The Data Lab puts spotlight on ethics at event featuring international experts

SeptemberData ethics will be debated at an event featuring international experts, Cathy O’Neil, Stephanie Hare, and Megan Hughes, hosted by The Data Lab on 20 September.

Cathy O’Neil is an American mathematician and data expert, best known for her book Weapons of Math Destruction. At the event, she will examine some of the ethical considerations we shoulds make when collecting and using data.

Stephanie Hare is a researcher and broadcaster who regularly appears on BBC Radio 4 Business Daily and BBC World Service World Business Report. Hare focusses on technology, politics and history, and at this event, will centre the discussion on the growing use of biometric data by governments and the private sector.

“The use of our biometric data – everything from our face to our fingerprints, voice, DNA and even our behaviour online – is happening without our consent and with very few guidelines or understanding of the risks and opportunities it offers,” said Hare.

“We’re at a critical moment where we must decide as a society whether we even want this most personal data to be collected and used, and if so, with what laws and regulations. I am looking forward to discussing this and hearing from other experts.”

Meghan Hughes is the Artificial Intelligence & Social Media Analytics Lead at Accenture. For this event, she will focus on the present and oncoming issues with AI in the workplace, and its role in the future of work and jobs.

Gillian Docherty, chief executive of The Data Lab, said: “With access to top research and data in Scotland, it’s important to constantly look at how we are using that data to ensure our practices are ethical. We’re thrilled to host these world class speakers, continuing our commitment to supporting Scotland’s leading data community.”

The event takes place from 9:00am-1:30pm on 20 September at McEwan Hall, and tickets must be purchased in advance on The Data Lab website, here.

Also serving as the official launch of DataFest19, the event will provide a first look at what’s to come at the next DataFest. Building on the success of the past two years, DataFest19 is set to be the biggest yet – engaging thousands of individuals across Scotland, encouraging participation from school children, technical practitioners, general public, business leaders, government and public sector leaders.