EVENT | The Digital Party – Book Launch

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The Centre for Digital Culture invites you to the launch of Paolo Gerbaudo’s new book, The Digital Party: Political Organisation and Online Democracy.

From the Five Star Movement to Podemos, from the Pirate Parties to La France Insoumise, from the movements behind Bernie Sanders to those backing Jeremy Corbyn, the last decade has witnessed the rise of a new blueprint for political organisation: the digital party.

Paolo Gerbaudo (King’s College London) addresses the organisational revolution that is transforming political parties in the time of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Cambridge Analytica. Drawing on interviews with political leaders and organisers, Gerbaudo demonstrates that besides rapidly growing in votes, these formations have also revitalised party democracy, involving hundreds of thousands in discussions carried out on online decision-making platforms.

Participatory, yet plebiscitarian, open and democratic, yet dominated by charismatic ‘hyperleaders’, digital parties display both great potentials and risks for the development of new forms of mass participation in an era of growing inequality. All political parties will have to reckon with the lessons of the digital party.

Chair: Aaron Bastani
Emma Rees: Momentum National Organiser
Other Speakers: TBC

 

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Date and time

Friday 18 January 2019
18:00–20:00 GMT

Location

Safra Lecture Theatre, King’s Building, Strand Campus,
Strand
London
WC2R 2LS

 

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Project | Mobile Phones and Reproductive Health in Cambodia

A research project funded by the AHRC to foster collaboration between Public Health and Arts & Humanities. King’s and the London School of Health and Tropical Medicine are leading a group that includes researchers from SOAS and Marie Stopes International (MSI) Cambodia.

The project looks at how workers in garment factories in Cambodia use mobile phones to find information related to health, with a specific focus on reproductive health services and medical abortion. Equally importantly, it looks at how public health and humanities/social science approaches can be better integrated: Can we take a wider socio-cultural perspective to better understand how people approach health information and medical abortion? Can we use specific behaviors centered around abortion to better understand information-seeking behaviors? Where to mobile phones and online resources fit in this eco-system?

King’s lead researcher: Elisa Oreglia

Associated organisations: London School of Health and Tropical Medicine,  SOAS, Marie Stopes International (MSI) Cambodia.

EVENT | DIGIT.PROP: Social media and Political Communication

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In recent years we have seen social media becoming a key means of political communication and propaganda in a number of election campaigns, from the US 2016 presidential elections, to the 2017 national elections in the UK. How does social media growing role in contemporary politics change the way in which campaigns are conducted? How do new political contents typical of social media such as memes, short videos and videogames contribute to political parties’ propaganda effort? And what are the potentials and risks of the use of social media as a political communication and propaganda tool. We will discuss these topics with scholars and practitioners at the forefront of contemporary political and communication developments.

Confirmed Speakers:

Emma Rees (Momentum), Nahema Marchal (Oxford Internet Institute), James Moulding (Corbyn Run)

Matteo Canestrari (digital politics expert). Chair: Paolo Gerbaudo

 

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Date and time

Thur 29 November, 2018

18:30-20:00 GMT

Location

Nash Lecture Theatre, King’s College London, Strand Campus,
Strand
London
WC2R 2LS

 

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DDH postgraduate students active in cultural AI event

Festival Grounded is a festival of electronic music, critical thinking and activism that will take place from 21. to 23.11. in Ljubljana, Slovenia. This year’s theme is Intimacy in the age of Artificial Intelligence, and we are extremely proud to announce that a former and a current student of our Big Data MA, Nika Mahnič and Kamila Koronska, are among the speakers of this year’s Festival Grounded, next to renowned researchers from the United Kingdom, namely Professors Kathleen Richardson, Andrew McStay and Vian Bakir.

Besides a progressive music programme, more than 30 speakers will present critical approaches and engage in debates on the role of information technology and specifically artificial intelligence in the interference with our everyday lives. For those interested, the event will be livestreamed here.  The timetable shows times in CET (GMT + 1), as well as specify the language of the event.

One of the programme selectors was Big Data MA graduate Nika Mahnič, who wrote about the theme of this year’s edition: “Recognizing the complexity of the current situation, we strive towards literacy and the recognition of the role of artificial intelligence technologies, whose importance for economic growth is increasing in parallel with the growth of authoritarianism. For their smooth operation, artificial intelligence and robotics require big data that are importantly changing, limiting and directing our practices. While the pioneers of the Fourth Industrial Revolution are freeing up market barriers through enabling the legal subjectivity of machines or robots, it is essential to provide a platform for reflecting on the various interventions of machine intelligence into intimacy and spontaneity of everyday life.”

