Hello World: How to be human in the age of the machine

A tour of the good, the bad and the downright ugly of the algorithms that surround us.

  • Mon 15th Oct 2018

Would you trust an algorithm to send someone to jail? Or to diagnose someone with cancer? How about an algorithm that analysed your friendships to calculate if you were reliable enough to take out a loan? These aren’t hypothetical questions about our distant future. We’re already living in the age of the algorithm. A world where machines rule supreme – making the important decisions in healthcare, transport, finance and security. They’re telling us what to watch, where to go even who to send to prison. So how much should we rely on them to know what’s best? And can we trust them over our own judgement? In this talk, we’ll go on a tour of the good, the bad and the downright ugly of the algorithms that surround us. We’ll lift the lid on their inner workings, demonstrate their power, expose their limitations, and examine whether they really are an improvement on the humans they are replacing

Dr. Hannah Fry, UCL

Hannah Fry is an Associate Professor in the mathematics of cities at University College London. In her day job she uses mathematical models to study patterns in human behaviour, and has worked with governments, police forces, health analysts and supermarkets. Her TED talks have amassed millions of views and she has fronted television documentaries for the BBC and PBS; she also hosts the long-running science podcast The Curious Cases of Rutherford & Fry with the BBC.

Attending lectures

The lecture will be preceded by a short presentation from a CSAR PhD Student Award winner

Sustainability decision support tool

Oliver Taherzadeh, University of Cambridge