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 co-founder and Director of Perspectiva. He was previously Director of the Social Brain Centre at the RSA, and is an applied philosopher with degrees from Oxford, Harvard and Bristol Universities. In a former life he was a chess Grandmaster and British Champion. His book, The Moves that Matter – A Grandmaster on the Game of Life was published by Bloomsbury in 2019. You can find Jonathan on Twitter.

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