At a glance

June 2018
Project Type: 

Emerging technologies, from artificial intelligence to drones, are going to have wide-ranging effects on the lives of everyone. There are many conversations and inquiries looking at public interest in the development of AI and associated technologies and yet, so few directly engage with the public. Where are the voices of ordinary people in the conversation about how these technologies should develop?

We therefore supported Nesta to deliver a one-day public dialogue. This explored how members of the public might approach some of the biggest questions around this area – and the values underpinning their decisions.

We had a table of people working actively on policy questions relevant to this field who took part in the process alongside the members of the public. These included professionals from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the Alan Turing Institute,  the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) & Nesta.

Participants were walked through the process of building algorithms and what their potential applications could be before delving deeper into the social issues and questions on this area.

A hypothetical but realistic case study was used to demonstrate how algorithms can inform decision-making in the public sector. The case study focused on a health care issue that brings in many different ethical questions and factors for participants to consider.

The aim of this dialogue was to:

  • Contribute to wider public debate on controversial new technologies
  • Help policymakers to understand public priorities in these areas
  • Directly inform research strategies/ethical frameworks

The findings from this workshop are now being gathered into a final report produced by Nesta which will be shared publicly – keep checking back on this page, our twitter and sign up to our newsletter to stay informed.


Click here to find out more about the Deliberative Workshop method

Photo by Wikipedia