University of Idaho - I Banner

Will Robots Take Our Jobs? U of I Computer Science Students Debate

November 29, 2017

The Department of Computer Science at University of Idaho Coeur d’Alene will host a debate on whether robots will take our jobs, and show off the skills of one such robot that has been taught by students, during an event Wednesday, Dec. 6, at Coeur d’Alene’s Innovation Den.

U of I Coeur d'Alene computer science students Amanda Ward and Adrian Beehner will square off in a formal Lincoln-Douglas-style debate on the issue of whether robots will take all human jobs. The event is from 6-8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 6, at the Innovation Den, 418 E. Lakeside Ave. The speakers will look at a number of robot-related issues and hear views from both sides of the debate. Admission is free. 

“One of the great issues of our time is how AI (artificial Intelligence) and increased use of robotics is going to affect our society and our democracy,” said John Shovic, clinical faculty for U of I Coeur d’Alene’s Department of Computer Science. “The Great Robot Debate will help educate the students and the public to the issues in a respectful, civil and thoughtful manner.”

Prior to the debate, university robot Baxter will demonstrate tasks such as making coffee that the 300-pound machine learned after being programmed by U of I’s advanced computer science robotics students. 

The event is part of the worldwide Computer Science Education Week. The university, in partnership with Gizmo-CDA, is hosting an event each night of the week Dec. 4 – 9. All the events will have a computer science focus and will be geared toward different age groups. For details on the events, visit

The Department of Computer Science is in its second year in Coeur d’Alene and the program’s first graduate will finish this spring. In partnership with North Idaho College, students are able to concurrently enroll at U of I and the college to take the courses needed to receive a Bachelor’s degree in computer science without leaving Coeur d’Alene.

More information on the U of I Coeur d’Alene Department of Computer Science is available at:

Media Contact:
Katherine Hoyer
Marketing & Communication Manager
University of Idaho Coeur d’Alene     


About the University of Idaho

The University of Idaho, home of the Vandals, is Idaho’s land-grant, national research university. From its residential campus in Moscow, U of I serves the state of Idaho through educational centers in Boise, Coeur d’Alene and Idaho Falls, nine research and Extension centers, plus Extension offices in 42 counties. Home to nearly 12,000 students statewide, U of I is a leader in student-centered learning and excels at interdisciplinary research, service to businesses and communities, and in advancing diversity, citizenship and global outreach. U of I competes in the Big Sky and Western Athletic conferences. Learn more at