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SXSW 2020

Turning the Tech Backlash Into a Plan of Action

We once worried, “Is this technology a good idea?” but 2020’s pressing question is: “Oh no, what do we do now?” This panel of experts offers views on the tech backlash from Delhi, Silicon Valley, and the Pala Indian Reservation. Technologies make some tasks easier and other tasks harder, while the same “solution” works differently for different people. Speakers focus this lens on three domains: automation and the transformation of work; the algorithm’s challenge to how we learn, know, and communicate; and connectivity among the under-served and unserved. Panelists will advance specific proposals for action about the future of technology with difference and context in mind. This allows us to debate the next conversation about systems, contexts, and movements, not platforms or objects.

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  1. What is the current state-of-the-art when considering the human implications of automation, algorithms, and connectivity?
  2. How can a focus on difference and context turn concerns from the tech backlash into specific proposals for action?
  3. What ways of “making the world a better place” does your boss not want you to know? That is: how is the next conversation about systems, not objects?



Christian Sandvig, Director, Center for Ethics, Society, and Computing (ESC) and H. Marshall McLuhan Collegiate Professor of Digital Media, University of Michigan

Meta Information:

  • Event: SXSW
  • Format: Panel
  • Track: Fantastic Future
  • Level: Advanced
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