Public Lecture: Living in a Data Obsessed Society

You are warmly invited to join us for this free public lecture to discuss the opportunities and risks posed by a data driven society.

Lecture: 6.00 pm – 7.00 pm, followed by drinks.

After the lecture, there will be a discussion led by Dr. Abigail Fraser (School of Social and Community Medicine, University of Bristol)


Nello Cristianini (Professor of Artificial Intelligence, University of Bristol)

James Ladyman (Professor of the Philosophy of Science, University of Bristol)

Andrew Charlesworth (Reader in IT and Law, University of Bristol)

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 pre-supposes 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 present their work on the theme “living in a data obsessed society”.

Presented by:

Intelligent Systems Laboratory
Centre for Science and Philosophy
Centre for IT & Law
Jean Golding Institute
ThinkBIG project

at the University of Bristol

In association with South West Data Meetup