School of Computing Research Colloquia

The Ethics of Agent Based Modelling

Andrew Evans, Centre for Spatial Analysis & Policy, School of Geography

Abstract: Agent-Based Models (ABM) represent society largely at the individual level. While models are abstract, or relatively homogeneous, and based on societal averages, the risks of their use centre around the risks associated with model use more generally. However, the rise of 'Big Data' and computing power opens opportunities for the use of real and specific individual data, and for dynamic data assimilation techniques seen in other modelling areas. Such data uses increase the potential social and individual benefits associated with ABM, but equally open up new fields of ethical risk. This talk will explore some of the risks and rewards associated with ABM in the face of these new opportunities.