What is love?

7.00pm to 8.30pm, Thursday 14 February

The Theatre

The Royal Institution of Great Britain GB United Kingdom W1S 4BS 21 Albemarle Street London

This event has already taken place

  • Credit: Maria Eklind via Flickr

Price

Standard £16

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Concession £10

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Ri Members and Ri Patrons £7

Event description

Looking for a great way to spend your Valentine’s evening? Why not join us at the Ri? We’ll discuss personal love stories from around the world, explore what companies learn about you through online dating and discover what the future holds for sexual companion robots. Open to those on first dates, flying solo, catching up with old friends or couples who are simply looking to get out of the house. There will be a cash bar available after the event and a book signing session with the panellists; non-fiction writer Laura Mucha and Lecturer in Artificial Intelligence Kate Devlin.  

About the speakers

Laura Mucha has a varied professional background. She has worked as a face painter, studied flying trapeze, philosophy and psychology, and swam in Antarctica before becoming a lawyer at an international law firm. 

Her current book Love Factually explores love by combining academic research with interviews she has conducted with hundreds of strangers across 40 countries on every continent.

Kate Devlin is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Digital Humanities at King's College London. Having begun her career as an archaeologist before moving into computer science, Kate's research is in the fields of Human Computer Interaction (HCI) and Artificial Intelligence (AI), investigating how people interact with and react to technology in order to understand how emerging and future technologies will affect us and the society in which we live.

Kate has become a driving force in the field of intimacy and technology, running the UK's first sex tech hackathon in 2016. In short, she has become the face of sex robots – quite literally in the case of one mis-captioned tabloid photograph. She has written articles on the subject for New Scientist, Prospectand Sunday Times amongst others, featured on BBC Radios 1–5, and made a number of TV appearances, along with TEDx talks and numerous other tech and philosophy events, festivals and comedy nights. She was probably the first person to say 'sex robots' in the House of Lords – in an official capacity, at least.

Timing

The doors will open at approximately 6.30pm, with a prompt start at 7.00pm.

Latecomers will be admitted to the gallery.

Book signing

Copies of Laura's book, 'Love Factually: The Science of Who, How and Why We Love' and Kate's book, 'Turned On: Science, Sex and Robots', will be available for purchase and signing after the talk.

Accessibility

The theatre is on the first floor and there is step-free access from the street via lift.

The closest underground station is Green Park, which is step-free.

There is space at floor level in the theatre for wheelchair users.

Seating is usually unreserved for our events. If you and your group require seating reservations, please do let us know by email and we’ll be more than happy to help. Email: events@ri.ac.uk.

Carers can receive a free ticket to an event by emailing events@ri.ac.uk.

Our theatre is equipped with an Audio Induction Loop.  

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