What are Algorithms? Are They Undermining Free Will?

Wednesday, April 19, 2023



April Topic: What are algorithms and are they undermining free will?

Presented in partnership with the League of Women Voters of Alaska

eXrTzJfILCfS2wReEEKaBW6tCjDBfMnZDqniAzgI0TcSel_hgTgVJ-r1IrYmzYytZgFBwVsN_z9q2pUXint7db1nvqaBt_TPkJdgHuCuQ5jtK9VLKUNz3aLYOewRPB1qSi64GVO5DjIUrlOEeJz0YycComputer algorithms are manipulating us all the time, whether we know it or not. They determine what social media content and search results we see. They may impact our buying decisions, and they may also push us toward disinformation and conspiracy theories. Join us for a conversation with Cathy O’Neil, a leading expert on algorithms and the CEO of ORCAA, an algorithmic auditing company. She is the author of Weapons of Math Destruction: How big data increases inequality and threatens democracy. 

Recommended reading: To prepare for Dr. O’Neil’s talk, we suggest that you visit her blog, Mathbabe:

About Dr. O'Neil

Cathy O’Neil earned a Ph.D. in math from Harvard and worked as a math professor at Barnard College before switching over to the private sector, working as a quant for the hedge fund D.E. Shaw and as a data scientist in the New York startup scene. She is a regular contributor to Bloomberg Opinion and in 2016 wrote the book Weapons of Math Destruction: how big data increases inequality and threatens democracy. She is the CEO of ORCAA, an algorithmic auditing company, and is a member of the Public Interest Tech Lab at the Harvard Kennedy School. Her new book The Shame Machine: who profits in the new age of humiliation came out in March 2022.