Nika has also published the article ‘Encountering bloody others in mined reality’ in the academic journal AI & Society, in which she explores interpersonal and human–computer interaction in the era of big data.

Congratulations to Nika and Kamila – we wish an excellent festival!

EVENT | Seen by Machine: Computational Spectatorship and the BBC Archive

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Film and television makers have been using computers in their practice for almost as long as computers have been around. Recently, they have incorporated machine learning techniques as creative tools in their craft. Creative machine learning holds the promise of the automation of the production and reproduction of visual culture, and this type of automated image-making presents to its audiences confounding pictures of authorship, authenticity and value. However, looking beyond the hype and the many misleading headlines about “creative machines”, there are powerful social and economic forces that have drawn artists and creators of all kinds to have an interest in machine learning.

Daniel Chavez Heras (King’s College London) collaborated with a small team of technologists at BBC R&D to create a system that generates sequences out of archive footage using machine learning. The results of these experiments were edited into the television programme Made by Machine: When AI met the Archive, which is now the first time machine learning has been used in this way to produce prime-time content for television. Through this example, Daniel will discuss the idea of audio-visual archives as “cultural big data”, and their automatic browsing as an instance of computational spectatorship: a way to understand how our visual regimes are increasingly mediated by machine-seers.

Bio: Daniel has been working with pictures and computers, in various capacities, for more than ten years. He trained as a designer in Mexico and has worked in creative roles in print media and television before joining the British Council as a digital manager, where he was responsible for the digital portfolio of the organisation’s operation in Mexico. In 2010 he was awarded a Jumex fellowship for the study of contemporary art, and he has since been awarded a Fulbright scholarship twice, although he ended up declining both times to come to study in the UK: first for an MA in Film Studies at King’s College London, and currently at the Department of Digital Humanities, also at King’s, where he is trying to teach computers to watch films for his PhD. Daniel is funded by Mexico’s Ministry of Education through its Science and Technology Research Council (CONACYT); he has published in English and Spanish in international peer-reviewed journals on films & computers, on videogames & art history, and has taught university courses, in both Mexico and the UK, on visual narrative, digital aesthetics, and most recently on the politics of online networks and social media. Daniel has also made a few personal short films (one of which was screened in the official selection at the UNAM International Film Festival in 2013).

This event is part of an ongoing seminar series on “critical inquiry with and about the digital” hosted by the Department of Digital Humanities, King’s College London. If you tweet about the event you can use the #kingsdhhashtag or mention @kingsdh. If you’d like to get notifications of future events you can sign up to this mailing list.

 

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Date and time

Thur 6 December, 2018

18:00-20:00

Location

Bush House Lecture Theatre 2 BH(S) 4.04, Level 4, South, King’s College London
30 Aldwych
London
WC2B 4BG

 

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EVENT | Predictive Policing & Big Data Analysis

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The application of ‘big data’ to make predictions about future behaviour is increasingly being applied in policing and by social services. The more it is important to publicly discuss this development and exchange knowledge about it.

Hosted by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Department of Digital Humanities, King’s College London, leading academics and practitioners from the Netherlands and the UK have been invited to discuss use cases of predictive analytics while not forgetting about its societal implications and ethical issues from privacy to biased algorithms.

Can prediction make our societies safer, as some say? Or is it itself an unsafe practice, as others fear? By exploring its complex details, this event hopes to contribute to an open discussion. We look forward to welcoming you at the Royal Society on Tuesday, 4 December 6pm. Besides members of the Dutch and British Police (tbc), our speakers will be:

Claudia Aradau, King’s College London: Claudia Aradau is Professor of International Politics in the School of Security Studies. Her current research analyses contemporary articulations of security and unknowns, particularly as mediated through data, algorithmic practices and digital devices.

Bob Hoogenboom, Nyenrode Business University: Bob Hoogenboom’s research is located in the field of fraud and fraud prevention, integrity issues and public-private collaboration in the security industry. He is Professor of Forensic Business Studies, member of Transparency International Nederland, and of the Netherlands Intelligence Study Association (NISA).

