Love the Processor, Hate the Process: The Temptations of Clever Algorithms and When to Resist Them

Speaker: JONATHAN ZITTRAIN, George Bemis Professor of Law and Computer Science , Harvard Law School

Date: Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Time: 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM Note: all times are in the Eastern Time Zone

Public: Yes

Location: 32-123

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Host: MIT Big Data Initiative at CSAIL, MIT CASIL

Contact: Susana Kevorkova, 617-324-8424,

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Reminder Subject: TALK: Big Data Lecture Series: JONATHAN ZITTRAIN

ABSTRACT: In the span of only a few months a new academic sub-sub-field has coalesced around anxieties about the algorithms that steer our perceptions and our lives. Whether it's Google search results, the Facebook news feed, or Twitter trends, there are ways in which big data can be used to shape and suase that call into question for who benefits from the services we use. Are we better off when the services themselves cannot even predict what their algorithms will do? Should public authorities get involved, such as through a right to be forgotten? What happens as services recede from classic information search with results, and move to anticipatory concierges? This talk will try to sort out some of the problems and offer some solutions, ideally ones that aren't worse than what they're trying to cure.

BIO: Jonathan Zittrain is the George Bemis Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Professor of Computer Science at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Director of the Harvard Law School Library, and Faculty Director of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society. His research interests include battles for control of digital property and content, cryptography, electronic privacy, the roles of intermediaries within Internet architecture, human computing, and the useful and unobtrusive deployment of technology in education. He performed the first large-scale tests of Internet filtering in China and Saudi Arabia, and as part of the OpenNet Initiative co-edited a series of studies of Internet filtering by national governments: Access Denied: The Practice and Policy of Global Internet Filtering; Access Controlled: The Shaping of Power, Rights, and Rule in Cyberspace; and Access Contested: Security, Identity, and Resistance in Asian Cyberpace. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Board of Advisors for Scientific American. He has served as a Trustee of the Internet Society, and as a Forum Fellow of the World Economic Forum, which named him a Young Global Leader, and as Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence at the Federal Communications Commission, where he previously chaired the Open Internet Advisory Committee. His book The Future of the Internet -- And How to Stop It is available from Yale University Press and Penguin UK -- and under a Creative Commons license. Papers may be found at .

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Created by Susana Kevorkova Email at Wednesday, February 18, 2015 at 8:14 AM.