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LSE IQ

May 13th, 2021

Podcast: Do algorithms have too much social power?

0 comments | 191 shares

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

LSE IQ

May 13th, 2021

Podcast: Do algorithms have too much social power?

0 comments | 191 shares

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

The latest episode episode of the LSE IQ podcast asks do algorithms have too much power?

From the way your phone’s autocorrect adjusts your messages, to making life and death decisions on the battlefield, algorithms already play a significant role in society. In this episode of the LSE IQ podcast, Joanna Bale talks to Ken Benoit, Seeta Peña Gangaradhan, Andrew Murray, Alison Powell and Bernhard Von Stengel.

Taking the recent A-Level grading fiasco as a starting point, they discuss the relationship between algorithms and expert judgement, the ways in which algorithms can encode biases into seemingly value-neutral decisions, and the difficulty of explaining how algorithms interpret the world, even to those directly responsible for designing them. They also explore the relationship of the social sciences to algorithms, considering how the control and development of algorithms has shifted from public research centres and universities into the private sector and the implications this has for society and researchers seeking to understand and explain their influence.


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. You can find all the episodes of LSE IQ here.

Featured image credit adapted from Matthew Schwartz via Unsplash. 


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LSE IQ

LSE IQ is a monthly podcast from the London School of Economics and Political Science. This is the podcast where we ask some of the leading social scientists - and other experts - to answer intelligent questions about economics, politics or society.

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