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05 August 2020

We live in an age of historical machines. Every day, messaging, online shopping or streaming services make recommendations about what we might write, buy, or watch. These recommendations are made on the basis of the past. Our past acts and choices as individuals, and as a part of groups. The past that a firm or seller wants to change. As recommendation systems have become ubiquitous, people have noticed that they are not always good. Recommendations deny people loans, parole, passports, participation. This is not just a technology problem. It is a history problem. This talk offers an introduction to historical machines, and how we might think about instructing and supervising them differently so that the past and the future are matters of ethics that we can more actively shape.

Professor Marnie Hughes-Warrington
Deputy Vice Chancellor: Research and Enterprise at the University of South Australia

Professor Marnie Hughes-Warrington is a graduate of the University of Tasmania and Merton College, Oxford University where she was a Rhodes Scholar. Marnie is a philosopher and historian who has published seven books, including Fifty Key Thinkers on History (three editions), History Goes to the Movies (2007), Revisionist Histories (2013) and History as Wonder (2018). She is currently completing a book on the ethics of history, and her work on machine-made histories is her new research project.

Emeritus Professor Hilary Winchester

Emeritus Professor Hilary Winchester
President and Secretary Oxford University Society (South Australia).

Hilary is Emeritus Professor at the University of South Australia and Central Queensland University (CQU). Her previous senior leadership roles include, Pro Vice Chancellor: Strategy and Planning at UniSA; Provost at CQU; Pro Vice Chancellor: Academic at Flinders University; and President of Academic Senate at the University of Newcastle. Hilary holds undergraduate and postgraduate degrees from the University of Oxford and has a background in social geography focusing on migrant and marginal groups. Hilary is a member of the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Register of Experts. She received the 2011 Australian Higher Education Quality Award and was a finalist in the Telstra Business Women’s Awards 2016 (QLD). Hilary is currently the President of the Oxford University Society (Alumni) in South Australia

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