Launch | 26 November 2020 | CERN

As science becomes ever-more specialised, the complex problems facing society require knowledge and expertise from more than just one field. Scientific serendipity can no longer be taken for granted: it needs to be curated, and that is what Sparks! aims to do. Multidisciplinary discussion and collaboration is essential, yet few platforms exist offering opportunities for such interactions. As a centre of excellence in science and technology, one of the largest laboratories hosting collaborative research in the world, and a leader in fields as diverse as superconducting magnets and IT, CERN is ideally placed to host such multidisciplinary discussions and guide them to conclusions that will benefit society as a whole.

Sparks! will begin with a cycle of three pilot events from 2021 to 2023, each focusing on a single theme to test the concept. The theme for this first edition is Future Intelligence.

Virtual Conference 

The Sparks! launch took place on 26 November 2020. Professors Anima Anandkumar, Jürgen Schmidhuber, Francesca Rossi and Stuart Russel, talked about the current status of the field of AI research today, setting the scene for the discussion about the future of the field during the event in 2021. Host Bruno Giussani, Global Curator of TED, interviewed CERN AI experts, Jennifer Ngadiuba, Sofia Vallecorsa and Micheal Kagan, on how CERN and other big science can benefit of AI and the topics we aim to address in 2021.