The Adam Smith Society to Host Intelligence Squared U.S. Debate on Our Driverless Future in New York on April 13 | Shore Fire Media

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20 February, 2019Print

The Adam Smith Society to Host Intelligence Squared U.S. Debate on Our Driverless Future in New York on April 13

The Adam Smith Society to Host Intelligence Squared U.S. Debate on Our Driverless Future in New York on April 13

Proponents claim driverless cars will drastically improve our lives, with fewer auto accidents, less traffic congestion and carbon emissions, and greater accessibility for those with physical limitations. Opponents, however, argue that autonomous vehicles will increase traffic, render current infrastructure obsolete, jeopardize millions of jobs, or even lead to potential disaster due to programming errors or hackers. Should we give this new technology the green light, or proceed with caution? On Saturday, April 13, veteran debate series Intelligence Squared U.S. partners with the Manhattan Institute's Adam Smith Society for a live debate on the motion "All Hail the Driverless Car."

SAFE Autuomous Vehicles VP Amitai Bin-Nun and self-driving technology company Aurora's CEO Chris Urmson will argue in favor of the motion. Debating against them will be NYU data journalism professor Meredith Broussard and MIT transportation researcher Ashley Nunes.

The debate will be held at the Adam Smith Society's National Meeting in NYC, then air soon after as part of the syndicated public radio show and podcast "Intelligence Squared U.S."


WHAT: Intelligence Squared U.S. Debates "All Hail the Driverless Car!"

WHEN: Saturday, April 13 / 3:00-4:30 PM EDT

WHERE: Adam Smith Society's National Meeting / NYC


Arguing For the Motion

* Amitai Bin-Nun: VP of Autonomous Vehicles, Securing America's Future Energy

Amitai Bin-Nun is a recognized leader in the autonomous vehicles space with expertise in regulation, strategy, and data analytics. He is vice president of autonomous vehicles and mobility innovation at Securing America's Future Energy (SAFE), a nonprofit based in Washington D.C. Before joining SAFE, Bin-Nun advised executives on the implications of emerging vehicle technologies and partnered with IBM Watson to explore potential financial services applications for cognitive computing. He has also served as a fellow at the Department of Energy and in the office of Senator Chris Coons.


* Chris Urmson: Co-founder and CEO of Aurora

Chris Urmson is Co-founder and CEO of Aurora, the company building self-driving technology to deliver the benefits of the future of transportation safely, quickly, and broadly. Urmson has been instrumental in instigating and advancing the development of self-driving vehicles and the industry for the last 15 years. Before founding Aurora, Urmson helped build Google’s self-driving car program and served as CTO. Prior, Urmson was a faculty member of the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University where he worked with house size trucks, drove robots around in deserts, and was the technical director of the DARPA Urban and Grand Challenge teams. He earned his PhD in Robotics from Carnegie Mellon University and his BSc in computer engineering from the University of Manitoba in 1998.



Arguing Against the Motion

* Meredith Broussard" Data Journalist & Author, “Artificial Unintelligence: How Computers Misunderstand the World” 

Meredith Broussard is a data journalism professor at the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute at New York University and the author of “Artificial Unintelligence: How Computers Misunderstand the World,” where she argues against the idea that technology is always the solution to humanity’s problems. A 2019 Reynolds Journalism Institute Fellow, her research focuses on artificial intelligence in investigative reporting, with a particular interest in using data analysis for social good. Broussard has also worked as a software developer at AT&T Bell Labs and the MIT Media Lab.


* Dr. Ashley Nunes: Research Scientist, MIT Center for Transportation Logistics 

Dr. Ashley Nunes studies transportation safety, regulatory policy, and behavioral economics. He earned his Ph.D. in Engineering Psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, where he examined the scientific merit of raising controller retirement ages. Dr. Nunes has previously written for the Financial Times, the Washington Post and The Globe and Mail among others and his long-form content has appeared in the Atlantic, the New Statesman, and the American Scientist.





A non-partisan, non-profit organization, Intelligence Squared U.S. was founded in 2006 to address a fundamental problem in America: the extreme polarization of our nation and our politics. Their mission is to restore critical thinking, facts, reason, and civility to American public discourse. The award-winning debate series reaches over 30 million American households through multi-platform distribution, including radio, television, live streaming, podcasts, interactive digital content, and on-demand apps on Roku and Apple TV. With over 150 debates and counting, Intelligence Squared U.S. has encouraged the public to "think twice" on a wide range of provocative topics. Author and ABC News correspondent John Donvan has moderated IQ2US since 2008. 



The Adam Smith Society -- a project of the Manhattan Institute -- is an expansive, chapter-based network of MBA students, professionals, and business leaders who work to foster debate about the moral, social, and economic benefits of capitalism. The Adam Smith Society provides a venue where members can engage in meaningful dialogue about free enterprise with fellow students and professionals as well as prominent figures, journalists, and public officials. Launched in 2011, in partnership with the Marilyn G. Fedak Capitalism Project, the society has grown to more than 40 chapters at elite business school campuses and major cities in the U.S. and abroad.

For more information on Intelligence Squared U.S., please contact Ray Padgett ( or Mark Satlof ( at Shore Fire Media. For more information on The Adam Smith Society, please contact Michele Jacob (