The full programme is available for this year’s festival, 25 May to 4 June. We very much look forward to seeing you in Hay.
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Spowers is the Chief Engineer and Founder of Riversimple, whose goal is simple – to pursue, systematically, the elimination of the environmental impact of personal transport. Spowers, Clancy and their team have created Rasa, a super-efficient, hydrogen-powered car. They are joined by Will Vaughan, CEO of Hereford Pedicabs and Cargo, who provide financially and environmentally sustainable services by bike – including parcel delivery, trade waste recycling, inner city advertising and pedicab hire.
What is the multiverse theory? What is Entanglement? Superposition? What is quantum computing, and how does it help? You don’t have to be a quantum physicist to understand these things if you have one who can explain them to you. And we have Linde Wester.
Anne-Marie Imafidon is Head Stemette and co-founder of Stemettes – an award-winning social enterprise inspiring the next generation of women into Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics careers. Come and meet one of the world’s most inspiring and brilliant mathematicians, co-founder of Outbox Incubator: the world’s first tech incubator for teenage girls.
The lead curator of the Science Museum’s blockbuster show explores this very human obsession to recreate ourselves, revealing the remarkable 500-year story of humanoid robots.
Experience the BBC’s flagship science and technology TV show live on stage. Host Spencer Kelly has spent 15 years exploring the world of technology and returns to Hay for a second year with tales of robot waiters, drones that fly underwater and cars that drive themselves.
A Click Hay Festival special will be broadcast on the BBC News Channel and on BBC World News
How and why do we survive, and what makes us unique? A conversation between a novelist and a scientist exploring the worlds they inhabit in Doctorow’s superb new speculative fiction Walkaway and Rutherford’s A Brief History of Everyone who Ever Lived: The Stories in Our Genes.
In nearly every moment of our waking lives, we face a barrage of advertising enticements, branding efforts, sponsored social media, commercials and other efforts to harvest our attention. The lawyer and Columbia professor analyses who’s monetising us in the digital realm, and how to resist.
The Director of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton replays and updates his predecessor, Abraham Flexner’s classic 1939 treatise, which describes a great paradox of scientific research: the search for answers to deep questions, motivated solely by curiosity and without concern for applications, often leads not only to the greatest scientific discoveries but also to the most revolutionary technological breakthroughs.
Digital disruption and innovation are like any tools: capable of being used and abused. How are these technologies already influencing our attitudes, beliefs and behaviours and how do we ensure that these tools bring real and lasting benefits to society? Rahaf Harfoush is a digital anthropologist and best-selling author of The Decoded Company, and Yes We Did: An Insider’s Look at How Social Media Built the Obama Brand. Rahaf is the founder of Red Thread, a think-tank specialising in digital culture. She is currently working on her third book called Hustle and Float about the intersections of technology, contemporary work culture and a post-work society. Formerly, Rahaf was the Associate Director of the Technology Pioneer Programme at the World Economic Forum, and the Research Coordinator on Don Tapscott’s Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything. She was recognised by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Shaper, and by the Women’s Forum for the Economy and Society as a Rising Talent for her thought-leadership in the fields of digital culture and technology.
The writer and tech-geek reimagines Tim Berners-Lee’s invention and asks how the mantra 'This is for Everyone' can play now in a digital sphere of social media, hacking and global connectivity. With BBC Click's Spencer Kelly.
Join the superstar neuroscientist on a voyage of conscious discovery. A 1.5 kg brain tissue mass magically produces our individual view of the world, our myriad emotions, memories, associations and thoughts that make each of our lives unique. Why are neuroscientists only able to properly probe consciousness now? And what are we yet to discover? Come with an open mind...
Recent developments in Artificial Intelligence and robotics demonstrate that we are aiming towards creating something that is ‘human-like’ in various ways. What sort of experiences should these beings have? And what does the answer to that question tell us about ourselves? Anthropologist Dr Beth Singler is Research Associate on the Human Identity in an age of Nearly-Human Machines project at the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion. Chaired by Daniel Davis.
