UCL Faculty of Laws


What will happen when artificial intelligence and the internet meet the professions?

22 October 2015, 6:00 pm–7:30 pm


Event Information

Open to



UCL Faculty of Laws


UCL Institute of Child Health, Kennedy Lecture Theatre


Professor Dame Hazel Genn DBE QC (Hon), Dean of UCL Laws


Professor Richard Susskind OBE, Honorary Professor, UCL Laws
Daniel Susskind, Lecturer in Economics at Balliol College, Oxford


Lord Justice Briggs, Court of Appeal of England and Wales
Vimi Grewal-Carr, Managing Partner Innovation, Deloitte
Professor David Lomas, UCL Vice-Provost (Health)
Professor John Naughton, Vice-President, Wolfson College Cambridge

About the talk

In their new book, The Future of the Professions, Richard Susskind and Daniel Susskind set out two futures for the professions.  Both rest on technology.

One is reassuringly familiar.  It is a more efficient version of what we have today. The second is transformational—a gradual replacement of professionals by ‘increasingly capable systems’.

In the long run, in an Internet society, they claim we will neither need nor want doctors, teachers, accountants, architects, the clergy, consultants, lawyers, and many others, to work as they did in the 20th century.

Based on the authors’ in-depth research of more than ten professions, the authors explain how systems – from telepresence to artificial intelligence – will bring fundamental change in the way that the ‘practical expertise’ of specialists is made available in society.

They argue that our current professions are antiquated, opaque, and no longer affordable, and that the expertise of the best is enjoyed only by a few.

In their place, they propose six new models for producing and distributing expertise.

The book raises important practical and moral questions.

In an era when machines can out-perform human beings at most tasks, what are the prospects for employment, who should own and control online expertise, and what tasks should be reserved exclusively for people?

About the speakers

Professor Richard Susskind OBE is an author, speaker, and independent adviser to major professional firms and to national governments. His main area of expertise is the future of professional service and, in particular, the way in which the IT and the Internet are changing the work of lawyers. He has worked on legal technology for over 30 years. He lectures internationally, has written many books, and advised on numerous government inquiries.

Richard lectures internationally and has been invited to speak in over 40 countries and has addressed audiences (in person and electronically), numbering more than 250,000. He has written and edited numerous books, including Expert Systems in Law (OUP, 1987), The Future of Law (OUP, 1996), Transforming the Law (OUP, 2000), The Susskind Interviews: Legal Experts in Changing Times (Sweet & Maxwell, 2005), The End of Lawyers? Rethinking the Nature of Legal Services (OUP, 2008), Tomorrow’s Lawyers (2013), and has written around 150 columns for The Times. His work has been translated into 10 languages.

Daniel Susskind is a Lecturer in Economics at Balliol College, Oxford. Previously, he worked for the British Government – in the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit, in the Policy Unit in 10 Downing Street, and as a Senior Policy Adviser at the Cabinet Office. He was a Kennedy Scholar at Harvard University.

About the panellists

Lord Justice Briggs was called to the Bar at Lincoln’s Inn in 1978. He was Junior Counsel to the Crown Chancery from 1988 -1994. He was appointed as a QC in 1994. From 1999 to 2000 he was chairman of the Bar Council’s Law Reform Committee. He was made a Bencher of Lincoln’s Inn in 2001.

Later in 2001 he was appointed as the Attorney General to the Duchy of Lancaster; a position he held until 2006. He was a High Court Chancery Judge from 2006-2013, and the Vice Chancellor of the County of Palatine of Lancaster from 2012-2013. He was the Judge in charge of the Chancery Modernisation Review in 2013.

Lord Justice Briggs has been the Personal Support Unit liaison judge since 2013. He was appointed as a Lord Justice of Appeal in April 2013.

Vimi Grewal-Carr is a Managing Partner on the Deloitte UK Executive with responsibility for Alternative Delivery Models, and also serves as a Financial Services Banking & Securities Partner in Deloitte’s Technology Competency.

She has over 20 years’ experience in Global Banking and other industries focusing on both strategic and technology initiatives. She is the Lead Partner for our relationship with BNYMellon in EMEA and is also the Co-Global Lead partner for Nomura.

Professor David Lomas is Vice Provost (Health), Head of UCL School of Life and Medical Sciences and Head of UCL Medical School. He is the Academic Director of the UCLPartners Academic Health Science Centre and a member of the Board at UCLH.

David is an NIHR Senior Investigator and works as a respiratory physician at UCLH and the Royal Free Hospital. He is Chair of the Population and Systems Medicines Board at the Medical Research Council and previously chaired the Respiratory Therapy Area Unit Board at GlaxoSmithKline.

David received his medical degree from the University of Nottingham and undertook his PhD at Trinity College, Cambridge. He was an MRC Clinician Scientist, University Lecturer and Professor of Respiratory Biology in Cambridge before moving to UCL in 2013 to be Chair of Medicine and Dean of the Faculty of Medical Sciences.

Professor John Naughton was elected a Fellow of the Wolfson College Cambridge in 1992 and is now an Emeritus Fellow and Vice-President.

By background a systems engineer with a strong interest in the social impacts of networking technology, he has written a weekly column for the Observer since 1987. He has written extensively on technology and its role in society, is the author of a well-known history of the Internet – A Brief History of the Future(Phoenix, 2000) – and is currently working on changes in our information ecosystem brought about by technological change. His latest book – From Gutenberg to Zuckerberg: what you really need to know about the Internet – is published by Quercus Books.

He was the Academic Advisor to the Arcadia Project at Cambridge University Library, which ran from 2008-2012 and investigated the role of the academic library in a digital age.

He is currently a Senior Research Fellow in the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH) where (with Professor Richard Evans and Professor David Runciman) he is a Principal Investigator on the Leverhulme-funded research project on “Conspiracy and Democracy”.