How to be Human in the Age of the Machine - RSA

How to be Human in the Age of the Machine

Public talks


Great Room Auditorium, RSA House

  • Economic democracy
  • Employment
  • Digital
  • Technology

If you were accused of a crime, who would you rather decide your sentence—a mathematically-consistent algorithm incapable of empathy, or a compassionate judge prone to bias and error?

The aim of machine-learning is to empower and assist humans, not replace them. But at what point does the role of AI become disempowering, or even destructive, and who decides where to draw the line?

Welcome to the age of the algorithm, the story of a not-too-distant future where machines rule supreme, making important decisions – in healthcare, transport, finance, security, what we watch, where we go, even who we send to prison. So how much should we rely on them? What kind of future do we want, and how can we ensure we get it?

Academic and author of the 2018 Royal Society Investment Science Book Prize shortlisted Hello World, Hannah Fry lifts the lid on the algorithms - their inner workings, their power, their limitations, and whether or not they really are an improvement on the humans who created them.


If you’d like to know more about the impact of new technologies on our day-to-day lives, do check out the RSA’s work on AI and ethics here


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