Superintelligence – a godsend, or a doomsday device? - Monday 2 March 2015, London

When: 02/03/2015

You need to register with us or sign in to your existing account in order to book an event unless the event is free of charge. Please follow the booking instructions below.

The launch event of the new SCL Technology Law Futures Group

Hosted and sponsored by Fujitsu Services Limited

James Taylor, Legal Counsel, Fujitsu Services Limited

Nick Bostrom
, Professor, Faculty of Philosophy & Oxford Martin School, Director, Future of Humanity Institute, Director, Programme on the Impacts of Future Technology, University of Oxford

Oliver Lawson
, Senior Associate, Stevens & Bolton LLP
James Taylor, Legal Counsel, Fujitsu Services Limited
Matthew Lavy, Barrister, 4 Pump Court

Attendance just £35 + VAT for all

Since the term "AI" was first coined, the possibilities and pitfalls of machines capable of autonomous thought have transcended computer science to occupy their own place in the Matrix (apologies) of popular culture. Every month, it seems, a new machine capable of defeating its human creators is produced; first chess, then Jeopardy, and now Texas Hold 'em poker. However, while we can tolerate being bested at a card game, what happens if the machines start to out compete us at the greatest game of all – life?

The challenge humanity faces is considerable. Victory at poker was achieved by a machine capable of playing 24 trillion theoretical hands of poker every second. The capability of Superintelligence to drive humanity's development seems almost limitless, but can we harness that potential without bringing about a real – life Skynet? One answer, lawyers may be pleased to learn, is through the establishment at the genesis of superintelligence of rules able to protect humanity from its own creation. No pressure on that drafting, then.

For its relaunch event, SCL Technology Law Futures Group are delighted to have secured the ideal speaker to address us on this topic; Nick Bostrom, Director of the aptly-named Future of Humanity Institute at the University of Oxford and author of the New York Times bestseller, Superintelligence (OUP, 2014). Nick will explain why the development of superintelligence will be the last invention humanity will ever need to make and why managing the transition to the machine intelligence era will be extremely difficult.

Nick's talk will be followed by a panel discussion and Q&A.

SCL Technology Law Futures Group

The SCL Technology Law Futures Group is passionate about the future of technology and its relevance to society as a whole.  Our aim is to bring about a greater understanding of technology within the legal profession and to bring to its attention those emergent technology trends, topics and developments poised to change society as we know it. We aim to host events giving SCL members the opportunity to hear from leading minds from across the world of technology, and thereafter through panel discussions and Q&A sessions to provide a forum for informed debate on the role of the legal profession as society continues to adapt to these new technological stimuli.

All are welcome to attend particularly if you're interesting in how future technology may impact client needs and society generally.

Administration notes:
The cost of attendance at this launch event is just £35 + VAT (£42) for SCL members and non-members alike.

Concessionary rates are available for students, academics and unemployed SCL members at £10 + VAT (£12). Please note that you cannot book concessionary places online. To reserve your place and request an invoice please email

If you wish to attend this meeting please book online or email and request an invoice. Fees can be paid by cheque (cheques should be made payable to "Society for Computers and Law"), Mastercard, Visa, Switch or bank transfer. All invoices for attendance at this meeting must be paid within 30 days of the invoice date or prior to the date of this event whichever is the earlier.

Students and SCL academic and unemployed members please note that you cannot book online. To reserve your place and request an invoice please email

SCL Membership: (Valid for 12 months from date paid): £125.00.  NB: Non-members who join SCL at the same time as applying to attend the conference are entitled to attend the conference at the members' rate. Membership of SCL includes full access to the content of the SCL web site, 6 copies of the SCL magazine "Computers & Law" plus notification of future SCL events.  If you have any queries about SCL membership please contact : Priti Magudia, Tel: 07948 517049, Email:

CPD: Under the Solicitors Regulation Authority CPD scheme and the Barristers' New and Established Practitioner Programmes this meeting is accredited with 1.5 hours CPD.

Booking terms and conditions: Application online or by email constitutes a firm booking and an undertaking to pay the event attendance fee. Cancellations will not be accepted (and refunds made) unless received in the Society's offices in Bristol at least one week before the date of the relevant event.

It may be necessary for reasons beyond the control of the Society for Computers and Law to change the venue, content/timing of the programme and/or speakers.

Society for Computers and Law A company limited by guarantee 1133537 Registered Charity No. 266331 VAT Registration No. 115 4840 85 Registered in England and Wales Registered office: 338 Wells Road, Bristol, BS4 2QL.

Please wait...