Loading Events

« All Events

The Laws Don’t Apply Here
02 May 2017, 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm

Virtual Futures continues its mission to to reassert the significance of science fiction as a tool for navigating the increasing technologization of society and culture.

Join us for an evening that incorporates original reading, performance and live art to explore the possible consequences of the latest scientific developments. Together we will question what it means to be human in the 21st Century.

This month’s theme: ‘Laws Don’t Apply

Our authors will present stories that explore, explode or exemplify Isaac Asimov’s fundamental laws of robotics: 1) Thou, Robot, shalt not injure a human being or let one come to harm, 2) Thou, Robot, shalt obey all orders lest they conflict with the above law, and 3) Thou, Robot, must protect thine own existence lest this compromises the first two laws. They will take us on uncomfortable ethical journeys that leave us questioning whether Asimov’s commandments were adequate, overly simplistic, or perhaps even inimical to their own sentiment.

Virtual Futures has a long history of hosting a range of renowned fiction authors including Alan Moore (Author of Watchmen, V for Vendetta), Pat Cadigan (Queen of Cyberpunk and the Author of Synners and Fools), Arthur & Marilouise Kroker (Editors of CTHEORY), Hari Kunzru (Author of Transmissions), James Flint (Author of The Book of Ash), Rachel Armstrong (Author of The Gray’s Anatomy), Gwyneth Jones (Author of Bold As Love) and O(rphan)d(rift>).

Special Presentation

Fireside Chat with Prof. Murray Shanahan

Murray Shanahan is Professor of Cognitive Robotics at Imperial College London and a Senior Research Scientist at DeepMind. He works on artificial intelligence, neurodynamics, and the philosophy of mind. Educated at Imperial College and Cambridge University (King’s College), he became a full professor at Imperial in 2006, and joined DeepMind in 2017. He was scientific advisor to the film Ex Machina, and regularly appears in the media to comment on artificial intelligence and robotics. His book “Embodiment and the Inner Life”  was published by OUP in 2010, and his most recent book “The Technological Singularity” was published by MIT Press in August 2015

Authors & Contributors

John Houlihan, Editor-in-Chief of Dragon+

L.P. Lee, Science Fiction Author

Stephen Oram, Science Fiction Author

Jule Owen, Science Fiction Author & Technology Consultant

Daniel Sainty, Science Fiction Author

Britta Friederike Schulte, PhD Computer Science, University College London

A. Umbra, Unknown

(Listed in alphabetical order by last name.)


02 May 2017
6:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Event Category:


Lights of Soho
35 Brewer Street
London, W1F 0RX United Kingdom
+ Google Map


Virtual Futures