The Internet of Me: It’s All About My Screens
Cardiff University, 23 February 2016
On Tuesday evening, Cardiff University welcomed Robert Schukai, the Head of Applied Innovation for Thomson Reuters, to give the annual Institute of Engineering and Technology Turing Lecture. Schukai, a charismatic and entertaining speaker, spoke about how through Cognitive Computing, Artificial Intelligence and Natural Language Processing the future of data is ‘all about you’.
Citizen Media and the Perils of Technology Shifts
Ivan Sigal, Executive Director, Global Voices
Tuesday, 1st March 2016 at 4pm in Rm 0.14, Bute Building
Commercial social media platforms and their shaping of online speech now dominate citizen media, and shift how we write, speak and make images. The concomitant decline of the single-author blog points to a shift away from coherent online writing and toward fragmented online speech, visual conversation and increasingly, closed group conversations not accessible by search. We will examine the implications for social media reporting and public conversation, and consider possible future directions for this tech shift.
Digital Citizenship and Surveillance Society: UK State-Media-Citizen Relations after the Snowden Leaks
Wednesday, 2nd March 2016 at 4pm in Rm 0.05, Bute Building
The 18-month ESRC-funded research project Digital Citizenship and Surveillance Society has explored the nature, opportunities and challenges of digital citizenship in light of the governmental surveillance measures revealed by whistle-blower Edward Snowden. Four research teams investigated the responses to the Snowden leaks in the areas of policy, technology, civil society and news media, and they analysed implications for civil rights, the public understanding of surveillance, the accountability of government, the security of technical infrastructure, and the roles and responsibilities of journalists. The project’s investigators will present final results.
Digital Materiality Conference, NUI May 21st – 22nd 2015
In light of the forthcoming (May 2016) publication by Matthew G. Kirschenbaum, Track Changes: A Literary History of Word Processing, I’ve decided to post this review of the Digital Materiality conference held in Galway last year, where Matthew was one of the plenary speakers.
It is a truth, universally acknowledged by writers of all nationalities, that when one begins to write about Ireland, an introductory paragraph must be filled with clichéd references to Guinness, drinking, dancing, Eurovision and/or Michael Flatley, the beautiful landscape, the friendliness of the people, the wonderful music and the power of the nation’s poetry. If the writers in question wish to be particularly clever, then also expect Father Ted to be in the list too. Down with this sort of thing, I say, as this is, obviously, not the place to make such references even though after spending a few days in Galway as part of NUI’s superb Digital Materialities conference I can confirm that they are all true. Even Michael Flatley.
In As You like It Shakespeare famously informed his audience at The Globe that ‘All the world’s a stage / And all the men and women merely players’. Meanwhile, four hundred years later in her book My Mother Was a Computer: Digital Subjects and Literary Texts, N. Katherine Hayles points out that ‘computers are no longer merely tools (if they ever were) but are complex systems that increasingly produce the conditions, ideologies, assumptions and practices that help to constitute what we call reality’. If Shakespeare’s audience could understand themselves as theatrical subjects (as surely they must have done for those famous lines to resonate) it is because the Renaissance stage itself provided, like the digital today, those very ‘conditions, ideologies, assumptions and practices’ that Hayles argues help to constitute reality. Continue reading