Controversies in the Data Society

A seminar series presented by the Edinburgh Futures Institute in association with Science Technology and Innovation Studies

The extraordinary growth and pervasiveness of born-digital ‘big data’ from administrative and commercial systems, and the deployment of ‘data science’ is generating fierce controversy. For example, over the unprecedented dataveillance powers provided by the UK Investigatory Powers Act; Concerns over how to regulate AI;  profiling and sorting of immigrants using social media data; the ‘sharing’ of large-scale data sets of health records without consent; the use of social media platforms to spread political propaganda; and the protests, court cases and legislation around algorithmically-mediated services such as Uber or Airbnb.

This series of research-led seminars will provide insights from leading researchers across the University of Edinburgh, addressing issues that will shape future ‘data-led’ innovation, a key strategic theme of the Edinburgh Futures Institute, the Usher Institute and the Bayes Institute. Each seminar will include two talks, and provide time for discussion. The series can be followed by postgraduate students for credit, and student participants will work to map the issues and relationships between identified in the seminars, and future directions for research and policy activities.

Past Events (2021)

Friday 22 January 12pm – Controversies in COVID tracking and control in China and Europe / Dr Xiaobai Shen & Dr Claudia Pagliari

Friday 5 February 12pm – Filtering harms in our online media: Law and Practice / Dr Rachel Craufurd Smith & Dr Ben Collier

Friday 12 February 12pm – Consent and Fairness / Dr Judith Rauhofer & Prof Michael Rovatsos

Friday 5 March 12pm – On the Ethics of Autonomous Systems / Prof Shannon Vallor & Prof Charles Raab

Friday 12 March 12pm – Risk scoring in the age of quantified self and climate change / Dr Raffaella Calabrese & Dr Liz McFall

Friday 19 March 12pm – Sex, Lies and Zoome / Dr Pip Thornton and Dr Chris Elsden

Friday 26 March 12pm – Data and Models: Decision analysis for Covid policy / Prof Chris Dent & Ben Swallow

Friday 2 April 12pm – Innovation policy for AI in health care / Prof Robin Williams & Prof Stuart Anderson

University Members can see the series online : 

Upcoming Controversies in the Data Society Seminar Events