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As AI advances, our interactions with chatbots and robots are becoming increasingly common. But what are the potentials and pitfalls of fostering friendships and intimacy with computer software and hardware? This talk explores our emotional connections with AIs and robots, from their ability to provide support and companionship to fears of dehumanisation and the loss of authentic human connection. Technology has the power to bridge social and personal gaps in our lives, while also raising important ethical questions about individual and cultural impact. Join us as we explore the complex and fascinating world of human-AI relationships and consider the implications for our future interactions with technology.

The event is being held in Bush House Auditorium, Bush House. You must enter via the Strand entrance of Bush House.

This event is in-person only. Please register on Eventbrite.

This event is part of the King's Festival of Artificial Intelligence, running from Wednesday 24 to Sunday 28 May 2023, which brings together speakers, exhibits, performances, demos and screenings in an exciting programme of events. Take a look at the other events here.

Festival event times may be subject to change. Any changes will be communicated to registrants via Eventbrite emails.

Please note, King's events are free, which means we routinely overbook to allow for no-shows and avoid empty seats. Admission is on a first come, first served basis, so please arrive in good time to avoid disappointment. We will not be able to admit those without tickets or latecomers.


Dr Kate Devlin is a Reader in Artificial Intelligence & Society in the Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London. With an undergraduate degree in archaeology (QUB) and an MSc (QUB) and PhD (Bristol) in computer science, her research investigates how people interact with and react to technologies, both past and future. Kate is the author of the critically acclaimed Turned On: Science, Sex and Robots (Bloomsbury, 2018), which examines the ethical and social implications of technology and intimacy.

In 2016 she ran the UK’s first sex tech hackathon. Kate is Advocacy and Engagement Director for the UKRI-funded Trustworthy Autonomous Systems Hub – a collaborative platform to enable the development of socially beneficial robotics and artificial intelligence systems that are both trustworthy in principle and trusted in practice.

Kate is a board member of the Open Rights Group, a UK-based organisation that works to preserve digital rights and freedoms, and is a campaigner for gender equality to improve opportunities for women in tech. As a science communicator, she provides accessible accounts of robotics and AI in both broadcast and print media.

At this event

Kate Devlin

Reader in Artificial Intelligence & Society

Event details

Bush House Auditorium
Bush House
Strand campus, 30 Aldwych, London, WC2B 4BG