Hello World: How to be Human in the Age of the Machine

A talk from EMF 2018 by Hannah Fry

On Saturday September 1, 2018 at in Stage A

Hannah Fry will explain the inner workings of algorithms: their power, their limitations, and whether they really are an improvement on the humans they replace. With algorithms making important decisions in healthcare, transport, finance, security, even what we watch, how much should we rely on them? What kind of future do we want?

You are accused of a crime. Who would you rather determine your fate – a human or an algorithm? An algorithm is more consistent and less prone to error of judgement. Yet a human can look you in the eye before passing sentence.

You need a liver transplant to save your life. Who would you want in charge of organ allocation? An algorithm can match organ donors with patients, potentially saving many more lives. But it may send you to the back of the queue.

You’re buying a (driverless) car. One vehicle is programmed to save as many lives as possible in a collision. Another promises to prioritize the lives of its passengers. Which do you choose?