20 years ago, in May 1997, the world watched as Garry Kasparov, the greatest chess player in the world, was defeated for the first time by the IBM supercomputer Deep Blue. He talks to the Hay Festival President about a watershed moment in the history of technology: machine intelligence had arrived at the point where it could best human intellect.
It wasn’t a coincidence that Kasparov became the symbol of man’s fight against the machines. Chess has long been the fulcrum in development of machine intelligence; the hoax automaton ‘The Turk’ in the 18th century and Alan Turing’s first chess program in 1952 were two early examples of the quest for machines to think like humans a talent we measured by their ability to beat their creators at chess. As the pre-eminent chessmaster of the ’80s and ’90s, it was Kasparov’s blessing and his curse to play against each generation’s strongest computer champions, contributing to their development and advancing the field.
Like all passionate competitors, Kasparov has taken his defeat and learned from it. He has devoted much energy to devising ways in which humans can partner with machines in order to produce results better than either can achieve alone. During the 20 years since playing Deep Blue, he has played both with and against machines, learning a great deal about our vital relationship with our most remarkable creations. Ultimately, he has become convinced that by embracing the competition between human and machine intelligence, we can spend less time worrying about being replaced and more thinking of new challenges to conquer.
Kasparov tells his side of the story of Deep Blue for the first time – what it was like to strategize against an implacable, untiring opponent – the mistakes he made and the reasons the odds were against him. And he tells his story of AI more generally, and how he has evolved to embrace it, taking part in an urgent debate with philosophers worried about human values, programmers creating self-learning neural networks, and engineers of cutting-edge robotics.
His previous book was Winter is Coming: Why Vladimir Putin and the Enemies of the Free World Must Be Stopped.
The Fourth Revolution: How the Infosphere Is Reshaping Human Reality
As the boundaries between life online and offline break down, we become seamlessly connected to each other and surrounded by smart, responsive objects. We are all becoming integrated into an ‘infosphere’. Personas we adopt on social media, for example, feed into our real lives so that we begin to live in ‘onlife’. Following those led by Copernicus, Darwin and Freud, this metaphysical shift represents nothing less than a fourth revolution. Floridi is Professor of Philosophy and Ethics of Information at the University of Oxford. Chaired by Timandra Harkness.
We are witnessing accelerating technological advances in autonomous systems, of which driverless cars and home-assistive robots are prominent examples. We increasingly depend on decisions made by mobile autonomous robots and we interact with them socially. But how do we know when to trust a robot? And how much should the robots trust us? Kwiatowska develops automated verification techniques that ensure that computerised systems behave as expected, with applications in DNA computing, and in wearable and implantable medical devices.
Discover the future of screen technology with computer scientist Matt Jones. His team at Swansea University is exploring displays that mutate to create textures and change shape to reveal controls like dials and switches depending on our needs. See some of the early prototypes that are enhancing our digital interactions with the physical world.
A unique opportunity to share the guitarist’s 46-year vision of his fellow band members, Freddie Mercury, John Deacon, Roger Taylor, as well as Brian himself backstage, on tour and onstage, captured here in 3-D stereoscopic photographs.
3-D glasses will be provided.
Website - www.queenin3-d.com
We are living in a society increasingly driven by the technical ability to turn our activities and behaviour into data points that can be tracked and profiled. This is often said to advance responses to a range of social problems but these data processes can also affect individuals or entire communities that may be denied services and access to opportunities, or wrongfully targeted and exploited. What does this mean for fairness and equality? Lina Dencik is a Senior Lecturer at the Cardiff School of Journalism.
Burney, author of Murder and the Making of English CSI, and Machin, creator of the BBC’s Waking the Dead, discuss the history of English crime scene investigation. They will consider how, in the first half of the twentieth century, homicide investigations – in fact and in fiction – turned their attention from a primarily medical and autopsy-based interest in the victim’s body to analysis of minute trace evidence discovered at the murder scene..
Why does public debate and policy treat the application of genetic technology differently when we are discussing medicine and food? Why is our concept of what is ‘natural’ so controversial and the idea of GM food so alarming? Scientists and sociologists come together with Daniel Davis to discuss what’s being ventured and how it is perceived.
