Citizens’ Think-In, 11 November 2021

Artificial Intelligence: Friend or Foe?

Join the conversation on the impact of technology and AI on society and on our lives.

On 11 November 2021, ADAPT will host an interactive Think-In to explore how we might balance the benefits of AI with the loss of control of our personal information

Join us in Athlone, Cork, Dublin, Maynooth or online!

Join us from 5.30pm for refreshments at one of our discussion hubs.

Discussion starts online and in-person from 6.15 – 8.15pm.


Athlone: Radisson Blu Hotel, Northgate Street, Athlone

Cork: Melbourne Building, Munster Technological University, Bishopstown, Cork

Dublin: Stokes Building, Dublin City University

Maynooth: Aula Maxima , Maynooth University Campus

What happens to our personal information online?

We’re all being tracked, all the time. We give away huge amounts of our personal information daily. This might sound like a science-fiction story, but it is in fact the world we live in. Invisible codes, huge amounts of data and AI drives our daily exchanges and influence the way we live our lives. Companies track us through our mobile phones and the devices, websites and apps we use as we navigate both the online and offline worlds. As a result, we leave a trail of personal information behind. This information is then bought and sold by others. But does sharing these little pieces of information really matter? Our phones and the apps we use do make our lives easier… so what if we share a few random bits about our lives, right?

The event

Join us during Science Week for an interactive event to explore the information we give to apps and home assistant devices and if the help and services they give us in return is worth it.

  • Where does the information go?
  • How do organisations make money from our data?
  • What harm can sharing really do?

At the event, you’ll learn about AI and understand how we’re sharing personal information continuously (often without knowing). You’ll take part in a fun discussion on how we might balance the benefits of AI with the loss of control of our personal information. If you’re attending one of our discussion hubs in person, you’ll even have the opportunity to try out some cutting-edge technology from the world-leading ADAPT research centre for AI.

But, how does this affect me?
Consider this…
You’re meeting some friends for dinner. As you’re getting ready your doorbell camera alerts you there’s someone outside. That can’t be your friend already can it!? You check the image before answering the door, realising it is your friend and you’re officially late. Checking the commute time with Alexa, you both decide to walk to the restaurant. Once there you have a great time chatting and catching up. Obligatory selfies are taken and filters added. Once the photos are approved and everyone’s tagged (even the restaurant), the images are shared between friends and on a variety of online platforms. At the end of the night you use your bank’s app to split the bill. While you’re on your phone, you order a taxi home. What could possibly be the risk in such a lovely evening? Really the only detail people can see is the restaurant name. You didn’t give away any personal data, did you? Are you 100% sure that was the only time your location was shared? Do you know you also gave access to your full photo collection on your phone, and every location you’d been to in the last 48 hours, oh and also the locations you spent money? Who now has access to all this data, and what are they likely to do with it?

Great ideas come out of great conversations. This #DiscussAI event is organised by ADAPT and is part of Science Foundation Ireland’s Creating Our Future initiative, an opportunity for everyone in Ireland to give ideas on how to make our country better for everyone.

You will be able to join the event in-person at our Hubs in Athlone, Cork, Dublin and Maynooth or online.