'living with monsters?' working conference in San Francisco
Professor Magnus Mähring at the House of Innovation chaired, together with fellow international scholars, the IFIP WG 8.2 Working Conference which was held at San Francisco State University on 11-12 December, 2018.
The theme of the conference was "Living with Monsters". Our evolving digital worlds generate both hope and fears. Algorithms, using big data, identify suspicious credit card transactions and predict the spread of epidemics, but they also raise concerns about mass surveillance and systematically perpetuated biases. Social media platforms allow us to stay connected with family and friends, but they also commoditize relationships and produce new forms of sociality.
While there is little agreement on the implications of digital technology for contemporary work and social life, there is a growing realization that information technologies are performative (MacKenzie 2006) in that they no longer merely represent the world, but also produce it. And given their growing interdependence, the ability to control any given technology is increasingly limited. Stock market flash crashes, induced by algorithmic trading, are highly visible examples of such algorithmic phenomena (Scott and Orlikowski 2014).
Have the things we have made become out-of-control juggernauts? Are we living with monsters? Those were some of the questions that were discussed at the conference. Click here for more information about IFIP and the conference.