As part of Bath Digital Festival, Bath College IT students attended a Question Time debate at The Francis Hotel, discussing the future of digital sector with industry experts.
The Bath Digital Festival is an annual event, run by volunteers, which works to bring people and technology together, exploring the digital scene in Bath.
The panel was chaired by Jim Morrison, CEO at Deep Blue Sky and consisted of Annie Legge, Co-founder at The Dot Project, David Kelly, Founder of Bath Digital Festival and CEO at Storm, Siobain Hone, Graduate Enterprise Manager at University of Bath Innovation Centre, Shane Xu, Co-founder of Ready and Morgan Plumstead, a Bath College Level 3 IT Student who has aspirations of becoming a Software Engineer.
The theme of the event was ‘How do we make sure that digital technology improves society?’ Students asked the panel about how we can safeguard the future of tech jobs with the development of A.I. to which Annie Legge replied:
“When thinking about the future of jobs in the sector, it’s important to think of the softer skills such as critical thinking and empathy.
“These are the skills robots will not be able to emulate.”
Morgan Plumstead added that: “Any A.I. currently has the software designed by people. We are always going to need people to make and repair the software required.”
The panel continued to discuss issues surround identity and social media, targeted advertising and political campaigns.
Shane Xu commented: “Social media didn’t exist 15-20 years ago, and think of the jobs that’s produced. We probably can’t accurately predict what jobs will exist 15-20 years from now.”
The last topic for debate was if the panel accept that they’ll be looked after by robots in old age as we are already seeing the development of automatic speech recognition technology such as the Amazon Alexa.
At varying ages, some of the panel felt they had less to worry about than others as it’s a long way off until robots can understand human conditions such as dementia.
Morgan ended the session with the comment: “I don’t anticipate the day I’m looked after by robots, I fear it! As a programmer, I know what can go wrong!”
To read more about the Level 3 IT course, click here.