Wajid Shafiq, CEO of Xantura: Xantura is the leading provider of data sharing and advanced analytics to the public sector. It supports vulnerable groups. Wajid will elaborate on a pilot they are conducting on predictive policing in relation to domestic violence.

Marc Schuilenburg, VU University Amsterdam: Marc Schuilenburg works on the edge of Sociology, Philosophy and Criminology. He teaches in the Department of Criminal Law and Criminology, VU University Amsterdam. His last English book is The Securitization of Society. Crime, Risk, and Social Order (New York University Press).

Hosted by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands & King’s College London.

 

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Date and time

Tue 4 December, 2018

18:00-20:00

Location

The Royal Society
6-9 Carlton House Terrace
Room: The Kohn Centre
London
SW1Y 5AG

 

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EVENT | The good life after work? Nostalgia and digital capitalism

 

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Description

Are people working in digital economies experiencing nostalgia for the “good life” of previous decades? What can we make of tensions between visions of “the end of work” and “life after work”? Join us for a seminar with Alessandro Gandini (King’s College London) where he’ll be previewing new research on nostalgia and digital capitalism.

The good life after work? Nostalgia and digital capitalism – Alessandro Gandini (King’s College London)

In the aftermath of World War II, Western societies experienced an unprecedented period of economic flourishing and societal advancement. At its core, the bedrock of that period was the availability of ‘jobs for life’, that became the precondition to living a ‘good life’ – with consumption being a means to social mobility.

However, the digital economy is emerging in the aftermath of decades of neoliberal policies of flexibilization, individualization and precarisation of work that undermined the stability of employment, and after a decade of economic recession. In this shift, the expectation of ‘jobs for life’ has largely vanished and the ideal of the “good life” has entered a (perhaps terminal) crisis. A hegemonic ‘nostalgic’ sentiment has, on the contrary, emerged – epitomised by the Brexit vote, the rise of Donald Trump and, more recently, the Italian election – around the difficulty to let go of the ideal of the ‘good life’.

Liaising with the ongoing debate on ‘post-work’ and ‘the future of work’, the talk will discuss the ‘good life’ after work. The talk will also feature findings from a questionnaire on this topic, distributed across November and December 2017 to 19-25 year old university students in London and Milan.

Bio: Alessandro Gandini (@afrontiercity) is a sociologist working as a lecturer in the department of Digital Humanities, King’s College, London. His research interests include the transformation of work, social relations and research methods in the digital society. He is the author of The Reputation Economy (Palgrave, 2016), the co-author of Qualitative Research in Digital Environments (Routledge, 2017) and a co- editor of Unboxing the Sharing Economy, part of The Sociological Review Monograph Series (2018).

This event is part of an ongoing seminar series on “critical inquiry with and about the digital” hosted by the Department of Digital Humanities, King’s College London. If you tweet about the event you can use the #kingsdh hashtag or mention @kingsdh. If you’d like to get notifications of future events you can sign up to this mailing list.

 

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Date and time

Wed 21 November, 2018

16:00-17:30

Location

Room S2.08, Strand Building
Strand Campus
King’s College London
London
WC2R 2LS

 

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EVENT | Exploring the impact of digital cultural heritage through collaboration

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Description

Julia Fallon from Europeana will discuss their Impact Playbook. It is an innovative co-production and good example of co-research in action.

Summary: Ahead of us is a challenge of producing better, more convincing evidence of how transformative access to digital culture can be.  How it contributes to every day life, and how it can inspire us, quite literally improving our health and wellbeing. In 2017 Europeana launched the Impact Playbook; a practical tool to help drive change and impact in the cultural heritage sector.   Developed collaboratively – it is a tangible step we have taken to help institutions learn, explore and assess their impact.  The playbook has opened possibilities for many institutions to have conversations with their colleagues, their customers and their management. I will introduce the playbook, tell you a bit about the work we have done following it so far, what we have learned from it and where it goes next.  I would also like to share our plans for the future and how we hope to support the growth of credible evidence for policymakers.

About Julia: As Senior Policy Advisor at Europeana, Julia Fallon works on developing frameworks (and playbooks) that motivate and facilitate cultural heritage institutions to open up their collections for reuse. Her time is split between managing copyright issues, the impact work and developing the RightsStatements.org Consortium.

 

Link to Playbook: https://pro.europeana.eu/what-we-do/impact?

