UCL Faculty of Laws


UCL’s Centre for Ethics & Law organises workshop on ‘Ethics, computer systems and the professions’

3 April 2017

UCL’s Centre for Ethics & Law organised a workshop on ‘Ethics, computer systems and the professions’ on Wednesday 15 March 2017 at UCL Gustave Tuck Theatre

Ethics Law Event

The event was chaired by Professor Anthony Finkelstein, Chief Scientific Adviser for National Security and hosted by Dr Sylvie Delacroix, Reader in Legal Theory and Ethics at UCL Faculty of Laws and UCL Computer Science, Professor Neil Lawrence, leader of the Machine Learning team for Amazon in Cambridge, Professor Burkhard Schafer, Director of the SCRIPT Centre for IT and IP law at the School of Law of the University of Edinburgh, and Mr Jonathan Price, barrister who specialises in media, publication and information law.

The workshop aimed at fostering robust inter-disciplinary debate on the ethical challenges raised by the professions’ growing reliance on computer systems to replace or assist them with an increasing number of tasks

The discussion was organised around four key threads for discussion:

– “Ethics by Design?”  To what extent is it possible to design computer systems that not only reduce professionals’ cognitive load but also actively improve their situational (and ethical) awareness? (for more details download ‘Ethics, Computer Systems and the Professions’)

-“Developing awareness of the limits of computer systems, their (in)ability to explain themselves, and their appropriate use”: Do we need a new “triage” profession?

– Debunking “learned” biases and prohibited discrimination within computer systems

– “Learning the trade”: will the acquisition of professional “soft skills” be compromised by the automation of simple, repetitive tasks?

Read more about the event.

Read the full notes from the event.