Institute of Communications and Connected Systems


Online Seminar | Algorithmic Governance: AI, agency & ethics in strategic decision-making

03 February 2021, 11:30 am–12:30 pm

Image of weighing scales created in 0s and 1s to resemble digital information

Zeynep Engin, Founder & Director of Data For Policy and Senior Researcher in UCL Computer Science will introduce the emerging field of Algorithmic Governance. An increasingly important field reflecting on the agency and ethics in human-machine collaboration. Zeynep will shine particular emphasis on the implications to strategic decision-making in the public sector

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to

All | UCL staff | UCL students






Robert Thompson – Institute of Communications and Connected Systems

Algorithmic Governance - Artificial Intelligence, Agency and Ethics in Strategic Decision-making

Humans are becoming increasingly dependent on algorithm assistance in everyday operations, also outsourcing important decisions to self-learning and constantly evolving algorithms in a range of social, economic and policy contexts.

This has already given rise to a new field of study broadly referred to as Algorithmic Governance, but the term is currently lacking a universal definition. Different interpretations emerged in recent literature – ranging from improving existing governance processes with algorithmic assistance mainly supporting human decision-makers, to the governance principles and practices of such complex and opaque systems, and even to models in which humans fully or partially transfer their decision-making power to the new algorithmic agents.

This talk will introduce an overview of this emerging field – looking into the concepts of intelligence, agency and ethics in human-machine collaboration for strategic decision-making, with an emphasis on public sector applications.

ICCS Chair

This session will be chaired by: Izzat Darwazeh

Attending the seminar 

The Seminar will be held on the Zoom platform. Details of how to access Zoom can be found on their website.

Please click this URL to join. Zoom Webinar
Webinar ID: 930 5623 2366
Password: Will be distributed to ICCS members, others are welcome to join and the password can be requested by email.

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About the ICCS online seminar series

The ICCS seminar series is designed to bring together members of our community who are currently away from our home in Bloomsbury and distributed across the world. The Seminars are being curated to provide academic exploration and inspiration, offering insights into a range of topics surrounding communications and connected systems. Topics will either explore subjects close to the work of our academics or introduce wider concepts from experts in the global academic and industrial community.

If you wish to suggest a future topic or speaker please use the link below, speakers could be from academia, industry, within ICCS/UCL or from further a field.


The seminar will begin with a presentation aimed at a technical audience, but at a level that will be accessible to those from a range of engineering disciplines. Speakers have been asked to end their presentations with a technical challenge or delving deeper into the content to engage those more invested in the topic. 

The seminar series is designed to offer a compact exploration of ranging topics and is therefore short in format. The presentation will run for 15 - 30 minutes, followed by 15 minutes of questions.
 Suggest a topic or speaker

About the Speaker

Zeynep Engin

Senior Research Associate at UCL

Dr Zeynep Engin is a Senior Research Associate based at UCL Computer Science. She has established multiple disciplinary and cross-sector recognition for leading the global debates in two key fields, Data for Policy and Algorithmic Governance.

Supported by UCL-EPSRC grants, she is also leading the GovTech Lab, a national knowledge transfer consortium focusing on government digital transformation; and the UCL Digital Ethics Forum, a cross-disciplinary collaboration to generate UCL wide responses to some of the most pressing social and policy challenges under the ongoing digital revolution.

Zeynep is also the Founder and Chair of the international Data for Policy conferences (dataforpolicy.org); and the Editor-in-Chief for the Data and Policy (cambridge.org/dap), an open-access peer-reviewed journal published by Cambridge University Press.

She has over ten years of executive experience in the non-profit sector and obtained her PhD in statistical pattern detection from Imperial College London.

More about Zeynep Engin