Professionalism & AI:
asking the ethical and normative questions

Disrupting the work of professionals

It is broadly acknowledged that technology will continue to disrupt accounting practice but it could be hard for individual firms to imagine the specific implications and how they can harness or counter this innovation. Technology is ever changing and firms must embrace it, but the current wave of change appears to herald a new chapter that will significantly change the way we work. Also, since technology is impacting all professions, this means that there is an opportunity for collaboration across industries, so we stay abreast of key developments and understand the changes our clients and communities are facing.

The most talked about technologies in professional services firms are big data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI). These could dramatically change the way we work, but also the nature of professionalism broadly. Intelligent software and automated systems will mean the professions needs to rethink everything from how they design services to the pyramid structure of the firm itself.

Who should be asking the ethical and normative questions?

In the backdrop of constant technological change and a dominating ‘technological solutionism’ narrative, we need to engage in critical discussions about the value of technology. Do professions need to provide training to up-skill existing employees to improve retention and morale? Is there a need to engage leadership into strategic planning and discussion on the long-term impact of technology, beyond short-term ‘solutionism’?

If AI is changing our society, should we teach computer scientist basic understanding of ethics? How should we eliminate AI bias and how do we guard against AI ‘mistakes’? How do we keep AI safe from competitors and adversaries?

And, above all: what does it mean to be professional in a world of AI? How do we educate and foster human intelligence?

Futures Salon on professionalism and AI

We invite you to an interactive and thought provoking session about the changing role of professions in a world of artificial intelligence, the opportunities and challenges we face and threats this may bring for the future.

The session will be facilitated by Martin Martinoff, Audit Futures, ICAEW.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Andrew Bone, Chief Executive & Co-Founder, airts
  • Dr Ewa Luger, Chancellor’s Fellow, Design Informatics, The University of Edinburgh
  • Professor Paolo Quattrone, Dean of Special Projects, College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences and Chair in Accounting Governance and Social Innovation, The University of Edinburgh
  • Michael Rovatsos, Informatics, The University of Edinburgh
  • Professor Burkhard Schafer, Edinburgh Law School, The University of Edinburgh
  • Professor Robin Williams, Director, Institute for the study of science, technology and innovation studies; The University of Edinburgh

In the meantime you might be interested in the ICAEW IT faculty’s latest thought leadership report


Event details and registration

Date: 26 September 2017

Time: 17:00 – 19:30, followed by networking and drinks reception

Venue: The University of Edinburgh, 78, West Port, EH1 2LE

If you have any questions about the session please contact, Programme Manager, AuditFutures