Zeynep Tufekci, "Engineering the Public: Big Data, Surveillance and Computational Politics"

Zeynep Tufekci, "Engineering the Public: Big Data, Surveillance and Computational Politics"
Thursday, April 2, 2015 - 12:30

Zeynep Tufekci  is Assistant Professor in the UNC School of Information and Library Science, where she studies the social impacts of technology, privacy and surveillance, inequality, research methods and complex systems. She was previously a fellow at the Center for Information Technology Policy at Princeton University and taught at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. She was also previously a fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University and is now a faculty associate at the Berkman Center.

"Engineering the Public: Big Data, Surveillance and Computational Politics"

Lunch Workshop, Thursday, April 2, 12:30-2:00, Cone 113 (RSVP by Monday, March 30; click here)

Abstract: Digital technologies have given rise to a new combination of big data and computational practices which allow for massive, latent data collection and sophisticated computational modeling, increasing the capacity of those with resources and access to use these tools to carry out highly effective, opaque and unaccountable campaigns of persuasion and social engineering in political, civic and commercial spheres. I examine six intertwined dynamics that pertain to the rise of computational politics: the rise of big data, the shift away from demographics to individualized targeting, the opacity and power of computational modeling, the use of persuasive behavioral science, digital media enabling dynamic real-time experimentation, and the growth of new power brokers who own the data or social media environments. I then examine the consequences of these new mechanisms on the public sphere and political campaigns.

Cosponsored by the Department of Philosophy.