St Albans Cathedral hosted its annual Sixth Form Debate, drawing an enthusiastic audience of 350 students from 15 schools across Hertfordshire and beyond. The focal point of this year’s debate centred on the captivating question: 'Should Artificial Intelligence be seen as a threat or a benefit to the world?'


Mr. Steve Clarke, the Education Officer, expressed his delight in witnessing the engagement and fervent discussions among the participating students. "It was wonderful to see almost 400 students from across Hertfordshire and beyond engaged in passionate debate, principally on the subject of AI but also on a variety of associated topics," said Clarke. "The students demonstrated great confidence in their opinions, especially those who joined the panel."


Ben from St John Lawes School and Tayte from St Francis school eloquently made the cases for and against AI, before questions were posed to a panel of distinguished individuals: Lionel Wallace, DL; Daisy Cooper, MP for St Albans; Chris Dey, Enfield local Councillor; and Jo Kelly-Moore, Dean of St Albans. These panellists engaged with students' inquiries, sparking an intense and thought-provoking conversation.

Ben from St John Lawes School making a case at the event.

Dean Jo Kelly-Moore highlighted the profound discussions that ensued during the debate. "The annual sixth form debate took place once again and saw 350 students from various schools gather in the nave," said Dean Jo. "The students' eloquent arguments both for and against AI created a lively and engaging atmosphere as they explored its impact on education, economy, security, and personal identity. Issues of legislation, ethics, trust, and human empathy were also thoroughly examined."


Tayte from St Francis School up on stage at St Albans Cathedral

The event proved to be an enriching platform, allowing students to delve into the complexities of Artificial Intelligence, contemplating its potential implications across various facets of life.