Ever since the days of Plato, the rational brain has been thought of as what defines a human being and this simple idea has influenced ethicists for centuries. However, with the development of robotic engineering, tech giants talking about implanting microchips into the human brain and man-made “objects” that can now solve complex problems and even learn from experience, this theory is once again open for discussion.

With artificial intelligence now encroaching on the human idea of rationality, a whole host of complex ethical dilemmas arise. Is it possible that, one day, robots will have human feelings? And if so, should working robots be granted human rights?

Our expert panelists will engage in a thought-provoking debate, considering where we draw the line between human and artificial intelligence and how we can continue to negotiate the controversial field of science and ethics.

About The Speakers

Joanna Bryson

Joanna J. Bryson is a transdisciplinary researcher on the structure and dynamics of human- and animal-like intelligence. Her research covers topics ranging from artificial intelligence, through autonomy and robot ethics, and on to human cooperation. She has additional professional research experience from Oxford, Harvard, and LEGO, and technical experience in Chicago’s financial industry, and international organization management consultancy. Bryson is presently a Reader at the University of Bath.

Hassan Ugail

Hassan Ugail is a Professor of Visual Computing and the Director of the Centre for Visual Computing at University of Bradford, UK. He works in the broad area of computer graphics, machine learning and artificial intelligence. In particular, he has developed novel computer based methods for reading and analysing the human face using artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques.

About The Chair

Oliver Balch

Oliver Balch is a UK-based writer and journalist. He is author of Viva South America!, India Rising and Under the Tump, all published by Faber. He is a regular contributor to The Guardian and is currently completing a PhD in Latin American Studies at Cambridge University. He lives in Hay-on-Wye.