Algorithms – should we love them or fear them? Last night mathematician and science presenter, Dr Hannah Fry, kicked off WBD's International Innovation Week with a fascinating session on the good, the bad and the ugly algorithms that are all around us. 'How to be human in the age of the machine' was streamed across all of WBD's UK and US offices and asked questions such as whether you would trust an algorithm to send someone to jail? Or to diagnose someone with cancer?

Hannah FryThe talk went on to question whether we should rely on algorithms to know what’s best, and asked if we can trust them over our own judgement.

Fry took time to lift the lid on their inner workings, demonstrate their power, expose their limitations, and examine whether they really are an improvement on the humans they are replacing.

In a world where intelligence is increasingly up for grabs, Fry also questioned whether it is really a case of humans versus machines when actually both are flawed but often in very different ways. Instead we should be looking for partnerships that exploit the strengths of both.  

The thought-provoking and highly entertaining talk received fantastic feedback from WBD staff and clients alike with many praising Fry's ability to present these concepts in such a relatable way. 

WBD's annual International Innovation Week is running from 18-22 March. Now in its third year, the celebration will see 18 events taking place in the UK and US, looking at innovative technology that is transforming the legal industry and other sectors, how businesses challenge themselves to develop more efficient processes, and new ways of engaging with clients to embed a culture of innovation.

The events will present opportunities for all staff from both sides of the Atlantic to listen, learn, debate and create, through a series of open invitation webinars, workshops, roundtable events and discussions.