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Informatics Forum, G07

10 Crichton Street



United Kingdom

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Second in a series of public discussion, the event will cover ethical aspects of automation and the future of work.

About the event

In 2013 researchers from the Oxford University predicted that 47% of US jobs were at risk of computerisation within the next two decades.
In the near future, many jobs may become obsolete and an unprecedented number of people may become unemployed. The public are faced with two narratives: the future will be dark and oligarchical with a number of smaller tech companies controlling all, and the society will suffer from inequality and poverty. But optimists claim that AI will take over the mundane everyday tasks as well as the dangerous jobs and people will have more leisure time to pursue their own passions. But which scenario is more likely, it’s impossible to tell.
There’s a lot to discuss here: does AI already impact workforce and how? What are the jobs that are most likely to become automated? Are there jobs that are uniquely human and cannot be automated? Will changes in workforce impact economic and political systems and how? Come and join us for a discussion.


- Paul Mason is a British commentator, journalist, writer and documentary film-maker. He was Culture and Digital Editor of Channel 4 News, becoming the programme's Economics Editor - a post he formerly held on BBC Two's Newsnight programme. He is an author of several books; his upcoming book “Clear Bright Future: A radical defence of the human being” will be published in May 2019, where he writes about the impact of algorithmic control and artificial intelligence on our future. He also writes a weekly column for the New Statesman, contributes to Novara Media, The Guardian, iNews, Le Monde Diplomatique and Freitag, and speaks to audiences across the globe about the impact of networks and automation on politics and society. He is also a visiting professor at the University of Wolverhampton.

- James Stewart is a lecturer and research fellow at the University of Edinburgh in the Institute for Science, Technology and Innovation. He works in the field of technology studies, concentrating on the appropriation, consumption and use of new ICTs and the co-evolution of large scale systems of technology and culture. He is a former Scientific Officer at the Institute for Prospective Technology Studies at the European Commission. He is currently working on projects about how new forms of digital information and evidence are incorporated and used in practice, such as digital mobility, crowdsourcing and inclusivity.

- Subramanian Ramamoorthy is a Reader in the School of Informatics at The University of Edinburgh. He leads the Robust Autonomy and Decisions research group, whose focus is on building robustly autonomous robotic systems and other decision making agents, capable of intelligently working with humans and other robots. Furthermore, he is the research leader in prediction and motion planning at the rapidly growing self-driving car start-up FiveAI, which is already testing its cars on the busy roads of south London. He is also an Executive Committee Member of the Edinburgh Centre for Robotics.

NB This event might be streamed live, recorded and/or photographed.

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