Timandra Harkness

Data, Information and Knowledge

They say all human knowledge is just 3 clicks away in the age of the internet. Is that true? If it is, we can expect all teachers to be replaced by robots before today’s schoolchildren have learned to do their own laundry. Timandra challenges us to keep the human at the centre of tomorrow’s high-tech world. Instead of competing with machines, it’s time to value what we are, and what we can do better than the smartest gadget: think for ourselves.

After performing improvised and stand-up comedy, hosting cabaret and touring with a tented circus, Timandra formed the first comedy science double-act in the UK with neuroscientist Dr Helen Pilcher.

Now a regular writer and presenter on Radio 4, Timandra has fronted documentaries such as Data, Data Everywhere, and Personality Politics. She co-hosts FutureProofing, with Leo Johnson, which sees her looking at the future of everything from language to war, ageing to food.

Her book ‘Big Data: does size matter?’ gives a history of data collection and collation, how it’s changing the world and its shortcomings from politics to health to smart cities.

Combining unusual facts with insight and humour, Timandra looks at how the future will affect business and society. As well as looking at big data, she tackles AI and robotics, and considers topics around our relationship with science and technology.