The Logical Space of Algocracy: A Guide to the Territory – upcoming talk by Dr John Danaher (NUI Galway)

We are delighted to announce another November event, taking place on 25 November 2016 at 4pm in Room 1.18 of the David Hume Tower. Our speaker will be Dr John Danaher (NUI Galway), who will present on the following topic:

The Logical Space of Algocracy: A Guide to the Territory

An ‘algocracy’ can be defined as any governance system in which computer-coded algorithms structure, nudge, influence, constrain, control (etc.) the behaviour of its human subjects. In recent years, several authors have expressed concerns about the rise of such algocratic governance systems, suggesting that they have important repercussions for the future transparency, fairness and efficiency of governance. Although I agree with many of these authors, I argue that the extant discussions of this phenomenon are lacking in nuance. There are many different types of algocratic system. Some are unexceptional, some are welcome, and some are worrisome. To date, authors have tended to only distinguish between 2-3 or three different types. To get a clearer picture of the landscape of possibilities, I take Christian List’s framework for mapping out the logical space of democratic decision-procedures and apply it to the algocracy debate. I argue that for any given system there are at least 4^4 different types of algocracy. I then provide a quick guide to some of the more significant possibilities within that logical space, highlighting the legal, ethical and political issues they may raise.

The talk will be followed by a Q&A section and refreshments will be provided. All students and staff are welcome and no registration is required.

Surveillance and the Common Good – upcoming talk by Dr Eric Stoddart (St Andrews)

We are delighted to announce that our first event of the IP/IT/Media Law Discussion Group seminar series this semester will take place on Monday 31 October at 2pm in Neil MacCormick Room (Room 9.01), David Hume TowerDr Eric Stoddart from University of St Andrews will present on the following topic:

Surveillance and the Common Good: Why Privacy Concerns Are Just the Tip of the Iceberg

Privacy concerns are important but whilst they address individuals’ rights they tend not to open up questions around the impact of surveillance upon groups in particular contexts. The Common Good offers a multi-dimensional critique of surveillance and has possibilities for promoting an optics of hope for surveillance that might contribute to human flourishing.
 
This paper explores synoptic surveillance (the many ‘us’ watching the few ‘them’). It places contemporary surveillance within the context of media (mis-)representations of already marginalised groups, e.g. welfare claimants, people who ‘look Muslim’, and immigrants.
 
The talk will be followed by a Q&A section and refreshments will be provided. All students and staff are welcome and no registration is required.