Pell Center lecture on tech companies, data and democracy
The Pell Center for International Relations and Public Policy’s spring lecture series will present the first of its lectures with “The Information Trade: How Tech Companies Act Like Countries & What it Means for Our Democracy with Dr. Alexis Wichowski, Columbia University.” The lecture will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 18, at 7 p.m. in the Bazarsky Lecture Hall.
Alexis Wichowski, Columbia University professor and deputy chief technology officer for New York City, will present a near history and profile of what it means to live a tech-enabled life. She will detail how people can celebrate the ways technology enables everyone to share the stuff of life — information, knowledge, stories, sorrows and ephemera — but will inform listeners about what happens to online data both with and without our knowledge.
Wichowski cautions listeners against giving up the ability to influence the balance of power between people, government and tech companies, aka “net states.” She will explore how to find the balance between encouraging technology to evolve and ensuring that it does so responsibly. Finally, she will examine what it means to be a responsible citizen-user, engaged with and unafraid of the world that society is building with tech — and that tech is building for the world.