Through algorithms and artificial intelligence (AI), objects and digital services now demonstrate new skills they did not have before, right up to replacing human activity through pre-programming or by making their own decisions. As part of the internet of things, AI applications are already widely used today, for example in language processing, image recognition and the tracking and processing of data.
This policy brief illustrates the potential negative and positive impacts of AI and reviews related policy strategies adopted by the UK, US, EU, as well as Canada and China. Based on an ethical approach that considers the role of AI from a democratic perspective and considering the public interest, the authors make policy recommendations that help to strengthen the positive impact of AI and to mitigate its negative consequences.Book Details
Google and Facebook currently control close to two-thirds of global advertising revenue. While dominating the online advertising market, these two companies have thus far avoided paying adequate taxes.
This CAMRI policy brief presents a new policy innovation, the online advertising tax. Considering the key role of user activity and user data for the value of Google and Facebook’s services, it explains how digital advertising companies’ revenues could be taxed based on the respective country in which targeted users are located.
The author reviews existing policy arguments and policy options and sets out practical steps to ensure that tax avoidance by online advertising companies is mitigated. Furthermore, he illustrates how tax revenues could be used to support public service internet platforms.Book Details
Online advertising will soon form the largest share of global advertisement revenues. Google and Facebook netted profits of US $29 billion in 2016. While these two giants control more than 66% of all online advertising revenues complex legal company structures have minimised their tax liabilities. This extended policy report considers where they should be taxed and where the value of their activities is actually created. It argues that tax paid by those platforms should be levied in the country where platform users are located when they click on or view an advertisement. Furthermore, the report examines the practical steps needed to ensure transparent accounting of taxed transactions in order to avoid long term negative effects for media and democracy.
Considering counter-arguments the author makes the case for an online advertising tax alongside a public service Internet strategy that could support other viable platforms and counter the dangers of duopoly or oligopoly and the high risks of financial bubbles in a world where advertising is the Internet's dominant business model.Book Details
What is ‘social capital’? The enormous positivity surrounding it conceals the instrumental economic rationality underpinning the notion as corporations silently sell consumer data for profit. Status chasing is just one aspect of a process of transforming qualitative aspects of social interactions into quantifiable metrics for easier processing, prediction, and behavioural shaping.
A work of critical media studies, Social Capital Online examines the idea within the new ‘network spectacle’ of digital capitalism via the ideas of Marx, Veblen, Debord, Baudrillard and Deleuze. Explaining how such phenomena as online narcissism and aggression arise, Faucher offers a new theoretical understanding of how the spectacularisation of online activity perfectly aligns with the value system of neoliberalism and its data worship. Even so, at the centre of all, lie familiar ideas – alienation and accumulation – new conceptions of which he argues are vital for understanding today’s digital society.Book Details
This book highlights that the capacity for gathering, analysing, and utilising vast amounts of digital (user) data raises significant ethical issues. Annika Richterich provides a systematic contemporary overview of the field of critical data studies that reflects on practices of digital data collection and analysis. The book assesses in detail one big data research area: biomedical studies, focused on epidemiological surveillance. Specific case studies explore how big data have been used in academic work.
The Big Data Agenda concludes that the use of big data in research urgently needs to be considered from the vantage point of ethics and social justice. Drawing upon discourse ethics and critical data studies, Richterich argues that entanglements between big data research and technology/ internet corporations have emerged. In consequence, more opportunities for discussing and negotiating emerging research practices and their implications for societal values are needed.
An electronic version of this book is freely available, thanks to the support of libraries working with Knowledge Unlatched. KU is a collaborative initiative designed to make high quality books Open Access for the public good. More information about the initiative and details about KU's Open Access programme can be found at www.knowledgeunlatched.org.Book Details
Vision traditionally occupies the height of the sensorial hierarchy. The sense of clarity and purity conveyed by vision, allows it to be explicitly associated with truth and knowledge. The law has always relied on vision and representation, from eye-witnesses to photography, to imagery and emblems. The law and its normative gaze can be understood as that which decrees what is permitted to be and become visible and what is not. Indeed, even if law’s perspectival view is bound to be betrayed by the realities of perception, it is nonetheless productive of real effects on the world.
This first title in the interdisciplinary series ‘Law and the Senses’ asks how we can develop new theoretical approaches to law and seeing that go beyond a simple critique of the legal pretension to truth. This volume aims to understand how law might see and unsee, and how in its turn is seen and unseen. It explores devices and practices of visibility, the evolution of iconology and iconography, and the relation between the gaze of the law and the blindness of justice. The contributions, all radically interdisciplinary, are drawn from photography, legal theory, philosophy, and poetry.Book Details
Evaluating skills and knowledge capture lies at the cutting edge of contemporary higher education where there is a drive towards increasing evaluation of classroom performance and use of digital technologies in pedagogy. Developing Educators for the Digital Age is a book that provides a narrative account of teacher development geared towards the further usage of technologies (including iPads, MOOCs and whiteboards) in the classroom presented via the histories and observation of a diverse group of teachers engaged in the multiple dimensions of their profession.
Drawing on the insights of a variety of educational theories and approaches (including TPACK) it presents a practical framework for capturing knowledge in action of these English language teachers – in their own voices – indicating how such methods, processes and experiences shed light more widely on related contexts within HE and may be transferable to other situations.
