ARTIFICIAL intelligence is not about red-eyed, malevolent robots but can be a way of achieving things “beyond what is humanly possible”, an expert said.

Pete Trainor, author and the co-founder of Us Ai, spoke to members of the area’s digital and creative industries at THIS Workspace in the Daily Echo building.

He argued that artificial intelligence (AI) – technology that works and reacts like humans – is widely misunderstood. Media spread myths about it threatening humanity, while some in the industry are guilty of wrongly hyping technology as AI.

Mr Trainor, who chairs a think tank on AI for BIMA (British Interactive Media Association), said AI was widely used through such applications as Netflix, Uber and Alexa.Because Alexa turns off our lights before bed, chatbots manage our online purchases, and Uber tell us when we will arrive at our destination, we sell that to our clients without blinking. A lot of people were using AI already and they just didn’t realise it,” he said.

“One of the think tank’s pieces of advice is to recognise that AI is not some magical computerised persona; it is a wide range of algorithms and machine learning tools that can rapidly ingest data, identify patterns and optimise and predict trends.

“It’s about optimisation and doing more than is humanly possible. It’s about getting to answers quickly. That’s what AI does. It’s not about red eyes and robots,” he said.

“There are a lot of businesses going around selling chatbots as AI to their customers.Chatbots are not AI. There are AI-powered chatbots out there but a chatbot is just an interface.

“Don’t sell it as AI if it’s not. You’ll just get found out and your brands will be damaged.”

Mr Trainor told of his collaboration with James Dunn, a 24-year-old man with epidermolysis bullosa (EB), a severe collection of conditions which cause the skin to blister and tear. He talked about how the two used AI to capture James’ memories and thoughts via voice and AI technology.

“Not all robots are here to take our jobs, or terminate our future. Some of them just help the Jameses of the world to do more than humanly possible,” he added.

Holly Hall, a former Bournemouth School for Girls pupil who is managing director of BIMA, talked about its regional councils, which promote the digital and creative sectors.

“We have a community here and we’ve got a diversity of members. But we want to bring the south into this new structure of councils,” she said.

She urged people to help shape “what BIMA does for around 400 agencies that are in Bournemouth and the surrounding areas”.

The event also heard from James Winrow, head of technology and design at BSG, on how the school had welcomed digital agency Redweb in to inspire students. Mr Winrow was among the winners from last year’s BIMA Digital Days.