Digital technology is already heavily involved in decisions in numerous aspects of human lives. It recommends travel routes, box sets to watch, music to stream, potential romantic partners, and CVs that deserve the most attention when filling a job vacancy. It can find the best locations for adverts, and can reconfigure the content of these adverts depending on who happens to be watching. It can spot individual faces in crowds, draw attention to suspicious behaviour, and highlight which criminal suspects are deemed most likely to skip bail. Via chatbot interfaces, it can offer advice on medical issues, provide motivational guidance, and prepare students for examinations.
Present-day digital technology has been found guilty from time to time of biases, prejudices, and weird misunderstanding - sometimes with serious consequences. But we can look ahead to improvements in that technology, in which it gains in reliability.
In such a future, should we relinquish democratic human control over key political questions? Perhaps the remaining flaws in digital technology will be judged as less severe that the many well-known flaws of human democratic decision processes?
Hence the motion for debate at this event: "A digital dictatorship will create a better society than democracy".
It's a topic with some big implications for how individuals, businesses, and society as a whole, should approach digital technology.
The event is being jointly organised by London Futurists and the Great Debaters Club, https://www.greatdebaters.co.uk/.
(Picture source: Geralt, Pixabay: https://pixabay.com/en/monitor-binary-binary-system-1307227/.)
== Speakers ==
Speaking in favour of the motion:
Mathieu Gosselin, who has been developing and designing interactive experiences for blue-chip clients such as Nike, Ford, Burberry, Jaguar, and Time Inc. He headed Product and Design at Emoticast, created a million+ digital painting community (Psykopaint), and is currently working on a project to "redesign religion".
Sarraa Almahdi, who works as a critical care pharmacist for an NHS hospital, and has a keen interest in debating.
Speaking against the motion:
Evan Parker, who is an activist seeking radical reform of our democratic and educational systems. He is and also Emeritus Professor at the University of Warwick (Physics) and works on quantum technology.
Tony Koutsoumbos, who is a debate coach and Director of the Great Debaters Club.
Before the debate starts, there will be some scene-setting remarks from Katie Stotter, Senior Strategist at BIO, and David Wood, Chair of London Futurists.
The debate will be moderated by Paul Carroll, who is founding President of 104 London Debaters, the UK’s first Toastmasters International club specializing in debate.
There will also be plenty of opportunity for audience members to express their views and ask questions.
== Logistics ==
The event will be held at the premises of the BIO Agency, 70 Wilson Street, London EC2A 2DB. This is a short walk from any of Old Street, Liverpool Street, Moorgate, or Shoreditch High Street stations.
== Schedule ==
6.00pm: Doors open; light refreshments available
6.30pm: Debate commences
8.00pm: Formal conclusion of the debate
8.10pm: Informal networking and light refreshments.
== Registration ==
A small fee (£6) is payable upon registration, to help cover some of the costs of the event.
(NB you don't need a PayPal account to use the PayPal interface.)
== About BIO ==
BIO is an award-winning digital agency consulting and delivering on customer experience-led innovation and transformation. BIO is one of the few agencies in the UK that can provide an in-house, end-to end service, spanning everything from business vision and strategy to service design, creative innovation and technical development and build. BIO works to redefine sectors, helping clients move ahead of their competitors and creating companies fit for the future.
For more details, see https://www.thebioagency.com/.