The next meeting of Talking Allowed in Leeds is on Monday, February 12th at 1.45pm in Veritas Ale and Wine Bar.

We will be discussing the #MeToo phenomenon.

#MeToo has given rise to strong opinions, for and against. We might prefer to look at the sources of the campaign and ask if it indicates a new wave of feminism. We can also look at the role of social media and the use of the “court of public opinion”. We may ask how, in the long run, relations between the sexes could be affected.


A happy new year!

The first meeting of 2018 of Talking Allowed in Leeds is on Monday, January 8th at 1.45pm in Veritas Ale and Wine Bar.

Derrick will ask “Why study philosophy?”

In December we gathered some suggestions for further meetings this year. Topics included: identity politics, the prospects for democracy, debt cancellation (a jubilee),#MeToo and the relation between the sexes, and which book or books you would recommend.

The next meeting of Talking Allowed in Leeds is on Monday 11th of December at 1.45pm. The venue is Veritas Ale and Wine Bar, Great George Street, Leeds.

At this time of year we can’t book the small room at the back of the pub and have to find space in the main bar. So instead of our usual discussion we review the past year and make our plans for future meetings.

If you have a topic you would like to introduce, come and share your idea with us. Or just come and be sociable at this last meeting of the year.

The next meeting of Talking Allowed in Leeds is on Monday 13th of November at 1.45pm. The venue is Veritas Ale and Wine Bar, Great George Street, Leeds.

We will consider the questions raised by developments in robotics, artificial intelligence and ‘big data’.

Will the investment required to roll out these technologies be forthcoming? If so, what will be the consequences for employment, economic equality and political power?

As well as almost daily articles in the press on this issue, the House of Lords have conducted a consultation. The questions they invited the public to consider can be found here:

In December our meeting will take place on the second Monday as usual but it will be a social gathering during which we hope to garner topic suggestions for meetings in 2018.

(From the House of Lords public consultation document.)

The pace of technological change

1. What is the current state of artificial intelligence and what factors have contributed to
this? How is it likely to develop over the next 5, 10 and 20 years? What factors, technical or societal, will accelerate or hinder this development?

2. Is the current level of excitement which surrounds artificial intelligence warranted?

Impact on society

3. How can the general public best be prepared for more widespread use of artificial
In this question, you may wish to address issues such as the impact on everyday life, jobs, education and retraining needs, which skills will be most in demand, and the potential need for more significant social policy changes. You may also wish to address issues such as the impact on democracy, cyber security, privacy, and data ownership.

4. Who in society is gaining the most from the development and use of artificial
intelligence and data? Who is gaining the least? How can potential disparities be

Public perception

5. Should efforts be made to improve the public’s understanding of, and engagement
with, artificial intelligence? If so, how?


6. What are the key sectors that stand to benefit from the development and use of
artificial intelligence? Which sectors do not?
In this question, you may also wish to address why some sectors stand to benefit over others, and what barriers there are for any sector looking to use artificial intelligence.

7. How can the data-based monopolies of some large corporations, and the ‘winner-takes-all’ economies associated with them, be addressed? How can data be managed
and safeguarded to ensure it contributes to the public good and a well-functioning


8. What are the ethical implications of the development and use of artificial intelligence?
How can any negative implications be resolved?
In this question, you may wish to address issues such as privacy, consent, safety, diversity and the impact on democracy.

9. In what situations is a relative lack of transparency in artificial intelligence systems (so-called ‘black boxing’) acceptable? When should it not be permissible?

The role of the Government

10. What role should the Government take in the development and use of artificial
intelligence in the United Kingdom? Should artificial intelligence be regulated? If so,

Learning from others

11. What lessons can be learnt from other countries or international organisations (e.g.
the European Union, the World Economic Forum) in their policy approach to artificial

PIP’s National Coordination Committee (NCC) are planning a Community Philosophy Festival, which will take place in Oxford in April 2018. A weekend event, from Friday through Sunday morning.

The main accommodation will be at Hertford College, as will majority of festival. Cost for weekend accommodation is approximately £160.

There will be a fifty seater coach for members from the North West, probably leaving Preston, picking up in Southport if required, calling at Liverpool, arriving in Oxford around 4pm. Return fare will be around £45 per head. People are free to travel with us and organise their own accommodation.

Proposed Programme

Friday: On arrival registration/check in, bags in rooms, then gather together in one of Hartford’s wood panelled rooms to look at and discuss weekend programme. Dinner, and then free time and/or visiting local sites.

Saturday: (Breakfast: 8am) 9.30am: Talk/discussion regarding underlying idea and principles of PIPs, and community philosophy in general. 10.30 tea break. 11am: Group organising and facilitation workshop, and sharing experiences. 12.30pm Lunch. 1.45pm: Enquiry session/s following short video about the problems arising within group facilitation. 2.15 Break. 2.30: Talk on ‘Philosophic Dialogue’ followed by discussion and group enquiry session/s. 4.30pm: Free time. 5.30pm Dinner (eating out maybe)
Saturday evening… visiting local hostelries … and Live (in house) music and song

Sunday: (Breakfast: 8am) 9.30am: A philosophical tour of Oxford and maybe one or two enquiries throughout the day around the cafes and bookshops of Oxford. 12.30am: Lunch and review at a topical venue. Festival to finish around 4pm giving people time to explore Oxford, while those catching return coach to Liverpool and North West will leave a little earlier.

If you are interested or would like to book a place email: or ring 07743 533 509