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The full programme is available for this year’s festival, 25 May to 4 June. We very much look forward to seeing you in May.

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Technology

Eat. Sleep. STEM. Repeat

The Future is Girl-Led

Event 30 Venue: Llwyfan Cymru – Wales Stage

Eat. Sleep. STEM. Repeat

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.

A Hay 30 event – celebrating a new generation of thinkers, supported by The CASE Foundation
Price: £8.30
 
 

Ben Russell

The Rise of the Robots

Event 44 Venue: Good Energy Stage

Ben Russell

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.

Price: £7.30
 
 

Cory Doctorow and Adam Rutherford

Life: A Dialogue

Event 62 Venue: Good Energy Stage

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.

Price: £7.30
 
 

Tim Wu talks to Rajan Datar

The Attention Merchants: How Our Time and Attention are Gathered and Sold

Event 66 Venue: Good Energy Stage

Tim Wu talks to Rajan Datar

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.

Price: £8.30
 
 

Robbert Dijkgraaf

The Usefulness of Useless Knowledge

Event 85 Venue: Good Energy Stage

Robbert Dijkgraaf

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.

Price: £7.30
 
 

Rahaf Harfoush

The Hidden Forces Behind our Technologies

Event 95 Venue: Starlight Stage

Rahaf Harfoush

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.

Rahaf Harfoush is selected for Hay 30 – celebrating a new generation of thinkers, supported by The CASE Foundation
Price: £7.30
 
 

Stephen Fry

Reformations 2: The Internet

Event 96 Venue: Tata Tent

Stephen Fry

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.

Price: £15.30
 
 

Hannah Critchlow

Increasing Consciousness......

Event 117 Venue: Oxfam Moot

Hannah Critchlow

Join the superstar neurologist 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... 

Hannah Critchlow is selected for Hay 30 – celebrating a new generation of thinkers, supported by The CASE Foundation
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Beth Singler

Cambridge Series: Could and Should Robots Feel Pain?

Event 124 Venue: Starlight Stage

Beth Singler

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.

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Luciano Floridi

The Royal Society Platform

Event 225 Venue: Oxfam Moot

Luciano Floridi

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.

Price: £8.30
 
 

Marta Kwiatowska

When to Trust a Robot…

Event 232 Venue: Baillie Gifford Stage

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.

Price: £7.30
 
 

Matt Jones

Breaking the Glass – The Future of Screen Technology

Event 238 Venue: Llwyfan Cymru – Wales Stage

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.

Price: £7.30
 
 

Timandra Harkness

Comedy Big Data

Event 258 Venue: Starlight Stage

Timandra Harkness

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.

Price: £7.30
 
 

Science of Solar Workshop

Event W45 Venue: The Storytelling Nook

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.

Family event
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Mary Aiken

The Cyber Effect: A Pioneering Cyberpsychologist Explains How Human Behaviour Changes Online

Event 277 Venue: Oxfam Moot

Mary Aiken

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?

Price: £7.30
 
 

Fiona Caldicott, Nick Partridge and Tony Calland talk to Jonathan Montgomery

Big Data, Safe Data

Event 358 Venue: Tata Tent

Fiona Caldicott, Nick Partridge and Tony Calland talk to Jonathan Montgomery

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.

Price: £8.30
 
 

Robin Hanson

The Age of Em: Work, Love and Life when Robots Rule the Earth

Event 361 Venue: Good Energy Stage

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.

Price: £7.30