Through The Looking Glass - The Post Pandemic World

Event Date
Jul 20, 2020
RegisterListen BackWatch back
Through The Looking Glass - The Post Pandemic World

Ireland’s Edge presents Through The Looking Glass – The Post Pandemic World.

Living in unprecedented times of coronavirus the familiar landscape has shifted under our feet. So what do we now know about this new world where almost everything looks and seems the same and yet is profoundly changed ?

As lawmakers, artists, scientists, technologists, students and citizens we have passed through the Looking Glass. Unlike Alice we do not know if there is a way back .

Ireland’s Edge – Through The Looking Glass examines the new questions raised by our recent and current experiences, and reaches back into past times of pandemic. We examine the challenge of encroaching surveillance, data, privacy, personal freedom, creativity, ethics and technology in a time of global pandemic, and consider the power and value of story telling .

Ireland’s Edge -Through The Looking Glass is a unique digital event streamed live from ITMA, the Irish Traditional Music Archive, on Monday the 20th July which presents four new original and personal perspectives on law, technology, art and music - key areas of political, cultural and social importance.

This special online edition of Ireland’s Edge is supported by Intel Ireland and presented in partnership with ITMA and Trinity Long Room Hub Arts and Humanities Research Institute.


Privacy, Data and the Pandemic

Ms Justice Marie Baker
The Supreme Court of Ireland

In conversation with

Dr David Kenny,
Assistant Professor of Law, Trinity College Dublin

The Covid 19 pandemic has seen population wide contact tracing technology being comprehensively adopted in many countries while under active consideration in others. This has given rise to fears and concerns about violations of privacy and other fundamental rights.

Where do privacy and data protection rights sit in all of this given the urgent need to manage and control the pandemic? Can we trust that our country and others have the legal frameworks in place to comply with the existing law while facilitating these measures? How can we know if and whether deletion of personal data has happened once the crisis has passed? Will powers granted to deal with the crisis be ceded when it is over?

These are some of the issues under consideration between our two contributors, Ms. Justice Marie Baker of the Supreme Court and Dr David Kenny, Assistant Professor of Law at Trinity Law School.

Music in Times of Pandemic

Father and daughter, Mick O’Brien (Uileann Pipes) and Aoife Ní Bhriain (Fiddle and Violin) perform music from the celebrated Goodman Collection.

Canon James Goodman who held the chair of Irish in Trinity College from 1879 began collecting music as a young man. He made this collection under the shadow of the Irish Famine fully aware that the music of his native west Kerry stood at risk of perishing alongside the millions lost to death and emigration.

This collection of tunes housed in Trinity College Old Library was first published as ‘Tunes of the Munster Pipers ‘ by the Irish Traditional Music Archive in 1998. The music in the collection gives us a unique insight into the dance music and song culture of pre Famine Ireland . One hundred and fifty years later the Goodman collection has taken on a new resonance.

‘If I Only Had A Heart’: Humanising the Machine  

Dr Conor McGinn
CEO & Co-Founder of Akara Robotics
Assistant Professor, School of Engineering, TCD
Group Leader, Robotics and Innovation Lab, TCD
Niamh Donnelly
Director of AI & Co-Founder of Akara Robotics

In conversation with

Siobhra Quinlan
Ireland’s Edge

Dr Conor McGinn and Niamh Donnelly will be in conversation with Síobhra Quinlan, discussing Akara’s genesis in Trinity College Dublin, and how it has grown to utilise robotics and AI technology in order to develop socially assistive robots that empower people working in the healthcare sector.

This conversation will explore Akara Robotics’ unique approach to developing Stevie and Violet, leveraging engineering, science, creativity, anthropology and empathy. They will discuss the importance of ethics in their process, their involvement with the Foundation for Responsible Robotics, and how in these unprecedented times the company has re-prioritised to rapidly respond to the Covid-19 pandemic. How will these learnings be assimilated into the broader vision of Akara Robotics? Peering through the looking glass, how can we best incorporate semi autonomous robots into the fabric of society?  

Adapt or be Damned

Rita Duffy
Artist in Residence, Trinity Long Room Hub, Trinty College Dublin

‘Adapt or be damned’ - an illustrated lecture that brings us on the personal journey of one artist living and working through the strangeness of recent times.

Sign up to our mailing list to get the latest from the Edge.

Thank you! Be on a lookout for an email from us!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.