Archive for the 'video' Category

Book Talk: Judith Donath on The Social Machine

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Online, interface designs fashion people’s appearance, shape their communication and influence their behavior. Can we see another’s face or do we know each other only by name? Do our words disappear forever once they leave the screen or are they permanently archived, amassing a history of our views and reactions? Are we aware of how public or private our surroundings are?

In this talk Judith Donath — Berkman Faculty Fellow and former director of the MIT Media Lab’s Sociable Media Group — discusses some of these questions and more from her new book “The Social Machine.”


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Lauren McCarthy: You, Me, and My Computer

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Can we use technology to help us be more human? To smile more, to touch and to listen to each other? What if a computer could understand and make decisions about our social relationships better than we could ourselves? Would our interactions be improved by computationally determining what to do and say? What happens if we crowdsource our dating lives and actually find love?

In this talk Lauren McCarthy — artist, programmer, and adjunct faculty at RISD and NYU ITP — attempts to understand these questions through an artistic practice involving hacking, design, and self-experimentation.


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Malavika Jayaram: Does Size Matter? A Tale of Performing Welfare, Producing Bodies, and Faking Identity

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India’s identity project is the the world’s largest biometric database — currently consisting of almost 600 million enrolled. By locating this techno-utopian vision within the larger surveillance state that a unique identifier facilitates, Malavika Jayaram — lawyer, Berkman Fellow, and Fellow at the Centre for Internet and Society, Bangalore — describes the ‘welfare industrial complex’ that imagines the poor as the next emerging market. She highlights the risks of the body as password, of implementing e-governance in a legal vacuum, and of digitization reinforcing existing inequalities. By offering a perspective that is somewhat different from the traditional western focus of privacy, she hopes to generate a more inclusive discourse about what it means to be autonomous and empowered in the face of paternalistic development projects.


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Hasit Shah on Cheap Smartphones, Digital News, & the World’s Biggest Election

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More than a sixth of Indians have access to the Internet, leaving a billion people behind. But smartphones are getting cheaper and mobile internet connections are becoming more easily available. The new Internet users will demand content that won’t be in English, that doesn’t necessarily demand high levels of literacy and works well on basic devices with erratic connections.

In this talk Hasit Shah — Nieman-Berkman Fellow at Harvard and Senior Producer for BBC News in London — discusses India’s first proper “digital” election, and how Internet-based campaigning is making this one to watch.


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Sara Watson on Living with Data: Stories that Make Data More Personal

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We are becoming data. Between our mobile phones, browser history, wearable sensors, and connected devices in our homes, there’s more data about us than ever before. So how are we learning to live with all this data?

Inspired by her ethnographic interview work with members of the quantified self community, Berkman fellow Sara M. Watson discusses these larger systemic shifts through personal narratives that reveal how we find clues, investigate, and reverse engineer what’s going on with our data.


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Elisa Kreisinger on Fair Use(r): Art and Copyright Online

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With the democratization of content creation came the democratization of the overzealous copyright claim. Do private agreements between copyright holders and hosting platforms such as YouTube’s Content ID system compromise artist’s fair use rights?

In this open discussion Elisa Kreisinger — Brooklyn-based video artist and artist-in-residence at Public Knowledge — invites artists, users, and lawyers to share their copyright experiences with hosting platforms, and debate the future of distributing digital arts works online.


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Primavera De Filippi on Ethereum: Freenet or Skynet?

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Ethereum is a contract validating and enforcing system based on a distributed public ledger such as the one implemented by the Bitcoin cryptocurrency. The system allows for the management of complex distributed autonomous organizations, which raises questions about legality. Could this new platform promote the establishment of an entirely decentralized society, or will its disruptive potential eventually be absorbed by the established system? In this talk Primavera De Filippi — Berkman fellow and postdoctoral researcher at the CERSA/CNRS/Université Paris II — explores the dangers and opportunities of Ethereum.


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Intelligence Gathering and the Unowned Internet

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The long-term viability of an unowned, open Internet remains in question. Any analysis of where the Internet is headed as a protocol and a platform must take into account the activities of both public and private entities that see the Internet as a source of intelligence — and a field of contention.

Yochai Benkler, Bruce Schneier, and Jonathan Zittrain of the Berkman Center are joined by John DeLong and Anne Neuberger of the National Security Agency in a conversation moderated by Berkman Faculty Director Terry Fisher on the future of an open internet in the face of challenges to privacy in an unsecure world.


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This talk was co-sponsored by: the Berkman Center for Internet & Society, the Harvard Law School American Civil Liberties Union, Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review, National Security Journal, and National Security and Law Association.

Jeff Young on Pop-Up Learning: The Future of MOOCs and Online Education

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After months of hype and hope about MOOCs, or Massive Open Online Courses, one thing is clear: they aren’t very good at teaching those most in need of education. Instead, they’re serving the education “haves”: About 80 percent of people taking MOOCs already have a college degree. But free online courses may still spark an education revolution, in ways that their biggest proponents hadn’t guessed. In this talk Jeff Young — editor and writer for The Chronicle of Higher Education and Berkman Fellow — takes a closer look at who is taking MOOCs and why, and examines how free courses fit into broader Internet trends.


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Susan Benesch on Troll Wrastling for Beginners: Data-Driven Methods to Decrease Hatred Online

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Hateful and even violent speech is familiar online; what’s unusual are data-driven efforts to diminish them. Experiments so far have produced intriguing results including: some ‘trolls’ recant or apologize in response to counterspeech, and small changes in platform architecture can improve online discourse norms.

In this talk Susan Benesch — founder of the Dangerous Speech Project and professor of American University’s School of International Service — discusses early research and experiments into managing and responding to hateful speech online, especially in climates where online speech may be tied to offline violence.


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Read more here

  • Susan’s Homepage
  • @dangerousspeech
  • A Prelude to Murder: Calling Humans Vermin
  • The Innocence of YouTube
  • Words as Weapons
  • Umati: Kenyan Online Discourse to Catalyze and Counter Violence
  • Elections and Ethnic Violence
  • Umati Final Report
  • Vile Crime or Inalienable Right: Defining Incitement to Genocide
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