With a vast amount of information at our fingertips, how do we make the right decisions? After years of excitement around the possibilities of data driven systems of decision making, what is the right balance between human and artificial intelligence? With so many ways to process the huge amounts of data we encounter, how do we make sense of it? After the Volkswagen and Ashley Madison scandals, how do we prevent algorithmic disasters that can have a serious impact in society?

Hosted by Vikas Shah

10.35 Nelly Ben Hayoun
11.00 Q&A with Nelly Ben Hayoun
11.30 Darius Kazemi
12.00 Lydia Nicholas
12.25 – Q&A with Lydia & Darius



Darius Kazemi is an internet artist under the moniker Tiny Subversions. His best known works are the Random Shopper (a program that bought him random stuff from Amazon each month) and Content, Forever (a tool to generate rambling thinkpieces of arbitrary length). He has a small army of Twitter and Tumblr bots that he builds because they make him laugh. He founded NaNoGenMo, where participants spend a month writing algorithms to generate 50,000 word novels, and Bot Summit, a yearly gathering of people who make art bots. He cofounded Feel Train, a creative technology cooperative. Most recently, Darius won Conference Talk of The Year at the 2015 Net Awards.

Lydia Nicholas is an anthropologist who works in places where data, identities, bodies and biotechnologies meet, focusing on futures and networks, often using speculative fiction as a research and communication tool. In recent years she has used speculative fiction to explore information flow through interdisciplinary synthetic biology projects, researched antibiotic resistance for the Longitude Prize and edited a science fiction collection to spread awareness. Her research into lay understandings of big data took her to the UK Cabinet Office and the Science Museum. She currently works as a Senior Researcher in Collective Intelligence at Nesta, exploring how people use new digital platforms to collaborate and the ethics and regulation of using machine learning systems in government decisions.

Dubbed the ‘Willy Wonka of Design and Science’, Nelly Ben Hayoun is an award ​winning explorer and director, a fearless and passionate provocateur. She is the Designer of Experiences at the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute, Head of Experiences at We Transfer, a Wired Innovation fellow, a member of the International astronautical federation and in 2013 Icon Magazine touted Ben Hayoun as one of the 50 international designers “shaping the future”.She works with leading scientists to devise subversive events and bring chaos and critical thinking amongst members of the public and institutions.