The Intelligence Squared – Vanity Fair Digital Summit featured the some of the world’s most prominent innovators who are transforming our lives at an ever increasing speed, and the influential thinkers who are interpreting the opportunities and threats we face. Join us and network with the tech sector’s leaders and the digital world’s brightest minds. See the Digital Summit page for more information.

DETAILS

Date: Thursday 11th June 2015Venue: Shoreditch Town HallMORE INFORMATION

OGILVYDO INTERVIEWS
ogilydo were present at the summit and filmed a series of backstage interviews with a number of our speakers.
The interviews – including Cory Doctorow on science fiction’s role in forming the future and Martha Lane Fox on the future of the internet – are now available to watch on their website.

WATCH THE VIDEOS
VIDEOS

This is for Everyone – the hopes of the pioneers

Featuring: Alan Rusbridger, Martha Lane Fox, Cory Doctorow, Ronan Dunne, Henry Porter (chair) “Vague but exciting” was the comment scrawled on the top of Sir Tim Berners-Lee’s proposal for an information management system – aka the World Wide Web. As the penny began to drop in the early 90s about the limitless possibilities of the web, there was a surge of optimism, a sense that humanity had been given a tool that would provide undreamed-of opportunities for self-expression and learning. Above all, it seemed then that Sir Tim’s invention was a force for equality. “This is for everyone,” he reaffirmed at London 2012 Read more

London’s Star Tech Enterprise

Featuring: Kathryn Parsons, Ronan DunneJamal Edwards, Carina Namih, Rohan Silva (chair) We hear a lot about Tech City – formerly known as Silicon Roundabout – and how London start-ups account for about 80 per cent of the £560 million invested in technology in the UK. There is a tech buzz in the capital, probably louder and more frenetic than in any European city at the moment. But the truth is that only a handful of these companies will make it out of incubator to second and third stage funding, let alone to international success. Do UK investors have the right attitude to risk and failure? How can London startups hope to scale up and compete on the global stage? Does London have a permanent edge, or, to use the metaphor of another gold rush, is this simply a flash in the pan?

Sean Rad in conversation with Jemima Khan

Featuring: Sean Rad, Jemima Khan All of a sudden, nobody is a stranger anymore. Whether you happen to cross paths with someone in the street, have mutual friends on social media, or simply live within the same designated radius, you can make contact with almost anyone – and it could be “the one”. On the other hand, perhaps dating apps offer something more profound than the frivolous swipe right, because they cater for the most instinctive of needs: human connection.

Tech Giants: Does monopoly have to be a dirty word?

Featuring: Adam CohenAndrew KeenBindi Karia, Frank PasqualeKamal Ahmed (chair)With awe, as well as a measure of disdain, recent headlines have been referring to the big US tech giants Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon by the acronym GAFA. Are these companies really as dangerous as the European regulators suggest, or are they simply the result of online global markets and our love of free services and convenience? No one can doubt their drive to dominate, or the vast amounts of money and influence being funnelled to this tiny handful of companies. Facebook is currently worth $200 billion but employs fewer than 10,000 people worldwide, whilst lower-value Dell and IBM together have 500,000 employees and are arguably much more important distributors of prosperity. Read more

Artificial Intelligence: Are we engineering our own obsolescence?

Featuring: Nicholas Bostrom, Murray Shanahan, Dan Glaser, Riva-Melissa TezAdam Rutherford (chair) Some of the smartest minds have sounded the alarm recently about artificial intelligence. Physicist Stephen Hawking has said that it could spell the end of the human race. Tech pioneer Elon Musk has warned that with AI ‘we are summoning the demon’. Given that the world is already full of the smart precursors of artificial intelligence – Siri, Google Translate, driverless cars etc, why the warning bells? Because many experts believe that it is only a matter of decades before we create a form of AI that is more than just a useful tool and becomes an autonomous, self-aware entity which could take off on its own, self-replicating and redesigning itself and ultimately wiping out the human race. Read more

The supercomputer takes to the stage: IBM Watson

Featuring: Lauri Saft Lauri Saft explains how we are on the brink on a new cognitive computer era, in which the benefits will come from man and machine, rather than man vs machine. This collaboration is set to change our work, our homes, our toys, our cars and even how we prepare our meals and create great works of art.

