There are serious concerns about the rise of automation and robots taking our jobs. But AI entering the workplace also presents a unique opportunity to rethink how we live and work. Are we headed for a utopia in which intelligent machines do many tasks, enabling us to spend more time doing what we want? Or are we facing a future which will leave many human workers behind?

About the event

In our popular Data Debate series, panellists from a range of backgrounds and perspectives give their take on the central question of the event - in this case, 'what does the changing future of work mean for humans?' - before a short group discussion and a lively audience Q&A.

Our expert panel includes: 

Arohi Jain is the Head of Research and Advisory at The Future Society, a global think-tank focussing on governance and impact of emerging technologies. Arohi is an economist with an acute interest in harnessing the power of artificial intelligence to create positive social impact, especially in developing economies. Passionate about social change, Arohi previously held the position of Senior Strategist at a London based start-up consultancy, focusing on building global digital campaigns on topics such as youth rights and gender equality for a wide range of non-profits and foundations. She was also critical in the start-up’s quick acquisition by Dalberg Group, a global development consultancy.

Prior to this, Arohi was in the Finance industry, most recently at a large US Investment Fund, where she helped execute the largest European mid-market private-debt fundraise. Arohi is a graduate of the University of Warwick, with a Bachelor of Science in Economics, where she led extensive research into the efficacy of financial incentives for teachers in UK state schools.

Dr Phoebe V Moore is an associate professor in Political Economy and Technology at University of Leicester School of Business. Dr Moore researches the impact of new technologies on workers. Her latest book, The Quantified Self in Precarity: Work, Technology and What Counts (Routledge 2018) looks at the use of self-tracking, monitoring, automation and artificial intelligence in workplaces now found on the streets, in the homes, in offices and factories. Moore has provided international reports for the International Labour Organisation and European Union on digitalisation and artificial intelligence at work and has appeared several times in international and national news on these topics for such outlets as Radio 4, the Financial Times and Wired.

Sanna Ojanperä is a doctoral student at The Alan Turing Institute, where she leads the Data and Inequality Interest Group together with her supervisor Mark Graham, and a DPhil Student at the Oxford Internet Institute. Her doctoral research investigates the relationship between accessing work through online platforms and informality, and how these practices impact inequality, social exclusion, well-being, productivity, and the government’s ability to collect taxes.

Naomi Clayton is Policy and Research Manager with responsibility for developing and overseeing the delivery of the Centre’s research programmes, including its work on the future of work. She is also Deputy Director of the What Works Centre for Local Economic Growth. 

She has over twelve years of experience working in economic development and has a particular interest in labour market dynamics, skills, business and innovation. Her expertise lies in using research and analysis to support policy makers to make evidence-based decisions on the development of city economies. Naomi is an experienced speaker and commentator on a range of urban and economic issues. Naomi joined the Centre for Cities in March 2011 from the Work Foundation where she worked as a Senior Researcher leading a major research programme on labour market disadvantage. She has also completed a Fellowship with the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust exploring US cities’ approaches to improving young people’s employment prospects.

Chaired by writer and broadcaster Timandra Harkness.  Timandra presents BBC Radio 4 series, FutureProofing and has presented the documentaries, Data, Data Everywhere, Personality Politics & The Singularity.

Data Debates are a collaboration between The Alan Turing Institute and the British Library and aims to stimulate discussion on issues surrounding big data, its potential uses, and its implications for society. Visit the British Library website to book tickets. The cost of the ticket includes a free glass of wine following the event.


British Library, Knowledge Centre

The Knowledge Centre is located on the main forecourt outside the main British Library building, at 96 Euston Road, London, NW1 2DB

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