayton

Senior researcher in peace processes at the Centre for Security Studies at ETH Zurich



Our moderator assists the speakers and audience throughout the show and is the audience’s advocate for accuracy and insight.

Ghida Fakhry

International broadcast journalist and award–winning presenter


Our correspondent acts as the voice of the outside world during our live debate.

Nelufar Hedayat

Award–winning journalist and documentary maker

Our debate will take place April 3, 2019

AI Debate in Qatar

7 p.m. (Doha Local Time)

Watch the debate live on
Add to Calendar 04/09/2019 07:00 PM America/New_York Doha Debates: AI Debate – Artificial Intelligence, Real Inequality false

How to Join the Debate

Studio Audience

If you are a student in Qatar, you can apply to be in the live studio audience here.

Watch the Livestream

Doha Debates will broadcast live on Twitter from @DohaDebates. Join the conversation using the hashtag #DearWorld.

New York 12 p.m.
London 5 p.m.
Berlin 6 p.m.
Johannesburg 6 p.m.
Doha 7 p.m.
Mumbai 9:30 p.m.

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