AI: Perspectives and Challenges - RSA

AI: Perspectives and Challenges

Fellowship events

 -  | GMT Standard Time

Old Assembly Close, The MacKenzie Building, Faculty Of Advocates, 172 High Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1QX

  • Technology

Please join us for this fascinating event exploring different perspectives and challenges related to artificial intelligence.

The RSA Fellows’ MCICH Network, established in 2010 and which is Fellow-led, thanks the Faculty of Advocates for consent to use the Mackenzie Building for this joint event, other support for which is in process of confirmation.

Artificial intelligence (Al) has captured public attention, both positively and negatively. AI debates permeate society from academic journals to tabloids, and from public service broadcasters to social media, hence potentially large volumes of news with stories, debates and government discussions.

Our discussion on 12 September is to allow truly different perspectives to be outlined, reflected upon and debated in the knowledge any transformative technology discussion must be accurate and diversely informed.

Do please join us to consider some of the legal, social, economic and ethical challenges ahead.

When registering, attendees have an option to frame a question for the panel so these may be collated and themed where appropriate.

The speaking order may differ in sequence to the biographies shown alphabetically below.

Coffee and biscuits will be available between 17:00-17:20, with the event starting at 17:30.

The meeting format is that each speaker will present a personal perspective. Facilitated debate will follow, initially between the panel but will then be open to participants for observations and questions.

This event is a sequel to some events of past years including the series “Economics, Internet and Society”.

The Media, Creative Industries, Culture and Heritage Network has run well over 150 events since its establishment. Of these forty four events have taken place since January 2022, including a day conference preceded by four Zoom events.


  • Iain G Mitchell KC FRSA
  • Dr Eve Poole OBE FRSA
  • Dr Lachlan Urquhart

Iain G Mitchell KC FRSA was called to the Scottish Bar in 1976 and took silk in 1992. He was called to the English Bar in 2012. Amongst other appointments, he is Chairman of the Scottish Society for Computers and Law, is a member of the IT Committee of the CCBE, and is a past chairman of the CCBE Surveillance Work Party. He was accredited by the Mediation Bureau (Scotland) in 1997 and by the Mediation Forum Ireland in 2007. He holds an Honorary Lectureship in IT Law at the ITM Institute, Wilhelms Universitat, Munster, Germany. Iain Mitchell chairs the legal panel of Whistleblowers UK. He has taken part in RSA events before: these have included one event in the series “Internet Economics and Society” and the event at New College “Media Faith and State”. More recently he has been a speaker at two RSA MCICH Network zoom events - one on 6th April “Expert Perspectives on Surveillance” with Professor Kirstie Ball (School of Management, University of St Andrews) and Dr Brian Plastow (Scottish Biometrics Commissioner), The second, “Perspectives on Whistleblowing” on 10th May was with Georgina Halford-Hall (Whistleblowers UK).

Dr Eve Poole OBE FRSA is interim Chief Executive of the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland. She has a BA from Durham, an MBA from Edinburgh, and a PhD in theology and capitalism from Cambridge. She has written several books, including Robot Souls (published by Routledge in August 2023) and Leadersmithing (which was Highly Commended in the 2018 Business Book Awards). For fifteen years she taught leadership at Ashridge Business School, pioneering a new approach to the neurobiological development of leaders. Before Ashridge, she worked for the Church Commissioners and for Deloitte Consulting, where she specialised in change management for the Financial Services Sector. She was Interim CEO of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2022, Third Church Estates Commissioner from 2018-2021, and the first female Chairman of Gordonstoun from 2015-2021. She is a regular contributor to Thought for the Day on BBC Radio Scotland.

Dr Lachlan Urquhart is a Senior Lecturer in Technology Law and Human-Computer Interaction. He is Co-Director of the Scottish Research Centre for Intellectual Property and Technology Law (SCRIPT). His main research interests are in the socio-technical aspects of designing, living with, and regulating emerging information technologies. He has a multidisciplinary background in computer science (PhD) and law (LL.B; LL.M) and he has studied at the Universities of Edinburgh, Strathclyde, and Nottingham. Lachlan is the Law School lead for the Centre for Data, Culture, and Society; on the Design Informatics Institute management board; and a research associate at the Edinburgh Futures Institute. He is a Visiting Researcher and Founding Member of the Horizon Digital Economy Research Institute, School of Computer Science, University of Nottingham; a Turing Fellow at the Alan Turing Institute, a Research Fellow at the Information Society Law Centre, Universitá degli Studi di Milano, and member of the international Emotional AI Lab. He was a visiting scientist at Fraunhofer AICOS, Porto, and a visiting researcher at the Centre for Business Information Ethics, Meiji University, Tokyo. Lachlan has published over 50 papers in leading venues in computing, law, and ethics. He has been a lead and co-investigator on projects totalling over £6m from EPSRC, ESRC, AHRC, Universities 21, and Impact Accelerator Funds. He is currently Principal Investigator of the EPSRC £1.2m ‘Fixing the Future: Right to Repair and Equal-IoT’ project and Co-Investigator on the ESRC Emotional AI in Smart Cities project, EPSRC Trustworthy Autonomous Systems Governance Node, and various projects in the EPSRC Horizon Trusted Data Driven Products hub.

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