Who are we on the web?

Featuring: Cory DoctorowJamie Bartlett, Beeban KidronBeth Simone Noveck, Henry Porter (chair)The internet has revolutionized the ways in which we learn, connect, mate and tell the story of our lives. In the process, we too have changed. Our identities and sense of ourselves are subtly transformed as we engage with the online universe. We have lost our privacy, yet at the same time we exploit the internet’s veil of anonymity and allow our dark side free rein: trolling, cyber-bullying, porn and paedophilia abound. Read more

Jamal Edwards, in conversation with Rick Edwards

Featuring: Jamal Edwards, Rick EdwardsAndy Warhol’s famous forecast, “In the future, everyone will be world famous for 15 minutes” was truly prophetic of our times. Social media, Instagram, YouTube: we have abundant means and energy to broadcast oursevles. While the web is a source of unrequited love for most of those courting followers, for others it’s the opportunity to change their lives and make it big. So, what does it take?

DEBATE: The internet is a failed utopia

Featuring: Andrew Keen and Frank Pasquale vs Peter Barron and Beth Simone NoveckJeremy Paxman (chair)Picking up where we left off in the first session, we move from the early vision to the reality of the internet today. To many, their hopes have been smashed by the revelations of government surveillance of our personal data – with the co-operation of the tech giants who know and record our every move online. Add to that the negative impact the internet has had on jobs and inequality, the problems of addiction and information overload, the balkanisation of interest groups, and the trend towards confirmation bias – and the dream has turned very sour indeed. Read more

PODCASTS

‘London’s Star Tech Enterprise’ and ‘Who we are on the Web’

Featuring: Cory Doctorow, Jamie Bartlett, Beeban Kidron, Beth Simone Noveck, Henry Porter, Ronan Dunne, Julie Meyer, Jamal Edwards, Carina Namih and Rohan SilvaIn the first session, ‘Who are we on the web?’ we examined how deeply the internet is affecting us as human beings. Our panel of experts comprised blogger, journalist and science fiction author Cory Doctorow; author of ‘The Dark Net’ Jamie Bartlett; Director of the 2013 film ‘InRealLife’ Beeban Kidron; and Director of the Governance Lab at NYU Beth Simone Noveck. It was chaired by the UK editor of Vanity Fair Henry Porter. Read more

‘The Hopes of the Pioneers’ and ‘Artificial Intelligence’

Featuring: Andrew KeenFrank PasqualePeter BarronBeth Simone NoveckJeremy Paxman, Nick Bostrom, Murray Shanahan, Riva-Melissa Tez, Daniel Glaser and Adam RutherfordIn the first session, ‘This is For Everyone: The hopes of the pioneers’, we explored the hopes and memories of the internet’s early days – could the internet have developed in any other way than the one we know today? Our panel of experts featured former Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger; entrepreneur and co-founder of lastminute.com Martha Lane Fox; journalist, blogger and science fiction author Cory Doctorow; and Chief Executive Officer of Telefónica UK (O2) Ronan Dunne. It was chaired by the UK editor of Vanity Fair Henry Porter. Read more

DEBATE: The internet is a failed utopia

Featuring: Andrew Keen and Frank Pasquale vs Peter Barronand Beth Simone NoveckJeremy Paxman (chair)Picking up where we left off in the first session, we move from the early vision to the reality of the internet today. To many, that hopes have been smashed by the revelations of government surveillance of our personal data – with the cooperation of the tech giants who know and record our every move online.

Add to that the negative impact the internet has had on jobs and inequality, the problems of addiction and information overload, the balkanisation of interest groups, and the trend towards confirmation bias (i.e. seeking out views similar to the ones we already hold) – and the dream has turned very sour indeed. Read more