Operating at the boundaries: Diversity of perspective

7.00pm to 8.30pm, Wednesday 10 October

The Theatre

The Royal Institution of Great Britain GB United Kingdom W1S 4BS 21 Albemarle Street London

This event has already taken place

  • Credit: topform84 via Gettyimages


Standard £16


Concession £10


Ri Members and Ri Patrons £7

Event description

We've all heard of 'diversity' but what does it mean in practice? How can teams in business and research use the idea of diversity to produce better results?

Currently only about 12-15% of the engineers who are building the internet and its software are women. As AI and Machine Learning is based on the data you feed it and how you design it, we are at risk of exacerbating existing biases if we do not ensure that diverse data sets are included from design

In this event, experts in the field of science and philosophy will come together to explore the theme of diversity of perspective covering diversity of people, data, models and mindset. We will use the fields of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning to show the increasing complexity and relevance of having a diverse outlook.

About the speakers

Diana Biggs is Head of Digital Innovation for HSBC Retail Banking and Wealth Management in UK & Europe. In this role, she leads a team executing on digital innovation initiatives including the development and testing of new business models, fintech partnerships, and the use of emerging technologies such as AI and blockchain. Her team promotes an inclusive culture of innovation throughout the organisation, driving engagement, thought leadership and collaboration.

In addition to her role at HSBC, Diana is a Tutor for the Oxford Said Business School Blockchain Strategy Programme, Industry Engagement Advisor for the University College London’s Centre for Blockchain Technologies and a member of the Steering Committee for the FinTECHtalents festival. She is also on the Board of Financial Leaders for the French Fintech Tour, an initiative of Business France.

Diana is a Digital Leader, Europe, with the World Economic Forum, contributing to their Declaration for a Pan-European Ecosystem for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and a member of the Milken Institute Young Leaders Circle.

We regret that Alice Breeden is no longer able to appear at this event due to personal resasons.

Gina Neff is a Senior Research Fellow and Associate Professor at the Oxford Internet Institute and the Department of Sociology at the University of Oxford. She studies the future of work in data-rich environments. She is an expert on technological disruption across several different industries including health care, media, and construction.

She has published three books and over four dozen research articles on innovation and the impact of digital transformation. Her most recent book, 'Self-Tracking', co-authored with Dawn Nafus (MIT Press, 2016), focuses on the practices and politics of using consumer technologies to track health and other everyday personal metrics. Her book 'Venture Labor: Work and the Burden of Risk in Innovative Industries' (MIT Press, 2012) about the rise of internet industries in New York City won the 2013 American Sociological Association Communication and Information Technologies Best Book Award. She leads a new project on Data Diversity that studies the challenges of using artificial intelligence for decision making. Her research on large-scale building architecture and construction examines how new information and communication technologies require new ways of working and the challenges of implementing these changes at an industrial scale. 

She holds a Ph.D. in sociology from Columbia University, where she remains a faculty affiliate at the Center on Organizational Innovation. Professor Neff has held faculty and research appointments at the University of Washington, University of California, San Diego and University of California, Los Angeles. She has had fellowships at the Institute for Advanced Study and Princeton University’s Center for Information Technology Policy. Her writing for the general public has appeared in Wired, Slate and The Atlantic, among other outlets.


The doors will open at approximately 6.30pm, with a prompt start at 7.00pm. There will be time for questions after the talk.

Latecomers will be admitted into the gallery.


This event will be filmed and on the Ri's YouTube channel within a few months. Subscribe for free to hear when new videos are released.

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