Working well with artificial intelligence: people and place

Mon 15 Nov 2021, 10:00 - 14:30

Online and in person

Contact the events team for further information about accessibility at this event

Glowing teal electronic circuit
In-person (The British Academy, London) and online

Artificial intelligence (AI) brings opportunities and uncertainties for the future of work, and there is currently a widely acknowledged digital skills gap in the UK. Enabling and upskilling the workforce to take full advantage of AI will be vital in both a post-Brexit and post-COVID-19 world. However, there remains little consensus on the ways that AI could or should intersect with work, or the place of AI in the wider political, economic and social discourse. Likewise, questions remain as to how Government will be able to support the investment in lifelong skills and training that will be required to shape AI for the benefit of all.

This event is part of a collaboration between UCL and the British Academy on AI and the future of work, which seeks to address critical questions for policy, business, practitioners and society on the ways in which AI could and should impact on the future quality and equity of work in the UK.

The event will feature two discussion panels. The first panel will focus on AI, work and people. How is AI shaping new ways of working for different groups of people, and how do some people benefit from this change while others bear more risk? How have AI innovations shaped, and been shaped by, changes to work prompted by the pandemic? The panel will consider the relationship between AI and inequality, how digital inequalities intersect with other social and structural inequalities, and the importance of inclusivity in wider debates around AI and work.

The second panel will focus on AI, work and place. How do the impacts of AI differ across workplaces of different sizes and in different sectors? What does AI mean for small businesses? Are there geographical impacts of AI that we need to pay more attention to, whether regional, national or global? What opportunities and risks does AI pose for place-based policy initiatives, such as the Levelling up agenda?

Event convenors:

The British Academy

UCL Public Policy


10:00 - Registration

10:20 - Introduction from the Chair

Chair: Professor Jack Stilgoe, Department of Science & Technology Studies, University College London

10:30 - Discussion 1: Artificial Intelligence, Work and People

This will be followed by an audience Q & A


  • Anna Thomas, Co-Founder and Director, Institute for the Future of Work
  • Dr Ekaterina Hertog, Department of Sociology, Oxford University
  • Additional Panellist TBC

12:00 - Lunch break

Lunch will be provided for those attending the event in person. Please inform us of any dietary requirements when at the booking stage for an in-person ticket.

13:00 - Discussion 2: Artificial Intelligence, Work and Place

This will be followed by an audience Q & A


  • Maria Axente, Responsible AI and AI for Good Lead, PwC UK
  • Dr Zeynep Engin, Department of Computer Science, University College London
  • Additional Panellist TBC

14:25 - Closing remarks from the Chair

14:30pm - Event finishes

Free, booking required

When booking, please select either an online or in-person ticket. Booking a place at a British Academy event constitutes your acceptance of our terms and conditions. All events are staged in line with the government’s COVID-19 guidelines and our venue’s COVID-19 guidelines. Measures are subject to change in accordance with government guidance; attendees will be notified of any changes prior to their visit.

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