This book will be of interest to the growing body of scholars interested in TPACK theory, or communities of practice theory and more widely anyone concerned with how new pedagogical skills and knowledge with technology may be incorporated in better practice and concrete instances of teaching.Book Details
Spectacle 2.0 recasts Debord's theory of spectacle within the frame of 21st century digital capitalism. It offers a reassessment of Debord’s original notion of Spectacle from the late 1960s, of its posterior revisitation in the 1990s, and it presents a reinterpretation of the concept within the scenario of contemporary informational capitalism and more specifically of digital and media labour. It is argued that the Spectacle 2.0 form operates as the interactive network that links through one singular (but contradictory) language and various imaginaries, uniting diverse productive contexts such as logistics, finance, new media and urbanism. Spectacle 2.0 thus colonizes most spheres of social life by processes of commodification, exploitation and reification. Diverse contributors consider the topic within the book’s two main sections: Part I conceptualizes and historicizes the Spectacle in the context of informational capitalism; contributions in Part II offer empirical cases that historicise the Spectacle in relation to the present (and recent past) showing how a Spectacle 2.0 approach can illuminate and deconstruct specific aspects of contemporary social reality. All contributions included in this book rework the category of the Spectacle to present a stimulating compendium of theoretical critical literature in the fields of media and labour studies. In the era of the gig-economy, highly mediated content and President Trump, Debord’s concept is arguably more relevant than ever.Book Details
The story of the University of Westminster is the fifth volume in a series of titles exploring the University's long and diverse history. This book celebrates the twenty-fifth anniversary of the institution gaining university status, the right to award its own degrees and to participate in publicly funded research. Drawing on extensive research conducted in the University of Westminster Archive this volume investigates the evolution from Polytechnic to University within the broader context of the transformation of UK higher education in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.
A print paperback can be purchased direct from the University of Westminster for £20 by following this link: http://www.westminster.ac.uk/historybooks.
Staff, students and alumni can claim a 20% discount on this price.
The United States presents the greatest source of global geo-political violence and instability. Guided by the radical political economy tradition, this book offers an analysis of the USA’s historical impulse to weaponize communication technologies.
Scott Timcke explores the foundations of this impulse and how the militarization of digital society creates structural injustices and social inequalities. He analyses how new digital communication technologies support American paramountcy and conditions for worldwide capital accumulation. Identifying selected features of contemporary American society, Capital, State, Empire undertakes a materialist critique of this digital society and of the New American Way of War. At the same time it demonstrates how the American security state represses activists—such as Black Lives Matter—who resist this emerging security leviathan. The book also critiques the digital positivism behind the algorithmic regulation used to control labour and further diminish prospects for human flourishing for the ‘99%’.
Capital, State, Empire contributes to a broader understanding of the dynamics of global capitalism and political power in the early 21st century.Book Details
Will be part of the Critical Digital and Social Media Studies series
Not since Marx identified the manufacturing plants of Manchester as the blueprint for the new capitalist society has there been a deeper transformation of the fundamentals of our social life. As capitalism faces a series of structural crises, a new social, political and economic dynamic is emerging: peer-to-peer. This book asks what is peer-to-peer (P2P)? Why is it so important to building a commons-centric future? And how could this happen? Using a political economy framework this book discusses various cases exemplifying P2P commons-orientated value models. This book aims to critically intervene through proposals for a commons transition strategy. In this way it illustrates how state, market and civil society can build more inclusive and sustainable institutions.
The Blitz Companion offers a unique overview of a century of aerial warfare, its impact on cities and the people who lived in them. It tells the story of aerial warfare from the earliest bombing raids and premonitions through to the NATO bombings during the Balkan Wars of the 1990s, and subsequent bombings in the aftermath of 9/11. The book focuses on air raids precautions, evacuation and preparations for total war, and resilience, both of citizens and of cities. The legacies of air raids, from reconstruction to commemoration, are also discussed. Uniquely accessible, comparative and broad in scope this book draws key conclusions about civilian experience in the twentieth century.
Will be part of the Law and the Senses series
Taste usually occupies the bottom of the sensorial hierarchy. It is the quintessentially hedonistic sense, too close to the animal, the elemental and the corporeal and for this reason disciplined and moralised. Yet it is indissolubly tied to knowledge. Taste explores law using the sense as a category able to open up directions away from legal certainties and a tool with which to investigate the materiality of law’s relation to the world. The book also explores topics including coffee, wine, craft cider and Japanese knotweed via the legal and sociocultural normativities that shape the way taste is felt and categorised. The result is an original interdisciplinary volume with contributions from artists, legal academics, philosophers, anthropologists and sociologists.
Understandings of freedom are often discussed in moral, theological, legal and political terms, but they are not often set in a historical perspective, and they are even more rarely considered within their specific language context. From Homeric poems to contemporary works, the author traces the words that express the various notions of freedom in Classical Greek, Latin, and medieval and modern European idioms. Examining Plato, Aristotle, Luther, Hobbes, Rousseau, Kant, Nietzsche, and Foucault among others, this theoretical mapping shows old and new boundaries of the horizon of freedom. The book suggests the possibility of transcending them on the basis of a different theorization of human interactions, which constructs individual and collective subjects as processes rather than entities.