In the face of a century of traditional polling to predict public opinion, there is a shakeup afoot in the prediction game. Margin of Error: AI, Polling and Elections examines how a startup called Advanced Symbolics (ASI) uses artificial intelligence (AI) and public social-media data to forecast voter behaviour. But the promise of new technology also comes with questions about its accuracy, the threat to citizens’ privacy and our democracy itself.
Every one of us volunteers a huge amount of private data with virtually every Internet service we use, without reading or understanding the terms of service. This data can now be harvested by AI to accurately predict among many other things, how we will vote.
Even without surrendering personal information, the new AI algorithm Polly, developed by ASI, combs social media to build profiles of different demographics and determines their preferences.This method has already led to Polly’s success in predicting both the 2016 Trump victory and Brexit. With the 2019 Canadian federal election campaign as a real time back drop, Margin of Error puts Polly to the test revealing how an AI doesn’t just give a detailed picture of the publics voting intentions, but also how specific events can alter them.
But will knowing what our hopes and concerns are, give politicians the intel they need to respond to our needs, and lead to a “utopian” society, as ASI’s CEO Erin Kelly claims, or can this data be misused to mislead us – either by our own governments, or those of our adversaries? And should politicians even be responding to our desires, as expressed through social media?
Body Language Decoded takes us in to the mysterious world of non-verbal communication, what do we say without realising and how can we read the signals others give us involuntarily? We look deep in to the science of Body Language as well as practical applications in law enforcement, romance, commerce, national security and more.
As human beings, our bodies communicate our inner emotions and feelings in ways that can often be easily seen by others, but at other times are barely visible. On every continent and in every ethnicity, expressions of emotions such as happiness, surprise, anger and fear are universally recognised. These expressions are hard-wired into our facial muscles for reasons that have everything to do with human evolution and survival of the species. To the trained observer, the way people move can be more revealing than the things people say.
Forensic Psychologist Dr. Stephen Porter describes how his team helped solve a murder mystery by accurately reading the body language of a key witness, and correctly concluding that she was not being truthful in a heart-rending television news appearance. In Amsterdam, we are introduced to a company that is engaged in cutting-edge research and development that is enabling computers to recognize the gender, ethnicity and facial expressions of human beings. And from Harvard University, social psychologist Amy Cuddy explains how it’s not just that our bodies display outwardly what we are feeling inside. In fact, the reverse is also true: we can actually influence the way we feel by changing the way we move.
We all use our intuition when trying to understand another person’s intentions or needs. We watch the way they walk, and how they stand. We look for their eye-contact, and whether they appear comfortable or anxious. But when intuition is augmented by scientifically based observational techniques, the picture becomes much clearer. These techniques are increasingly being used in the worlds of law-enforcement, surveillance and security, as well as politics and commerce. Understanding the ‘non-verbals’ of the people we encounter gives us an edge that can mean the difference between a sale or no-sale, between an election victory or defeat, between safety and danger, and even between a successful or doomed relationship.
Why do we accept huge levels of inequality and social injustice? This is one of the central questions that The Price of Fairness sets out to answer, beginning with a surprising set of social experiments in Norway, which suggest that our willingness to support systems of inequality is far greater than we are often prepared to admit.
In Atlanta, we take a different look at fairness, from the perspective of a group of capuchin monkeys. Behavioural scientist Sarah Bronson’s work with the monkeys questions the idea that we have an evolutionary tendency towards selfish behaviour. Could it be that the outrage we feel towards systems of inequality have roots in our human need for cooperation?
We visit Costa Rica and Iceland to see how whole economies have been engineered to function with greater ‘fairness’, and the US where systematic racial injustices have tested many of their citizens hopes for a fairer justice system.
From the caste-biased villages of India to the race-sensitive streets of Ferguson, Missouri, this documentary explores our understanding of fairness and what it takes to change an unfair system.
Touching on issues of economic, political, racial and gender inequality, this film offers a thought-provoking and timely look at what fairness really means to us.
Can violent men change? Call Me Dad is a film that takes its audience to the most delicate and painful place inside a parent’s heart. A place where good intentions and hope are pitted against entrenched and tormenting cycles of violence.
For some of these fathers, their fists are their weapons. For others, words and manipulation are most potent, used as part of a sustained pattern of intimidation, threats, and abuse intended to isolate, diminish and control the people they love. Now these men are seeking change. They have come together to talk, share information, challenge and support each other to be better men, partners and fathers to their children.
The group’s founder and facilitator David Nugent believes that women and children have the right to live their lives free from violence, and that men can change if they have the will and opportunity to do so. He challenges men to take ownership of their abusive and violent behaviours, and shows them that they can make different choices, and in doing so, can stop the cycle of violence.
David draws these men deep into conversation about the underbelly of patriarchal forms of masculinity, and the ways in which sexism can harm and diminish women, and constrict and isolate men.
Together the participants in David’s program are reaching for the courage and knowledge they need to be good partners, and good fathers. These men have taken the brave and difficult decision to confront their behaviours and histories head-on. These Dads are fighting to change the story for the next generation. Can these men re-establish ‘family’?