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Presentation at SXSW 2016

Published on
1 Apr 2016
Written by
Philip Howard

Project Researchers Samuel Woolley and Phil Howard presented twice at SXSW this year.

There was a “Book Reading” of Pax Technica:

The “internet of things” is the expanding network of everyday objects—you can expect some 35 billion connected devices by 2020. The internet won’t be about your mobile phone or laptop anymore, it will be dominated by communication between devices, chips scattered over the natural world, and sensors embedded in our bodies. Should we fear or welcome the next internet? In my talk, based on my book “Pax Technica: How the Internet of Things May Set Us Free or Lock Us Up”, I demonstrate the value of the IoT and the privacy concerns that arise. I explain how the perfect behavioural data creates new opportunities for public conversation, community building, and political power.

There was a Panel called “RoboPresident” that included Meredith Broussard, Sam Woolley, Andrés Monroy-Hernández, and Tim Hwang.

Over 25 millions users on Twitter are actually bots: automated programs that simulate human behaviour on the internet. Politicians and campaigners use these coded social actors to massively beef up social media follower numbers, control election conversations, and stymie activism online. Journalists, on the other hand, have created bots that attempt to keep those in power honest. There are ‘good’ bots that track campaign donations, controversial viewpoints, and congressional edits of Wikipedia. This panel of experts will investigate the the rise of political bot usage across the internet. We will discuss how this technology has evolved and what this means for citizens worldwide


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