Distinguished Public Lecture: ‘Digital Society at a Crossroads? Shared Futures for Technology & Humanity’
‘Digital Society at a Crossroads? Shared Futures for Technology & Humanity’
If we are looking for an area key to our humanity and its futures, digital technology would surely qualify.
Globally, we have experienced the seemingly inexorable rise and rise of digital technology and its entrenchment in societies, their economies, infrastructures, institutions, communal, familial, friendship, and intimate relationships, and environments.
For many, if not most, digital society is a reality; if not now, then quite soon, courtesy of ‘digital by default’ policies. Yet the potential benefits of digital technologies are hanging in the balance, with a legitimation crisis in full swing.
There is concerted public concern directed towards a range of technology actors concerning issues such: as data privacy; the dystopian character of social media platforms with unreliable and false information, hate speech, and online violence; discrimination and fairness in algorithms; implications of automated decision-making; and digital exclusion.
If the project of digital society is in crisis, then how did this happen, and where do we go from here?
In this lecture, I discuss the overarching issues and barriers that bedevil our efforts to invent, design, and implement digital technology for good. Because of its centrality to our current and future lives, digital technology offers helpful lessons for the broader project of how we put complex developments of science and technology genuinely in the service of humanity.
Gerard Goggin is Professor of Media and Communications at the University, and, from mid-July 2019, the Wee Kim Wee Chair of Communication Studies at NTU. For over 20 years, he has been deeply involved in research, policy formulation, and public debates concerning technology, especially its social and cultural implications.
Professor Goggin is a leading figure in a number of academic fields, including mobile communication and media research, digital inclusion, disability and digital technology, and Internet histories. Key publications include Location Technologies in International Context (2019), Normality & Disability (2018), Routledge Companion to Global Internet Histories (2017), Disability and the Media (2015), Internationalizing Internet Studies (2009), Cell Phone Culture (2006), and Digital Disability (2003).
Professor Goggin has served on the Australian e-Research Infrastructure Council, of an Australian Council of Learned Academies (ACOLA) landmark study for government on the role of technology in society, and recently with a group of international colleagues co-authored the chapter on media and communications for the 3-volume report of the International Panel on Social Progress. In 2018, he chaired the Humanities and Creative Arts Panel for the inaugural Australian Research Council Engagement & Impact research evaluation.
*The lecture will be from 11am - 12pm, and reception from 12pm - 1pm.
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