Insights into INSIGHT podcast Series 2


In the first Insights into INSIGHT podcast series, we explored the revolutionary use of health data and Artificial Intelligence (AI) by the new INSIGHT Data Hub for Eye Health.

The second series looked beyond the use of data and AI in eye research, swinging the lens back on ourselves to explore the world as we think we know it.

The three-part series is hosted by Dr Amit Patel, a father and ex-emergency medic who lost his sight very suddenly and now actively campaigns for accessibility, diversity and inclusion, partly through a keen involvement in podcasting. In each episode Amit – and his gorgeous guide dog, Kika – welcome two specialists and allow the discussion to collectively wander, making for thoughtful, witty and informative conversation.


This is a picture of Amit Patel and Kika

Amit Patel & Kika

This is a head shot of Timandra Harkness

Timandra Harkness


The first episode, Smart Living, opened our eyes to just how much we already rely on Big Data and Algorithms without even knowing it, looking at some of the latest technology for visually impaired people (VIPs) that may have uses for all of us. How does data-based technology learn what we want from it? And just how personal is personalisation?

Our guests are broadcaster, writer and comedian, Timandra Harkness and Fraser Fleming, chairman of Triple Tap Tech, a charity he set up to provide help, support and training on technology to the VI community



Emotional Algorithms, the second episode, explored how algorithms connect with us emotionally, in particular through music and romance. If music is based on maths, is it maths that’s actually affecting our emotions? And how well can a dating app really know you from the data you give it? Or be able to match you successfully if, for example, you choose not to say that you’re blind?

This time the guests were: mathematician, teacher, writer and presenter, Bobby Seagull

and mathematician and musician, Ben Sparks


This is a head shot of  Ben Sparks

Ben Sparks

This is a head shot of Sophie Carr

Sophie Carr

In Episode 3 - How Do You Decide? Amit and his guests recognise that while Big Data and AI can achieve amazing things, there are cons as well as pros. For example, how do systems that rely on masses of data ensure that they are gathering that data from as diverse a population as possible? And, if that population is very small, such as the number of people with a rare inherited eye condition, how do we know whether the Artificial Intelligence that relies on that data isn’t biased? And how, when the consequences are not certain, do we decide whether to allow our health data to be shared or to have a COVID vaccine?

Amit and Kika’s final guests were: the Big Internet Math-Off’s “world’s most interesting mathematician” (2 years running, no less) and Managing Director of Bays Consulting, Sophie Carr and the returningly - entertaining, Timandra Harkness





The series was produced by Jo Cammack and John Offord and first broadcast in June 2021

All 6 episodes of the Insight into INSIGHT podcasts are available to listen to here


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