How will artificial intelligence and the internet affect the professions? In this lecture, Richard Susskind
will claim that, in the long run, we will neither need nor want our doctors, lawyers, accountants, architects,
consultants, and many others, to work in the way that they did in the 20th century and before. Technology
will bring about a fundamental and irreversible change in the way that the expertise of professionals is
made available in society. A more basic question will also be addressed – why do we have the professions at
all? Susskind will show how, in a print-based society, we have interposed the professions, as gatekeepers,
between individuals and organisations and the knowledge and experience to which they need access.
However, as we progress into the Internet society, ‘increasingly capable machines’, autonomously or with
non-specialist users, will provide entirely different solutions to the kinds of problems that we have thought
until now could only be sorted by human experts.
Professor Richard Susskind OBE FRSE is President of the Society for Computers and Law, Chair of the Advisory
Board of the Oxford Internet Institute, and Technology & Strategy Adviser to the Lord Chief Justice of England.
He is the author of numerous books, including (with D Susskind) The Future of the Professions (2015).