Past Meetup

Will Democracy Survive The Age Of Big Data & Artificial Intelligence?

This Meetup is past

75 people went

Brockway Room, Conway Hall

25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL · London

How to find us

The Brockway Room is on the ground floor of Conway Hall

Location image of event venue


Will the age of big data and artificial intelligence mean the demise of democracy, with collective human decision-making being displaced by the algorithms of big data and artificial intelligence?

The role of information in society has increased dramatically over the last century. In the fields of culture, economics, and politics, decisions tend at present to involve a mix of automated algorithms and human judgement. As algorithms become more powerful, and as machine learning gathers more data from every walk of life, will human supervision become viewed as inefficient, burdensome, unreliable, and antiquated? Will organisations that pay attention to ethical review boards be outpaced and outgunned by those that give algorithms more autonomy? Will political decisions become governed, not by actual votes of the electorate, but by calculations made by artificial intelligence purportedly on behalf of the electorate? And if so, should we welcome these developments? Is it right that data will supersede democracy?

Alternatively, how could we prevent our extraordinary information carnival from pushing humans out of the decision-making loop? How can we ensure that appropriate human ethical principles are respected?

Join us on 16th July to review these questions, in a meeting jointly organised by GlobalNet21, Conway Hall Ethical Society, and London Futurists. This event is part of an ongoing series on the future of democracy.

== Speakers ==

Dr Lina Dencik is Senior Lecturer at Cardiff University’s School of Journalism, Media and Culture, Her research interests broadly concern developments in media and technology and social and political change. She has published extensively in the areas of globalisation theory, activism and digital media. Currently, she is doing work in the areas of datafication and implications for understandings of social justice, looking particularly at the governance and experiences of resource-poor and marginalised communities. Lina is Co-Director of the Data Justice Lab,

Indra Adnan is Co-initiator of The Alternative UK political platform, - which is part of a global network originated by the Danish party, Alternativet. Indra is concurrently a psycho-social therapist, founder and Director of the Soft Power Network, writer and producer. She has consulted to the World Economic Forum, Indian, Finnish and Danish governments and NATO amongst others. She writes regularly for The Guardian and The Huffington Post and her publications "Soft Power Agenda", "New Times" and "Is the Party Over?" are available on

David Wood is Chair of London Futurists and Executive Director of the technoprogressive think-tank Transpolitica. David was one of the pioneers of the smartphone industry, and is now an independent futurist commentator and author. His most recent book is "Transcending Politics", He is a Fellow of the IEET (Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies) and the Secretary of Humanity+.

== Logistics ==

There is no charge to attend this event, but registration in advance is required. You can RSVP on this meetup page.