Joint Senior Lecture
March 1, 2024

Joint Senior Lecture

On Friday 9th of February, the Sixth Form travelled to Kensington, to the Girl’s School where a debate and lecture on AI was held. This year’s lecturer was Sonia Sodha, chief leader writer and columnist at The Observer and deputy opinion editor at The Guardian.

Firstly, we read her article, contemplating whether the impact of AI on our world will be a positive one, then debated that very question in mixed groups. Contentious issues like deep-fakes, voice mimicry and bot comments were brought up, discussing what impact they might have on the political landscape, discourse and the spread of misinformation. Simultaneously, groups arguing for AI brought up how much easier things like revision and the development of medicine will be with the new phenomenon. Overall, I personally believe that how we, as a connected world, deal and react with the inevitable rising of artificial intelligence may be the issue of our generation, and shift our world faster and more constantly than anything before. The only thing we may know will be change.

In the latter half of the day, we attended a lecture in the hall with Sonia Sodha. She discussed her article and how it may affect fundamental parts of modern life like work, the family unit and our economy. She then began to discuss how quality of life has changed over generations, referencing David Willett’s The Pinch, a book questioning the common idea that life gets better from each generation to the next. It was a bleak realisation of how life may have been easier a generation ago in many ways, the ease of getting on the housing ladder is a good example of this. She then shared her knowledge of the gender-pay gap and how the UK could better deal with the issue and societal views of gender roles around things like parenthood in general for the bettering of our society and economy.

In conclusion, we all came out of the debate and lecture much more well-versed in such ubiquitous topics that are constantly referenced and feared in our modern day

Will S – Year 12