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Fall Speaker Series to Explore Technological Shifts and Social Change

This thought-provoking speaker series titled 'The Futures Series: Technological Shifts and Social Change' will explore how we can live and thrive in a world where social and technological transformation must be considered simultaneously and inseparably.

While the intent of technological innovation is generally to improve people's lives, it also has unintended consequences, both positive and negative. These high-profile speakers will address these consequences and explore how a dialogue between technology innovators and social scientists can help anticipate these risks and develop technologies and social policies to respond to them effectively.  

This series is an interdisciplinary collaboration between the UMass Amherst College of Information and Computer Sciences, the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, and the Center for Smart and Connected Society. It is also part of the ongoing SBS Social Science Matters speaker series.

Free and open to the public. Refreshments will be provided, so please RSVP.

Topics and Dates

Artificial Intelligence for Social Good - Our Approach at the Wadhwani Institute of AI
Presenter: P. Anandan, CEO of Wadhwani Institute of Artificial Intelligence
Thursday, September 13, 2018 - 12:00pm, Old Chapel
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Information and the Global Liberal Order: How the Policy Regime That America Built Was Turned Against It
Presenter: Henry Farrell, Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at George Washington University
Friday, October 5, 2018 - 1:00pm, Thompson 420
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Interaction Ritual Threads: Conversational Persistence in an Online Discussion at a Large Corporation
Presenter: Paul DiMaggio, Professor of Sociology at NYU
Monday, October 15, 2018 - 2:30pm (reception, talk begins at 3:00pm), Old Chapel
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AI in the Open World: Discovering Blind Spots of AI 
Presenter: Ece Kamar, Senior Researcher in the Adaptive Systems and Interaction Group at Microsoft Research
Friday, October 26, 2018 - 12:00pm, Computer Science Building, Room 151
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Automating Austerity - Digital Diversion in Unequal America 
Presenter: Virginia Eubanks, Associate Professor of Political Science at the University at Albany, SUNY
Thursday, November 8, 2018 - 12:00pm, Old Chapel
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AI for Social Good: Decision Aids for Countering Terrorism, Extinction, Homelessness
Presenter: Milind Tambe, Helen N. and Emmett H. Jones Professor in Engineering at the University of Southern California (USC)
Thursday, November 15, 2018 - 12:00pm, Computer Science Building, Room 151
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What is the Work of the Future?
Presenter: David Autor, American Academy of Arts and Sciences and Professor of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Department of Economics
Friday, November 30, 2018 - 12:00pm, Old Chapel
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