Big Data knows where you’ve been and who your friends are. It knows what you like and what makes you angry. It can predict what you’ll buy, where you’ll be the victim of crime and when you’ll have a heart attack. Big Data knows you better than you know yourself, or so it claims. But how well do you know Big Data? Now, thanks to comedian and broadcaster Timandra Harkness, you can grasp the whole subject in an hour, complete with bad puns, audience participation and an electric shock machine.
So many things we take for granted, such as having access to basic services like electricity, remain a significant challenge for millions of people in today’s developing world. Come and find out how solar power works and can provide clean, reliable energy around the world with Chris Jardine, a leading mind in off-grid solar energy, conducting research with the Oxford Environmental Institute’s Lower Carbon Futures team.
The world’s leading expert in forensic cyberpsychology analyses everything from the impact of screens on the developing child to the explosion of teen sexting. She examines the acceleration of compulsive and addictive online behaviours (gaming, shopping, pornography) and the escalation in cyberchondria (self-diagnosis online), cyberstalking and organised crime in the Deep Web. Cyberspace is an environment full of surveillance, but who is looking out for us?
Through interviews with knife-makers, chefs and collectors, acclaimed food writer Tim Hayward explores how the relationship between cook and blade has shaped both the knife itself and the ways we prepare and eat food all over the world. From Damascus blades to Chinese cleavers and sushi knives, at the heart of this book is a fascinating guide to 40 different types of knife, each with its own story, detailed description and stunning photographs. He talks to the presenter/producer of BBC Radio 4’s The Food Programme and is joined by former chef Joel Black who, after being a chef for 16 years, retrained as a blacksmith to follow his dream of hand making kitchen knives.
Genome editing has already been used clinically to treat AIDS patients by genetically modifying their white blood cells to be resistant to HIV. In agriculture, genome editing can be used to engineer species with increased food output, resistance to pests, drought and harsh environments. But these powerful new techniques also raise important ethical dilemmas. To what extent should parents be able to manipulate the genetics of their offspring? Can we effectively weigh up the risks from introducing synthetic life forms into complex ecosystems? Parrington is an Associate Professor in Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology at the University of Oxford.
The NHS collects people’s confidential data to provide their care but how else is it used? Should people be able to opt out of uses of their health data for purposes such as medical research, improving public services or commercial uses? Dame Fiona Caldicott is the National Data Guardian for Health and Care in England; Sir Nick Partridge is the former CEO of the Terence Higgins Trust and Dr Tony Calland is a former GP in Wales. Chaired by Professor Jonathan Montgomery, Professor of Health Care Law at University College London.
A dazzling vision of the future. Many think the first truly smart robots will be brain emulations or ‘ems’: scan a human brain, then run a model with the same connections on a fast computer and you have a robot brain but recognisably human. Applying decades of expertise in physics, computer science and economics, Hanson uses standard theories to paint a detailed picture of a world dominated by ems. Chaired by Daniel Davis.
Factories that forage, X-ray glasses that can see energy, why price is not value and lots of stupid stuff as well. The Director of Research in Industrial Sustainability explores how the industrial system is (slowly) changing and why free energy is ignored. He explains how to be an environmental optimist and how to love factories. Chaired by Jane Davidson.
The award-winning investigative journalist takes aim at the official versions of UK history and the British establishment’s culture of secrecy. He examines key episodes – including the long denial of the existence of Bletchley Park, the time of talking to terrorists and the modern surveillance state and the convenient loopholes in the Freedom of Information Act.
Thanks to a £35 million investment from Cancer Research UK’s Grand Challenge, Hannon’s and Bunch’s teams of scientists are forming international research collaborations to map tumours at a level of detail that has never previously been imaginable. Using cutting edge biology, chemistry and even astrophysics, they are tackling the challenge from two angles: Bunch is building a ‘Google Maps’ of cancer, whilst Professor Hannon’s use of virtual reality will allow scientists, doctors and patients to walk within tumours. These new perspectives could transform how we understand and treat all types of cancer. Cervantes-Watson is CRUK’s Director of Funding Innovation.