Can an algorithmic society be ethical? A conversation between William Isaac & Jonathan Rowson

William Isaac & Jonathan Rowson
Nov 2nd, 2020

Most of the conversation focuses on the possibility and risks inherent in ‘an algorithmic society’ but the final few minutes concerns the question of race, which was salient at the time due to Black Lives Matters demonstrations.

The authors were part of the same Open Society Fellowship cohort and this conversation took place on Thursday 9th July (during lockdown conditions in London).



William Isaac is a Senior Research Scientist on DeepMind’s Ethics and Society Team focusing on fairness and governance of AI systems. He received his Ph.D. in Political Science from Michigan State and a Masters in Public Policy from George Mason University. Prior to DeepMind, he served as an Open Society Foundations Fellow and Research Advisor for the Human Rights Data Analysis Group. You can find William on Twitter.

Jonathan Rowson is a writer, philosopher and chess Grandmaster who was British Chess Champion from 2004-2006. He holds degrees from Oxford, Bristol, and Harvard, was the former director of the Social Brain Center at the RSA, and an Open Society Fellow. He is co-founder and director of Perspectiva, a research institute that examines the relationships between complex global challenges and the inner lives of human beings. His latest book is The Moves that Matter: A Chess Grandmaster on the Game of Life. Find out more here.

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