Tech Policy Press is a nonprofit media and community venture intended to provoke new ideas, debate and discussion at the intersection of technology and democracy. The Sunday Show is its podcast.
You can find us at https://techpolicy.press/, and on twitter at https://twitter.com/techpolicypress.
Hard Problems: Algorithms & Antitrust
This episode is in two parts. Both get at hard problems in how to deal with technology companies- first, around the regulation of algorithmic amplification on social media, and second, around competition.
On algorithms, we hear from Daphne Keller, who directs the Program on Platform Regulation at Stanford's Cyber Policy Center. Daphne recently published an essay, Amplification and Its Discontents: Why regulating the reach of online content is hard, on the website of the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University.
On competition, we take a tour of five new bills to rein in the big tech companies that were just put forward in Congress with Hal Singer, a PhD economist and Managing Director of the firm Econ One. Hal is an expert in antitrust, consumer protection, and regulation. Hal has researched, published, and testified on competition-related issues, providing expert economic and policy advice to regulatory agencies in the United States and Canada, as well as before congressional committees.
A Time for Reimagining
This episode features two segments that focus on reimagining our relationship to technology, and the ways in which it contributes to our reality.
First up, we speak with JAZSALYN, an anti-disciplinary artist, curator and creative director and a graduate student in an MFA student in Parsons' Design + Technology program and one of the creators of black beyond , a platform making space for artists and activists to speculate alternate realities for Blackness. black beyond is hosting a virtual new media festival titled black beyond _origins, to reimagine Black Femme Futures, starting June 17th, 2021. I caught up with Jazsalyn about the festival, and about her vision for how a world that repositions and centers communities that are often left out of discussions on technology, or what is the future.
Then, we look at another set of ideas for reimagining our relationship to technology and the world around us. Last month the Jacobs Urban Tech Hub at Cornell Tech released Rebooting NYC: An Urban Tech Agenda for the Next Administration, a set of strategic recommendations for how the next New York City government can leverage new technologies to improve the lives of all New Yorkers. I spoke to Rohit "Rit" Aggarwala, formerly an executive at Sidewalk Labs and now the Hub’s Senior Urban Tech Fellow, and Matt Stempeck, who is currently at Cornell University as Technologist in Residence, about the report.
AI, People and Power: A Conversation with Kate Crawford & Ryan Calo
Artificial intelligence is perhaps the most hyped technology in the world. In today’s episode, we’re going to hear a discussion that invites the listener to think about how money, power and other troubling forces and ideas that shape our society are built into AI systems and the ways we think about deploying them.
In May, the University of Washington’s Tech Policy Lab and Center for an Informed Public cohosted a virtual book talk featuring Kate Crawford, a leading scholar of the social implications of artificial intelligence and author of the recently published book, Atlas of AI: Power, Politics, and the Planetary Costs of Artificial Intelligence published this spring by Yale University Press, in conversation with Ryan Calo, co-founder of the Center for an Informed Public co-founder, founding co-director of the interdisciplinary UW Tech Policy Lab and a UW School of Law professor.
Countering Hate Speech and Extremism on Social Media
There are three parts in this week's episode. The first two reflect on the Christchurch Call Summit, a meeting of world leaders and tech executives to discuss efforts to police hate speech and extremism on social media. Moderated by Courtney Radsch, a member of the Tech Policy Press masthead, our guests include Paul Ash, the New Zealand Prime Minister’s Special Representative on Cyber and Digital and the Coordinator of the Christchurch Call; and Dia Kayyali, Associate Director for Advocacy at Mnemonic, the umbrella organization for Syrian Archive, Yemeni Archive, and Sudanese Archive.
The third is an interview with New York State Senator Anna Kaplan on legislation she has introduced to contend with hate speech and misinformation.
The Dark Side of Social Media
Today’s episode features two discussions on negative impacts of social media- including censorship of marginalized voices and dangers to kids.
First, we talk with Thusiyan Nandakumar, an editor at the Tamil Guardian and Amarnath Amarasingam, a professor and extremism researcher at Queen’s University, who tell the story of how social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram are are censoring Tamil activists and other activists around the world who being targeted by governments.
And second, we focus on kids and social media, with reactions to hearing in a Senate Subcommittee titled “Protecting Kids Online: Internet Privacy and Manipulative Marketing”, from tech policy experts Sara Collins, Policy Counsel at Public Knowledge and previously a Policy Counsel on the Future of Privacy Forum’s Education and Youth Privacy team, as well as Joseph Jerome, Director, Platform Accountability and State Advocacy at Common Sense Media, where he focuses on legislative and policy solutions related to children and digital media.
The Issue of Trust: Katherine Maher, Ethan Zuckerman & Alberto Ibargüen
Today’s episode features a conversation hosted recently by the Digital Public Library of America, DPLA. The DPLA brings together many collections of America’s libraries, archives, and museums, and makes them freely available to the world on a shared platform.
This DPLA Book Talk features a conversation on trust and the crisis faced by our institutions; the promise of the movements rising to challenge them; and the obstacles we must confront if we are to rebuild civic life and create meaningful change.
It includes Ethan Zuckerman, Katherine Maher, and Alberto Ibargüen.
Ethan Zuckerman is an associate professor of public policy, communication and information at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and is founder of the Institute for Digital Public Infrastructure, a research group that is studying and building alternatives to the existing commercial internet. He’s the author of two books: Mistrust: Why Losing Faith in Institutions Provides the Tools to Transform Them and Rewire: Digital Cosmopolitans in the Age of Connection.
Mistrust, published in November 2020, looks at how and why Americans are losing faith in our institutions and how we can harness the methods of successful social movements to both transform and replace them, and serves as the basis for today’s discussion.
Katherine Maher was the CEO of the Wikimedia Foundation until this spring, when she stepped down after a long and successful tenure. The foundation operates Wikipedia and the Wikimedia projects. She is a longtime advocate for free and open societies, and has worked around the world leading the integration of technology and innovation in human rights, good governance, and international development. Katherine has worked with UNICEF, the National Democratic Institute, the World Bank, and Access Now on programs supporting technologies for democratic participation, civic engagement, and open government.
Alberto Ibargüen, who moderates the discussion, is president and CEO of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
He is the former publisher of The Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald and during his tenure, The Miami Herald won three Pulitzer Prizes and El Nuevo Herald won Spain’s Ortega y Gasset Prize for excellence in journalism.
Timely and important discussions on Big Tech - a topic that’s affecting us all
These are very illuminating and thought-provoking discussions with the experts—exploring the dimensions of Big Tech and its effect on society and democracy. We need to be having and hearing more interviews like this!