Algorithms for hope

Algorithms For Hope

Case studies with a positive global impact as we move from human to augmented intelligence.

Humans have used their intelligence to cultivate plants, tame animals, cut trees, divert rivers, mine stones and mineral, and create machinery. Over the last two generations, we have created our own intelligence: artificial intelligence. We can feed data to machines and machines can learn from that data. These processes can help us in fields across our lives, from medical research to traffic flows, from forecasting climate change to managing admin. In this conference, we will focus on the many positive aspects of artificial intelligence, how it already enhances our daily lives and how, in these currently challenging times, working together with the technology, it can create new horizons for all of us.

Swiss Re Institute, the Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute (GDI), and IBM Research, are all using or seeking the best forms of augmented intelligence to use in their respective industry segments. The conference will gather networks of artificial intelligence research and practice with thought leaders and decision makers from society, business and government.


Tuesday, 15 June 2021


Florian Inhauser, Journalist and Moderator, Swiss Broadcasting Corporation
Christoph Nabholz, Chief Research Officer, Swiss Re Institute

A dialogue on accelerated discovery

Alessandro Curioni, IBM Fellow, Vice President of IBM Europe and Director of the IBM Research Lab Zurich
The new breed: What our history with animals reveals about our future with machines
Kate Darling, Research Specialist, MIT Media Lab

Using AI to help restore the natural world
David Dao, AI for Sustainable Development, ETH Zurich; Founder, GainForest; WEF Global Shaper


Using AI to reduce bias in recruitment
Frida Polli, Founder and CEO, pymetrics

Using AI to develop medicines with a higher probability of success
Patrick Schwab, Director of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence, GSK AI/ML

Algorithmic accountability will lead to a better world
Cathy O'Neil, Founder, O'Neil Risk Consulting & Algorithmic Auditing

Closing remarks

Lukas Jezler, CEO, Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute

End of event

Alessandro Curioni

Alessandro Curioni

IBM Fellow, VP Europe and Director IBM Research Zurich. Since November 2015 Curioni is leading the research activities for the Watson Internet of Things unit. Curioni is an internationally renowned leader in the area of high-performance computing and computational science. He and his colleagues received the US National Medal for Technology and Innovation in 2008 for IBM's high-performance computers.

Kate Darling

Kate Darling

Research Specialist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab. Dr. Kate Darling is a leading expert in Robot Ethics and investigates social robotics and conducts experimental studies on human-robot interaction. Kate Darling explores the emotional connection between people and life-like machines, seeking to influence technology design and policy direction. Her writing and research anticipate difficult questions that lawmakers, engineers, and the wider public will need to address as human-robot relationships evolve in the coming decades. In 2017, the American Bar Association honored her legal work with the Mark T. Banner award in Intellectual Property.


Christoph Nabholz

Christoph Nabholz

Chief Research Officer and Head of the Research & Engagement team at the Swiss Re Institute. His team manages Swiss Re's Strategic Council to deliver executive advice and foresight on risks across a broad and rapidly evolving business landscape. Prior to Swiss Re he was a postdoctoral research fellow in genomics at Harvard University. He received a diploma in biochemistry from the University of Basel and a PhD in molecular genetics from the University of Freiburg in Switzerland.

Cathy ONeil

Cathy O'Neil

Founder of ORCAA, an algorithmic auditing company. She helps companies understand and mitigate their risks around the algorithms they employ and that are used against them. She is the author of the New York Times bestselling "Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy." Starting as a professor at Barnard College, where she published a number of research papers in arithmetic algebraic geometry, Cathy later switched over to the private sector.

Frida Polli

Frida Polli

CEO and co-founder of Pymetrics, a talent matching platform that uses behavioral science and AI to make workforce decisions more accurate, fair, and efficient. Dr. Frida Polli is an award-winning Harvard and MIT neuroscientist turned entrepreneur.


David Dao

David Dao

Founder of GainForest, a non-profit grantee of Microsoft’s AI for Earth program, aiming to reverse the deterioration of nature by combining decentralized finance with intelligent ecosystem monitoring. Dao is a Ph.D. student at ETH Zurich building AI and Data Systems for Sustainable Development and is leading the Climate + AI initiative at DS3Lab, mapping the ethical use of AI, and directing the Kara research project with Stanford and UC Berkeley.

Patrick Schwab

Patrick Schwab

Director of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence at GSK AI/ML. Schwab's work aims to advance personalised medicine by utilising machine learning methods and large-scale health data to better understand and treat complex diseases. Prior to joining GSK, he was a Principal Architect working on Machine Learning for Personalised Medicine at Roche in Basel, Switzerland.

Lukas Jezler

Lukas Jezler

CEO of the GDI Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute for consumption, economic and social studies, Rüschlikon/Zurich.


Florian Inhauser

Florian Inhauser

Journalist and moderator. Florian Inhauser presents the main newscast at Swiss Broadcasting Corporation, SRF and he is also the anchor of the foreign news magazine «#SRFglobal». With a master in history and anglistics he speaks English fluently. He has also an excellent reputation as an international correspondent, covering conflicts and crises around the globe.


Participation is by invitation only. The event targets networks of artificial intelligence research and practice with thought leaders and decision makers from society, business and government. For questions about the invitation process and the event programme, please contact Andreas_Obrist(at)

15 June 2021

13:45 – 17:00 (CEST / Zurich time)



Free of charge


The event will take place online. You will receive the link to the livestream shortly after your registration.