Data Ethics Club meeting 31-03-21, 1-2pm GMT+1#

Meeting info#


You’re welcome to join us for our next Data Ethics Club meeting on Wednesday the 31st March at 1-2pm GMT+1. You don’t need to register, just pop in. This time we’re going to read Dataism is Our New God by Israeli historian Yuval Noah Harari. It is in the format of an interview with the author, where he discusses “dataism” as a new organising principle of humanity. “When big data is married to biology… it will reduce the biological organism to a set of information that can be organized by programmed algorithms to seek a desired outcome.”

Natalie suggested this week’s content, and Nina will be leading the meeting.

Discussion points#

There will be time to talk about whatever we like, relating to the paper, but here are some specific questions to think about while you’re reading.

  • What do you understand ‘dataism’ to be, based on this piece?

  • In the battle between privacy and health, will health win? Is improved health care what makes us believe in ‘dataism’?

  • Harari says that algorithms will no longer discriminate against us for belonging to a particular group, but because of patterns it sees in us that deviate from the norm. He goes on to say that this will make it difficult to create political movements to fight oppression because your oppression will be indivdiualised. What are your thoughts on this perspective?

Note: The author has their own views around what religion is - when in discussion groups please remember to be respectful on all sides of this topic.

Meeting notes#

Meeting write up#

Available here

Who came#

Number of people: 15

What did we think?#

91% (10/11) thought it sparked interesting discussion 55% (6/11) would recommend this content to others