SXSW Interactive 2013

Who's Afraid Of The Big, Bad Drone?

Drones often get cast as dystopian killing machines, or Big Brother's newest eyes-in-the-sky. But drones are here to stay -- and coming to a sky near you as soon as September 2015. Will drones live up to the nightmare? After all, drones could help journalists report on historically inaccessible locations and topics. Tinkering by DYI enthusiasts might deliver us The Next Big Thing. Or drones could be the last nails in the coffins of international legitimacy and domestic privacy. This panel assembles experts to take a 360 view of the drone phenomenon with an eye toward separating the hope from the hype.

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  1. Is it possible, prudent, or wise to move the current discussion of drones beyond the realm of warfare, law enforcement, and surveillance? Can we separate discussion of technology from tactics?
  2. How else can we imagine drone technology in our (near) future?
  3. Is it a misnomer to think of drones as just the next version of the already-ubiquitous camera?
  4. Given reports of drone hijacking, are drones ready for domestic skies?
  5. What are some ethical, legal, and moral guidelines that should guide drone use?



Nabiha Syed, First Amendment Fellow, The New York Times Company

Meta Information:

  • Tags: drones, journalism
  • Event: Interactive
  • Format: Panel
  • Track: DIY, Hacker and Maker
  • Track 2
  • Level: Intermediate
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