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Big Data, Small Politics: Algorithmic Regulation and Its Pitfalls

Tuesday, Mar. 25, 2014

THURSDAY APRIL 10
7 PM
ST. CLARE ROOM, SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY

The advent of Big Data, enabled in part by the proliferation of cheap sensors and data-storing devices, presents us with new forms of tackling social problems, from obesity to climate change. While some celebrate the virtues of self-tracking, others laud the benefits of automating certain parts of the political process through "algorithmic regulation." Evgeny Morozov will discuss some of the ethical implications of these new problem-solving mechanisms, situating them within a much longer history of using cybernetic technologies for the purposes of self-regulation.

Morozov is a contributing editor at The New Republic and the author of two books: "The Net Delusion: The Dark Side of Internet Freedom," and "To Save Everything, Click Here: The Folly of Technological Solutionism." A recent New York Times article describes him as the “most prominent, most multiplatformed critic of the utopian promises coming from Silicon Valley.”

From 2010 through 2012, Morozov was a visiting scholar at Stanford University and a Schwartz fellow at the New America Foundation. He had previously been a fellow at Georgetown University and at the Open Society Foundations. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Economist, The Wall Street Journal, the London Review of Books, and numerous other publications; in addition, his monthly column for the online magazine Slate is syndicated in El Pais, Corriere della Sera, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Folha de S.Paulo and several other newspapers. Morozov is currently pursuing a PhD in the history of science.

Co-Sponsored by Markkula Center for Applied Ethics and Commonwealth Club of California, Silicon Valley Chapter.

Reception to follow.

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