Bestselling author Hannah Fry: "We need to hold algorithms to account"

Algorithms permeate all areas of life, shaping consumption, finance, medicine and more. Their power shapes our everyday lives, but they often act without our consent. In her latest book, "Hello World," bestselling author Hannah Fry calls for critical scrutiny and transparent, democratic algorithms to prevent potential abuse. It is time to stop seeing machines as infallible authorities, but to scrutinise their decisions and hold them accountable for mistakes.
9 November, 2023 by
Bestselling author Hannah Fry: "We need to hold algorithms to account"
GDI Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute

There is no dimension of our world into which they have not found their way a long time ago: algorithms, those inconspicuous sequences of instructions that are active on the internet anyway, but also in every computer programme, are increasingly shaping everyday life in consumerism, finance, medicine, the police, justice, democracy and even art. They organise the world for us, open up new options and make decisions for us – quickly, effectively and thoroughly. But they often do so without asking us, and they present us with new dilemmas that are by no means easy to solve.

How do we get better algorithms?

According to Hannah Fry, a professor at University College London, we tend to view algorithms as a kind of authority rather than questioning their power. This opens the door to people who want to exploit others. However, Fry believes that it also prevents us from getting better algorithms, namely those that support us in our decisions instead of controlling us. Algorithms that disclose how they arrive at a particular decision. Democratic, human algorithms. This is what bestselling author and award-winning science presenter Hannah Fry calls for in her latest book «Hello World». Fry says that we should stop seeing machines as objective masters. Instead, she suggests treating algorithms like any other source of power, questioning their decisions, scrutinising their motives and holding them accountable for their mistakes.


Erfahren Sie mehr über Hannah Fry am 20. Europäischen Trendtag at the GDI. We’ll show how human intelligence and artificial intelligence are embracing the future together. And we’ll explain where personal relationships will continue to make the difference, and how our very personal relationship with our software-driven co-pilots will evolve. We’ll also present the latest research findings and the most exciting AI start-ups.

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