Biases, Data and Demographics – Tackling Today’s Big Challenges

This  JLA Breakfast looked at some of the greatest challenges facing business and society. How is our personal data being used to shape politics and public debate? How have particular biases led to flawed thinking, unintended consequences, and even hazardous decisions? And how will society cope as people live and work for longer? We were joined by three bestselling authors and thought-leaders, Caroline Criado Perez, Camilla Cavendish, and Jamie Bartlett, to tackle some of the big issues that affect us all.

Caroline Criado Perez is a campaigner and author of the multiple award-winning Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men. The book provides a fascinating insight into the biases everyone holds, and the unexpected problems they bring, from poor decision-making to fatal healthcare choices. Whilst data reveals important flaws in everything from the design of phones to misdiagnosing heart conditions, it also highlights that biases affect everyone, in every area, but now we’re aware, we must work hard to overcome them.

Jamie Bartlett is the author of The People vs Tech, the acclaimed look at the use of personal data to both covertly monitor and also manipulate groups. From the Cambridge Analytica scandal to authoritarian regimes’ advances in surveillance, he uncovers how personal data is collected and the power governments, campaigners and tech companies now battle over. His previous books, Radicals and The Dark Net, examine other aspects of online communities, fringe groups and the darker side of humanity. His hugely popular BBC podcast The Missing Cryptoqueen has gripped millions and revealed a new world of crime and deceit.

Camilla Cavendish is a writer and former policy director. After working at The Times and McKinsey, she headed up David Cameron’s policy unit where amongst other achievements she made the so-called ‘sugar tax’ a reality. Leaving Downing Street, but remaining involved in both politics and journalism, Camilla took her experience in social and health policy and looked at the effects of an ageing population in her book Extra Time. From businesses focused on extending life and making it more comfortable to the huge implications for employers and governments, she considers the costs, benefits and opportunities of increased longevity.

 

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