Alexis Wichowski, Columbia University professor and deputy chief technology officer for New York City, will present "The Information Trade: How Tech Companies Act Like Countries and What It Means for Our Democracy" as part of the Pell Center for International Relations and Public Policy's spring lecture series.
Wichowski will present a near history and a profile of what it means to live a tech-enabled life. She will detail how we can celebrate the ways technology enables us to share the stuff of life – information, data, stories, knowledge, sorrows and silliness, and ephemera – and inform ourselves about what happens to the data when we do share, both with and without our knowledge.
Wichowski cautions us against giving up our ability to influence the balance of power between ourselves, government and tech companies, aka "net states." She will explore how to find the balance between encouraging technology to evolve and ensuring that it does so responsibly. Finally, she will examine what it means to be a responsible citizen-user, engaged with and unafraid of the world that we're building with our tech – and that tech is building for us.