LSEiQ podcast: Are algorithms too powerful?

Social scientists can play a critical role in mediating between tech elites and the public.
- Seeta Peña Gangaradhan, Associate Professor of Media and Communications

Computer algorithms shape our lives and increasingly control our future. They have crept into virtually every aspect of modern life and are making life-changing choices on our behalf, often without us realising. But how much power should we give to them and have we let things go too far?

This month's episode of LSEiQ podcast asks: 'Are algorithms too powerful?' Joanna Bale talks to LSE's Ken Benoit, Seeta Peña Gangaradhan, Andrew Murray, Alison Powell and Bernhard Von Stengel. They discuss what went on behind the scenes in the 2020 A Level fiasco; how algorithms that control autocorrect on your phone could also be used to feed you fake news; how nations are using algorithms to create terrifying new weapons of war; and how algorithms make decisions about people based on their race.

Should we trust big tech or do we need others - social scientists, for example - to help ensure algorithms are working in our best interests?

Listen to this episode on the LSE Player. Or search for LSE iQ on your favourite podcast app. We're also now available on Spotify and Audible.