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

  • The Royal Institution of Great Britain 21 Albemarle Street London, England, W1S United Kingdom (map)
Hello World.jpg

Hosted by The Royal institution

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, Hannah Fry will take you on a tour of the good, the bad and the downright ugly of the algorithms that surround us. She will 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.

Hannah Fry is an Associate Professor in the mathematics of cities from 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.

WHAT TO EXPECT

Please be aware that this Discourse starts at 7.30pm, but all attendees must be seated in the theatre by 7.20pm. 

The doors will open at approximately 6.45pm.

Discourses are one of the Ri’s oldest and most prestigious series of talks. Since 1825, audiences in the theatre have witnessed countless mind-expanding moments, including the first public liquefaction of air by James Dewar, the announcement of the electron by J.J. Thomson and over 100 lectures by Michael Faraday. In more recent times, they have had Nobel laureates, Fields medal winners, scientists, authors and artists – all from the cutting-edge of their field. Discourses are an opportunity for the best and brightest to share their work with the world.

Steeped in nearly two centuries of tradition, a Discourse is more than just a lecture. To keep the focus on the topic, presenters begin sharply at 7:30pm without introduction and they lock the speaker into a room ten minutes ahead of the start (legend has it that a speaker once tried to escape!) They also ask guests to dress smartly to add to the sense of occasion.

The Atrium cafe will be open before and after the talk. Check out the delicious menu and call 020 7670 2973 or email ri@ri.ac.uk to reserve your table.

There will also be a cash bar on the Mezzanine before the Discourse, where you can relax, meet likeminded people with an interest in science, and have a drink.

The dress code for this event is smart (ties optional, no jeans or trainers). Please note, if you are not dressed smartly you may be asked to sit in the gallery.

By booking to attend events at the Royal Institution, you confirm that you have read and agree to the Ri's event terms and conditions.


The Merit Club members receive an exclusive 37% discount from the Royal Institution.


Date: Friday 30th November, 7.20pm - 8.45pm

Location: The Royal Institution of Great Britain, 21 Albemarle Street, London, W1S 4BS

Investment: £14 (£6 discount)


Please note, this event is not organised by The Merit Club

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