The ‘Ghost in the Machine’: a public debate on the future of technology in society


TORONTO, ON, Wednesday, January 24, 2018- Will artificial intelligence soon become more intelligent than its creator? As technology continues to play a bigger role in all aspects of our society, it’s more important now than ever to consider the organizing principles behind how it structures our digital lives.

This is just one of the many questions experts, academics, futurists and business leaders will discuss at the ‘Ghost in the Machine’ Technology and the Future of Society event today at the Bram & Bluma Appel Salon at the Toronto Reference Library at 7pm.

This free public event is the second in the Next 100 series spearheaded by the Lassonde School of Engineering and will focus on the ways in which technology will continue transforming society. The one-hour panel brings together innovators, educators, futurists, technologists, and leaders in business and art to debate these issues in front of a live audience.

The NEXT 100 is a series of public interactive events that explore how exponential technologies will impact the future of a number of spheres of public life including education, social interaction, art, entertainment and design.

The panel discussion will be moderated by futurist and researcher, Jesse Hirsch, who is currently investigating the impact of artificial intelligence and cognitive computing on all sectors and industries. The panel will examine what it means to be human, the inherent assumptions in how we design technology and what scientists, industries and governments can do to ensure that tech benefits us in the future.  Speakers will also debate the responsibility companies have to make tech more equitable, accessible and sensitive to the diversity of human experience.

What: Ghost in the Machine, Technology and the Future of Society, By Lassonde School of Engineering

When: Wednesday January 24, 2018

Doors open 6:30pm | Event 7:00pm

Where: Bram & Bluma Appel Salon - Toronto Reference Library
Interim Dean of the Lassonde School of Engineering, Richard Hornsey will introduce the panel.

Speakers include:

Jesse Hirsch moderator and researcher, artist, and public speaker based in Toronto, Canada

Huda Idrees, Founder and CEO of Dot Health, a real-time personal health data platform

Steve Irvine, founder and CEO of Toronto-based company Integrate.AI, which focuses on applied artificial intelligence

Ian Kerr, Canada Research Chair in Ethics, Law and Technology at the University of Ottawa

Regina Rini, Canada Research Chair in Social and Moral Cognition and Assistant Professor of Philosophy at York University

To register visit or for more info:

York University is known for championing new ways of thinking that drive teaching and research excellence. Our students receive the education they need to create big ideas that make an impact on the world. Meaningful and sometimes unexpected careers result from cross-discipline programming, innovative course design and diverse experiential learning opportunities. York students and graduates push limits, achieve goals and find solutions to the world’s most pressing social challenges, empowered by a strong community that opens minds. York U is an internationally recognized research university – our 11 faculties and 26 research centres have partnerships with 200+ leading universities worldwide. Located in Toronto, York is the third largest university in Canada, with a strong community of 53,000 students, 7,000 faculty and administrative staff, and more than 295,000 alumni. York U's fully bilingual Glendon campus is home to Southern Ontario's Centre of Excellence for French Language and Bilingual Postsecondary Education.

For interviews with Interim Dean Richard Hornsey or other info please contact:

Anjum Nayyar, York University Media Relations, 416 736 2100 ext. 44543

Jane Iordakieva Communications Manager, Lassonde School of Engineering, 416 712 9368,