The Power of Algorithms - Tools or Actors?

Zurich, 22 November 2016, 6.15-7.45pm

University of Zurich, RAI
Raemistrasse 74, 8001 Zurich
Floor H, Room RAI H-041

Algorithmic selection and decision making processes shape our everyday life, our perception of the world around us and our day-to-day actions. In a digital society characterized by automation and big data, algorithms quickly gain importance in all aspects of life.

This leads to issues of algorithms as a tool to wield power and algorithms as independent actors. To what extent do algorithms act autonomously and intentionally? Can they be controlled and are their results predictable? Can algorithms act morally right? What social challenges result from an ethical perspective and how can they be overcome?

The event will begin with an introductory presentation by Prof. Dr. Michael Latzer (IPMZ – Media Change & Innovation Division, UZH), followed by an  assessment of the power of algorithms from a technical and ethical perspective by Prof. Dr. Thomas Hofmann (Data Analytics Lab, Department of Computer Science, ETH Zurich) and Prof. Dr. Oliver Bendel (Institute for Information Systems, University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland, FHNW).

The issues will then be discussed by the speakers and the audience.

Free admission. No registration is required.

Organization and moderation:
Prof. Dr. Michael Latzer (UZH)
Prof. Dr. Friedemann Mattern (ETH Zurich)

Flyer (PDF, 213 KB)

Slides Prof. Dr. Michael Latzer (PDF, 4513 KB)

Slides Prof. Dr. Thomas Hofmann (PDF, 16553 KB)

Slides Prof. Dr. Oliver Bendel (PDF, 1693 KB)

Interview with Thomas Hofmann (in German)