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A Celebration of the Legacy of Prof Mike Cooley

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A Celebration of the Legacy of Prof Mike Cooley
Location: Health Sciences Board Room
Cost: Free

Professor Mike Cooley is considered one of the greatest systems engineers ever to have emanated from Ireland. Waterford Institute of Technology is delighted to announce that it has acquired by donation from the Cooley Family the entire archive of Professor Michael Cooley. This event announces the availability of the archive at the Luke Wadding Library, and showcases Cooley-related scholarship at WIT.

This event also includes presentations by two internationally-renowned guest speakers, Professor Karamjit Gill, Editor in Chief of Artificial Intelligence and Society, and Professor Petros Groumpos, leading expert on intelligent systems who will speak on the Cooley Legacy and its importance for today.

The event takes place in the Health Sciences Board Room at 2pm on Thursday 7 March.

Michael Cooley is a renowned aeronautical and systems engineer, whose critique of the automation and computerization of work had an enormous impact on a generation of academics and practitioners. Decades before concerns about the black swans of an algorithmic culture were raised following the financial crash, Mike Cooley expressed deep reservations about the human price of automation in the work place. He argued for an alternative “human-centred” vision of socially useful technology that embodied the ethos of human–machine symbiosis that he saw as a collaboration of human judgement and the calculation capacity of the machine. According to Professor Gill his:

[vision for a] socially useful artificial super intelligence, Big Data and Internet of Things.. is balanced against warnings of the danger of the objectification of human knowledge and experience into information and data; this turns human judgement into calculation and in the process, turns the human into a robot and an appendage of the machine”.

Cooley reinforces human dignity and the great possibilities of advanced technologies in the work place and in our relations to one another. Cooley’s vision became a catalyst for humanistic movements such as ‘Democratic Participation’ (Scandinavia) and ‘Humanisation of Technology and Work’ (Germany). These European human-centred systems movements provided a basis for the establishment of the ‘Anthropocentric Systems and Technology’ programme of the European Union.

In short, Mike Cooley’s legacy is of historical importance at a time when the march of technology is again transforming working life and human relationships. His legacy is huge and publications include 16 books and the founding of a major journal. Cooley’s work has been translated into over twenty languages, from Finnish to Japanese. His seminal book is “Architect or Bee? The Human Price of Technology”, continues to be print following its first publication almost forty years ago. His most recent book “Delinquent Genius” published in Autumn 2018 includes a foreword by President Higgins and was sold out in weeks.

2.00pm Welcome: Dr. Larry Stapleton, INSYTE, School of Science and Computing.

2.05pm Welcome Addresses: Dr. Peter McLoughlin, Head of Science and Computing Dr. Mark White, Vice-President for Research, Innovation & Graduate Studies.

2.20pmArchitect or Bee? A Tribute to Mike Cooley” Distinguished Professor Karamjit Gill, Editor-in-Chief, Artificial Intelligence and Society. 

2.40pmCreating New Knowledge through Intelligent & Cognitive Control: Mike Cooley’s Legacy” Distinguished Professor Petros Groumpos, University of Patras, Greece.

3.00pm Tea/Coffee Break 

3.20pmThe Cooley-WIT Link: Cross-Faculty Human Centred Systems Research and Teaching at WIT” Dr. Larry Stapleton, INSYTE, School of Science and Computing.

3.40pmThe Cooley Collection: The Challenge of Curating Complex Objects in a University Library” Kieran Cronin, Librarian, Luke Wadding Library.

4.00pmExtending Digital Document MetaData Standards – Modelling Machine-Readable Knowledge in the Cooley Collection” Dr. Larry Stapleton, Brenda O’Neill, Matthew Kendrick and Eoin Dalton.

4.20pmCurating Objects in a Digitised Library: Challenges of 3-D Objects in the Cooley Collection”: Patrick McKinerny, Department of Computing and Mathematics, WIT.

4.35pm Official Visit to the Cooley Collection, Luke Wadding Library

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