Is Privacy a Thing of the Past in Today’s Digital World?


November 23, 2017 :: James Graham
Moderated by Knud Petersen

It is difficult to look at a newspaper, watch TV, listen to the radio, or scan the news on the internet without some reference to personal privacy being compromised. Intrusions into government and private-sector systems have often exposed sensitive information and increasingly, systems are breached with more personal information uncovered. But what happens when this complex network of digital and industrial technologies becomes so fast, so automated and so ubiquitous (everywhere) that we are no longer capable of discerning the differences between public and private, real and fake, human and machine? And what if that process of technological change is so rapid and disruptive that we lose the very capability and/or willingness to even care?

New Media Professor James Graham will argue that we are currently on the doorstep of this new era - a “perfect storm” of new technologies and systems – that will so completely automate and accelerate our physical and digital environment as to risk placing it beyond our ability to monitor, comprehend or control the impact of that change. Specifically, the speaker will examine and make understandable the complex technologies that make up this next, Fourth Industrial Revolution, as it is commonly called, including: AI, Machine Learning, Block Chain, Quantum Computing, Robotics, Nano and Biotechnology, Virtual Currencies, The Internet of Things, Virtual and Augmented Reality, GPU Cluster computing and autonomous devices and vehicles.

The speaker will argue that, while there will certainly be societal benefits associated with these coming technology systems, it is critical for governments, educators, industrialists and citizens to take a hard look at the ethical and societal implications associated with allowing these technologies to re-engineer or “fix”, our urban infrastructure and social matrix. It is critical that we must try to retain the ability to shape and limit the technological systems that increasingly demand our adoption, participation and consent.

Speaker:     James Graham

James Graham is an Associate Professor and founding member of the University of Lethbridge Department of New Media. In the private sector, Graham is the founder and CEO of Neospatial Corp - an augmented reality/virtual reality company – and Director of Research and Development with Insitu Media Corporation, a Vancouver-based digital innovator in server-side 3D media insertion systems.

Graham’s academic research is focused on developing industry and artistic applications of 3D virtual and augmented reality technology. Theory-based research is in “disruptor media” innovation and ethics.

Moderator: Knud Petersen

Date: Thursday, November 23, 2017
Time: Noon - 1:30 pm
Location: Country Kitchen Catering (Lower level of The Keg) 1715 Mayor Magrath Dr. S
Cost: $14.00 (includes lunch) or $2.00 (includes coffee/tea) RSVP is not necessary


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