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Author Interview with James Oon Beng Lau



1. Please introduce yourself. What would you like your reader to know about you?

My name as it appears in my book follows the naming convention in the United States of America (“U.S.A.”) but is actually James LAU Oon Beng. In Junior College (known as High School in U.S.A.), I took Computer Science and, for my project, wrote an expert system for medical diagnosis in the C-language. I play the guitar and was a former youth choir conductor in my secondary school and the Sunday school of my church. I love choral music; especially, acapella.

2. What is your inspiration/motivation for writing?

My inspiration/motivation for writing is that explained by British English novelist, essayist, journalist and critic, Eric Arthur Blair (June 1903 to January 1950), better known by his pen name of George Orwell, in “Why I Write”, (1946) 4 Gangrel,

           “My starting point is always a feeling of partisanship, a sense of injustice. When I sit down to write a book, I do not say to myself, ‘I am going to produce a work of art’. I write it because there is  some lie that I want to expose, some fact to which I want to draw attention, and my initial concern is to get a hearing.”  

3. How long did it take to complete your research from the idea to the book?

I decided to write my book following 2 articles I wrote titled “Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Technology and the Legal Profession : Perspective of an Asian Chief Legal Officer”, in (2019) 12(48) International In-House Counsel Journal (“IICJ”) 6059 and “Future of Work in an Age of Automation, Artificial Intelligence and Technology”, (2020) 13(52) IICJ 6621; for which I have been researching and reading from a wide variety of disciplines and sources from 2018 onwards. 

4. What's the main message of your book “Future of Work in an Age of Automation. Artificial Intelligence and Technology”?

There are 2 main messages in my book:-

-Societies which thrive economically and politically, regardless of whether they are autocratic or democratic, are those where middle-class workforce comprises the majority as Aristotle (384–322 BC) had wisely concluded and highlighted in his book titled “Politics” as follows:-

            “the most perfect political community is one in which the middle class is in control, and outnumbers both the other classes.” (IV.11.1295b4–6)

-Learn from and do not repeat history where automation and technology was harnessed to replace human labour for lowering costs and maximising profits leading to drastic reduction in middle-class workforce leading to extreme polarisation in some advanced countries.  

5. How would you describe your publishing experience with Eliva Press in a few words?

I enjoyed partnering and working with Eliva Press Srl. 

I thoroughly enjoyed my collaboration with my editor, Iulia Liszczynska, as she was very receptive to all of my suggestions even though, understandably, she could not accede and agree to all of them.

Pasir Ris, North-East Singapore
24th April 2022

Purchase Author's book here: Amazon


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