A talk by Ryan Avent (Senior Editor and Free Exchange Columnist, The Economist, Arlington, USA) curated by The Serving Library in partnership with LJMU’s Exhibition Research Lab for Liverpool Biennial 2018
Industrialisation often deprived society of any sense of purpose other than increasing output and incomes, while modern economic growth pushes us to ever narrower specialisations that deny us a meaningful connection to our work. Progress built on advances in science and technology is relentlessly rationalistic, squeezing all the mystery out of the world while simultaneously reinforcing our individual unimportance within it. Today’s advances in Artificial Intelligence mean that much of how technology will work in future is entirely mysterious to all but a few experts (and maybe even them as well). AI is creating spirited creatures, like cars that drive themselves and robots that walk among us, and it is easy to imagine how that could all turn out to be ugly and dystopian, but this talk will suggest that there are perhaps ways to make it beautiful and affirming, too.
Ryan Avent is Senior Editor and Free Exchange columnist at The Economist, where he has covered the global economy since 2007. His work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New Republic, The Atlantic and The Guardian. In his latest book, The Wealth of Humans: Work and its Absence in the Twenty-First Century, he disputes the idea that the digital revolution is different from any other, and in addressing the difficult questions about the increasing abundance of labour and what this means politically, economically and socially, he argues that our age is very much like the industrial revolution.
Join us from 6pm for drinks and conversation ahead of a prompt 6.30pm start.
This event is part of the public programme for Liverpool Biennial 2018, which includes a series of talks by leading thinkers and artists in response to the question Beautiful world, where are you?