Photo from: https://pro.europeana.eu/person/julia-fallon

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Date and time

Thur 15 November 2018

17:00  GMT

To book your place, please email Professor Simon Tanner (please note that spaces are limited):

simon.tanner@kcl.ac.uk

Simon Tanner | Pro Vice Dean (Impact & Innovation), Arts & Humanities

Professor of Digital Cultural Heritage
Department of Digital Humanities
King’s College London | S3.18 Strand Campus | London WC2B 5RL

 

 

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EVENT | Autonomous Smart Cities and Facts Beyond Smart Living

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Description

“Visa, the world’s largest credit card network, can predict how likely you are to get a divorce”.

“New York-based insurer Lemonade employs a chat-bot, “A.I. Jim,” which was recently credited with paying out a claim in under three seconds”.

Knowing the future may not always guarantee you a better life. Everything is moving towards super smart future development. With the deployment of pro-active sensing devices, the ever-growing use of smart phones, the advanced use of digital data analytics and the acceptance of AI – smart living is becoming a reality. Technology disruptors are accelerating their development with less of a focus on the human capacity of socioeconomic adaptability than on their financial interests. Hence it is urgent to find out the more about the future impacts of these technological shifts and their acceptance in order to mitigate unwanted and unforeseen future circumstances and to avoid living the rest of our lives in cities that we would not choose to live in.

Dr Md. Mamunur Rashid (Mamun) is as a Senior Research Fellow at King’s Business School, King’s College London. He is currently working in a leading Digital Analytics centre called “Consumer and Organizational Digital Analytics Research Centre (CODA)”. Previously, he worked as a Scientific Research Computing Specialist for 3 years in the Department of Engineering Science, at the University of Oxford. Prior to Oxford, he worked in the Physics Department, at Imperial College London. He was awarded PhD Scholarship to work at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN), Switzerland after he started his PhD at University of Cranfield. He was awarded a further scholarship by the Atlantic Association for Research in the Mathematical Sciences (AARMS) at the University of New Brunswick, Canada. He also obtained a CERN School of Computing programming diploma from the University of Gottingen, Germany. Coming from a strong infrastructure deployment and data analytical background as well as helping to build a number of data-intensive systems, Mamun now works on solving the diverse set of problems for finding impacts of state-of-the-technology technology in the area of IoT, Big Data, Block Chain, pattern recognition, Smart Infrastructure, Future Cities and Distributed HPC. He has interests in multi-disciplinary research spectrums focussing on a force for innovation, scientific discovery and potentially those can make a worldwide impact.

 

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Date and time

Wed 14 November 2018

16:00 – 17:30 GMT

Location

Old Anatomy Lecture Theatre (K6.29)
Strand Campus
King’s College London
London
WC2R 2LS

 

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EVENT | Digital Media and their Situational Analytics

 

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Description

How can digital data from online devices and platforms be used to do social and cultural research? What problem are we facing, when using digital media itself to understand how those technical innovations are situated in society? Join us for a departmental seminar with Noortje Marres (University of Warwick).

Why social research must become inventive in a digital age

Digital data and data tools enable new ways of reconciling foundational oppositions in social research, including those between content and context, abstraction and experience, trend and situation. This argument tends to involve the claim that automat-able data analysis now makes possible the empirical specification of contexts in ways that were previously understood to require ethnographic presence “in the field.”

In this seminar, Noortje Marres will discuss her on-going study of a digitally native phenomenon – user-led technology testing on Youtube, and look at the methodological difficulties of digital media to find that they are haunted by a blind spot. She will show that this blind spot has important consequences for the methodological approach of socio-technical situations, and how to become inventive to solve it.

Bio: Noortje Marres (@NoortjeMarres) is Associate Professor in the Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies at the University of Warwick, and a Visiting Professor in the Centre for Science & Technology Studies at the University of Leiden. She has published two monographs, Material Participation (Palgrave, 2015) and Digital Sociology (Polity, 2017). More info at www.noortjemarres.net.

This event is part of an ongoing seminar series on “critical inquiry with and about the digital” hosted by the Department of Digital Humanities, King’s College London. If you tweet about the event you can use the #kingsdhhashtag or mention @kingsdh. If you’d like to get notifications of future events you can sign up to this mailing list.

 

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Date and time

Wed 28 November, 2018

16:00-17:30

Location

Old Anatomy Lecture Theatre (K6.29)
Strand Campus
King’s College London
London
WC2R 2LS

 

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