The co-founder of event search engine and comparison site TickX says that advances in artificial intelligence-driven technologies could soon put a lot of lawyers and doctors out of a job.

Sam Coley made the comments at BusinessCloud's 'Artificial Intelligence: What does it really mean?’ event which was held earlier this month.

The 24-year-old tech entrepreneur told an 80-strong audience that the UK is “really behind on getting young people into tech”, particularly when compared to countries like India which have fast-growing digital and tech sectors.

Coley says he is passionate about trying to change traditional career aspirations to put tech alongside - or above - highly regarded jobs such as doctors, lawyers and accountants.

"I firmly believe that most jobs will be replaced by tech and we need to really encourage young people into a tech career path," he said.

"Parents and society as a whole are still pushing the brightest students to be doctors and lawyers. AI is going to destroy a good chunk of lawyers soon enough, and maybe doctors a little bit further down the line. 

"We need to get more kids into this, especially girls. In tech, especially in the more ‘hard core’ areas (AI, Machine Learning & Programming), it is massively male-dominated and that's not good for the industry as a whole."

Coley started his first tech firm, online auction site Bidmarine, aged just 14. After teaching himself programming and doing work experience at Harvard University, he founded software development company SAMTEQ at the age of 16.

In 2015 he joined forces with Steve Pearce to co-found TickX, a search engine and comparison site which hopes to be the global ‘Skyscanner for events’.

To date the start-up has raised £925k from Ministry of Sound & 24 Haymarket and turned down offers on BBC Dragons’ Den. Pearce and Coley previously told BusinessCloud their business has gone from strength to strength since the TV appearance.

This summer the start-up launched the world's first event search engine chatbot, which answers questions instantly and provides users with intelligent recommendations.

The development of the bot was led by then 18-year-old developer Aayush Chadha, who approached the company shortly after arriving in the UK from Mumbai.

TickX currently connects users with more than 125,000 events in the UK, Ireland and Spain and compares prices from over 50 ticket sellers.

aievent

Coley says the platform will be expanding into eight European countries as well as launching in the US at the back-end of next year.

The other speakers at the event, held at Manchester's Entrepreneurial Spark Powered by NatWest and in conjunction with Pro-Manchester, were:  

  • Adam Hosker, head of commercial (North), Littlefish
  • Rob McCargow, AI programme leader at PwC
  • Angie Ma, COO, ASI Data Science
  • Richard Potter, CEO, Peak
  • Luke Grimes, co-founder, Webantic
  • Glyn Powditch, CTO and co-founder, Dream Agility
  • Andrea Perizzato, CTO, Dreamr
  •