Discussion of “The Age of Surveillance Capitalism” Banner

Discussion of “The Age of Surveillance Capitalism”

Thursday, January 18, 2024

07:15 PM - 08:30 PM



This event will be held online via Zoom.

Event Summary

The convergence of capitalism, online platforms, and data science has led to a tremendous thirst for data: about individuals, companies, organizations, and political and social interest groups...everything that can be tracked and digitized. The great capabilities and services that we enjoy online often cost little or nothing—but are never ‘free.’ Software and algorithms can use data to consciously engineer behavior modification in individual users. Shoshana Zuboff gives a chilling description of how Google designed Pokémon GO to be a specific exercise in high-efficiency behavior modification that would drive customers to stores that paid to be PokéStops. TikTok is but the latest example of AI-enabled behavior modification. Join us for a thought-provoking conversation as we discuss Zuboff’s “The Age of Surveillance Capitalism,” led by the moderator (scientist, author, futurist!) J. Craig Wheeler, as we discuss and debate the benefits, concerns, risks, and possible remediations of an increasingly watchful attention economy. This discussion is intended to inform, enlighten, and inspire better decisions and actions that move towards a balanced approach in our usage of these technologies.

Registration and Attendance Instructions

Online via Zoom

Once you register via Ticketbud, you will receive the direct Zoom link in your confirmation email. You will also receive the Zoom link in a reminder email one day before the event.

We will not admit anyone into the Zoom meeting who attempts to join 15 minutes past the start time.

About the Moderator

Event details image 1

J. Craig Wheeler, Samuel T. and Fern Yanagisawa Regents Professor of Astronomy, Emeritus, The University of Texas at Austin

J. Craig Wheeler is the Samuel T. and Fern Yanagisawa Regents Professor of Astronomy, Emeritus, and Distinguished Teaching Professor, Emeritus, at the University of Texas at Austin and was past Chair of the Department. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and a Legacy Fellow of the American Astronomical Society. He has published nearly 400 refereed scientific papers, as many meeting proceedings, a professional-level book on supernovae (Supernova Explosions), a popular book on supernovae, gamma-ray bursts, and related topics (Cosmic Catastrophes), and two novels (The Krone Experiment and Krone Ascending). Wheeler has received many awards for his teaching, including the Regents Award of the University of Texas System. He was a visiting fellow at the Joint Institute for Laboratory Astrophysics (JILA), the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, the Cerro Tololo Interamerican Observatory, and a Fulbright Fellow in Italy. He has served on many advisory committees, including those for the National Science Foundation, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the National Research Council. He has held many positions in the American Astronomical Society and was President of the Society from 2006 to 2008. His research interests include supernovae, black holes, astrobiology, and the technological future of humanity. He is writing a book currently entitled Wild Ride Ahead: A Primer on our Technological Future.

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