Public lecture: The opportunities and risks posed by a data driven society

2 December 2016, 6.00 PM - 2 December 2016, 7.00 PM

Nello Cristianini (Professor of Artificial Intelligence); James Ladyman (Professor of the Philosophy of Science); Andrew Charlesworth (Reader in IT and Law)

Wills Memorial Building

Presented by the Intelligent Systems Laboratory, Centre for Science and Philosophy, Centre for IT & Law and Jean Golding Institute.

A new unified data infrastructure that mediates a broad spectrum of our daily transactions, communications, and decisions has emerged from the data revolution of the past decade. New AI technologies permit this infrastructure to infer our inclinations and predict our behaviour for an increasing range of activities, whether social, economic or regulatory. As opting-out is no longer a realistic option, we must strive to understand the effects this new reality can have on society. 

Presently, we are 'sleepwalking' into unquestioning acceptance of a data ideology which presupposes that data-driven decisions are inherently neutral, objective and effective. Growing evidence to the contrary requires that such assumptions must be rigorously and robustly questioned. From privacy to persuasion, this technology will affect all of us.  

Issues that demand wider debate include addressing the risks of unintended discrimination, challenging spurious claims of objectivity,  the need to uphold an ethics of privacy and autonomy, and the importance of understanding the future roles and capabilities of intelligent machines. 

A data scientist, a philosopher of science, and a legal scholar,  will join in a conversation on the theme "living in a data obsessed society". 

A lecture and panel, followed by drinks

Contact information

Please RSVP by the 25th November 2016 by visiting the link:

For more information please visit:

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