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Iyad Rahwan: How to trust machines?

Machine intelligence plays a growing role in our lives. Today, machines recommend things to us, such as news, music, and household products. They trade in our stock markets and optimise our transportation and logistics. They are also beginning to drive us around, play with our children, diagnose our health. How do we ensure that these machines will be trustworthy? This lecture explores various psychological, social, cultural, and political factors that shape our trust in machines and pleads for the accomplishment of the challenges of the information revolution not only to be understood as a problem of computer science.


Iyad Rahwan: How to trust machines?
Wednesday, 16 December 2020 | 7 pm |


Iyad Rahwan is director of the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin, where he founded and leads the Center for Humans and Machines. He is also an honorary professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the Technische Universität Berlin. Until June 2020, he was an Associate Professor of Media Arts & Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Rahwan holds a PhD in Information Systems (Artificial Intelligence) from the University of Melbourne, Australia. His work lies at the intersection of computer science and human behavior, with a focus on collective intelligence, large-scale cooperation, and the societal impact of artificial intelligence and social media. In addition to various journal articles, Iyad Rahwan is co-author of the study Reply to: Life and death decisions of autonomous vehicles and together with Jean-François Bonnefon he published the paper Machine Thinking, Fast and Slow (both 2020).


The event will be held in English. Iyad Rahwan’s lecture will be broadcasted live from 7 pm – if the livestream is not being displayed here, please reload this page. The recorded video will be uploaded to this website a few days after the event.

Making Sense of the Digital Society

The current rapid pace of technological change creates enormous uncertainties – and thus the need for explanations that help us better understand our situation and shape the future. The Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society (HIIG) and the Federal Agency for Civic Education (bpb) are therefore continuing the Lecture Series Making Sense of the Digital Society that was launched in 2017. The aim of the format is to develop a European perspective on the current processes of transformation and its societal impact. The first speakers of this year’s series were Sybille Krämer and Philipp Staab.


Event date

16.12.2020 | 7.00 pm – 8.30 pm ical | gcal


Livestream,,   Berlin


Christian Grauvogel

Former Head of Dialogue & Knowledge Transfer | Project Coordinator SET


This high-profile lecture series thrives to develop a European perspective on the processes of transformation that our societies are currently undergoing.


Once a month we publicly discuss the impact of digitalisation on the society. Therefore we invite special guests and engage in a dialogue with the audience.


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