Worlds of Journalism – Beate Josephi

Friday 13 September, 3.00pm – 4.30pm

MECO Seminar Room, S226, John Woolley Building A20, University of Sydney

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Worlds of Journalism, based on survey data from 67 countries, offers a truly global picture of journalists, their demographics, role orientations, perceptions of freedom, ethical considerations, and trust in public institutions. Based on her authorship of the demographic profiles of journalists, this talk will highlight some of the surprising results with regard to gender, age and education of journalists, and take up the findings of other chapters to convey an understanding of journalistic culture as it manifests itself in a politically diverse world.

Dr. Beate Josephi, Honorary Associate at the Department of Media and Communications at Sydney University, has been on the Advisory Board of the Worlds of Journalism Study project since its inception. She is the lead author of the chapter on ‘Profiles of Journalists: Demographic and Employment Patterns’, and contributing author to ‘Journalistic Culture in a Global Context’.

About Worlds of Journalism

Colonising the public? Smart street furniture and the techno-politics of urban media

Image courtesy of Antoine Hubert, Creative Commons

Friday 6 September, 3.00pm – 4.30pm

MECO Seminar Room, S226, John Woolley Building A20, University of Sydney

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This seminar introduces the Smart Publics research collaboration between the University of Sydney and the University of Glasgow on the social, design, and governance implications of smart street furniture, drawing on fieldwork in Glasgow, London and New York. We situate this research in a critical account of the privatisation of public space in cities and the role of smart urbanism as a trend accelerator. We explore these issues in the context of smart upgrades to street furniture like kiosks and benches, which are hybrid urban media objects purportedly installed to address barriers of access to information-communication networks. Yet we argue that these emerging forms of street furniture raise serious risks related to surveillance, data harvesting, and targeted advertising—which are unevenly distributed among users. We also outline how their installation changes city flows and social interactions, and how their ownership challenges the role of local government in overseeing public objects and spaces. We conclude by considering the historical development of (smart) street furniture as translations from earlier objects in public space such as phone booths and benches which mediate urban life, craft urban publics, and are adapted and resisted by users.

Justine Humphry is a Lecturer in Digital Cultures in the Department of Media and Communications at the University of Sydney and co-lead of theSmart publics University of Sydney-University of Glasgow research partnership. Her research is on the cultures and politics of mobile media and smart technology in everyday life with a focus on digital inequalities, mediated publics and marginalised media use. Justine has studied mobile communication and homelessness extensively and has conducted collaborative research on mobile antiracism apps in Australia, France and the United Kingdom. Her current projects involve researching smart street furniture in New York, Glasgow and London.

Jathan Sadowski is a postdoctoral research fellow in smart cities in the School of Architecture, Design and Planning at the University of Sydney. His work critically analyses the political economy of digital technologies that are data-driven, networked, and automated. His current projects include an ethnography with a city government on the process and politics of planning smart initiatives. Jathan’s book – Too Smart: How Digital Capitalism is Extracting Data, Controlling Our Lives, and Taking Over the World – will be published in 2020 by The MIT Press.

Chris Chesher is a Senior Lecturer in Digital Cultures in the Department of Media and Communications at the University of Sydney. His current research focuses on the interplay between smart home and smart city technologies: the role of voice in smart speakers and voice assistants; the digitisation of real estate advertising; the global introduction of smart street furniture; and smart technologies at the interface of private and public spaces. He is also working on a collaboration with the Sydney Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Systems, and on a book called Invocational Media.

Sophia Maalsen is a lecturer in urbanism and former IB Fell postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Sydney. Her research addresses the increasing digital mediation of housing and alternative forms of housing, including the increase in tenure forms such as share housing across all age groups. Maalsen also researches practices of smart urbanism and is currently on two grants that look at how smart urban practices and governance materialises in different contexts. Prior to joining the University of Sydney, Sophia was a postdoctoral researcher on the EU funded Programmable City Project where she investigated the digital transformation of cities and urban governance. Her particular expertise is in understanding the intersection of the material, digital and the human and how this effects lived experience. She is the author of The Social Life of Sound (2019, Palgrave MacMillan).

AI and ethics: Why all the fuss? Toby Walsh (University of New South Wales)

Wednesday 28 August, 3.00pm – 4.30pm

John Woolley Common Room, N480, John Woolley Building A20, University of Sydney

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There’s a lot of discussion in many different fora about AI and Ethics. In this talk, Toby Walsh will attempt to identify what new issues AI brings to the table, as well as where AI requires us to address otherwise old issues. He will cover topics from driverless cars to Cambridge Analytica.

Toby Walsh is Scientia Professor of Artificial Intelligence at the University of New South Wales and Data61. He was named by the Australian newspaper as one of the “rock stars” of Australia’s digital revolution. Professor Walsh is a strong advocate for limits to ensure AI is used to improve our lives. He has been a leading voice in the discussion about autonomous weapons (aka “killer robots”), speaking at the UN in New York and Geneva on the topic. He is a Fellow of the Australia Academy of Science and recipient of the NSW Premier’s Prize for Excellence in Engineering and ICT. He appears regularly on TV and radio, and has authored two books on AI for a general audience, the most recent entitled 2062: The World that AI Made.

#Everest: Mobile media and mobile livelihoods in the Mt Everest tourism industry – Project launch

Friday 2 August, 3.00pm – 4.30pm

MECO Seminar Room, S226, John Woolley Building A20, University of Sydney

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In the wake of the Mount Everest avalanches of 2014 and again in 2015 due to the Nepal earthquake, the Nepali state government and private telecommunications corporations have made a committed effort to increase digital connectivity in the largely remote and underdeveloped Khumbu region. This recently improved mobile infrastructure has coincided with an increase in the number of tourists arriving in the region between 2016 and 2018 and the increase in tourists has influenced the demand for workers in the region’s tourist industry. This paper discusses a research agenda for a wider ethnographic study that brings together research in transnational migration, lifestyle mobilities and travel to investigate the relationship between mobile media in shaping the meanings of Everest and its impact on the routine practices of minority workers. The wider project explores emerging digital practices as they are unfolding in these initial years of the growth of telecommunications infrastructure in the Everest region.

Jolynna Sinanan is Research Fellow in Digital Media and Ethnography at the University of Sydney. She has an interdisciplinary background in anthropology and development and her research focusses on digital media practices in relation to regionally comparative mobilities, family relationships, work and gender. Her books include Social Media in Trinidad (UCL Press, 2017), Visualising Facebook (Miller and Sinanan, UCL Press, 2017) and Webcam (Miller and Sinanan, Polity, 2014).

Media@Sydney Seminar Series 2019, Semester 2

We are very pleased to announce our Semester 2 schedule for the 2019 Media@Sydney series. Events are usually held on Fridays in the John Woolley Building (A20) at the University of Sydney and Friday seminars are usually followed by informal drinks.

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Friday 2 August: #Everest: Mobile media and mobile livelihoods in the Mt Everest tourism industry – Jolynna Sinanan (University of Sydney)

3.00pm – 4.30pm, MECO Seminar Room, S226, John Woolley Building A20, University of Sydney

Wednesday 28 August: AI and Ethics: Why all the fuss? Toby Walsh (University of New South Wales)

3.00pm – 4.30pm, John Woolley Common Room, N480, John Woolley Building A20, University of Sydney

Friday 6 September: Colonising the public? Smart street furniture and the techno-politics of urban media – Justine Humphry, Jathan Sadowski, Chris Chesher, Sophia Maalsen (University of Sydney)

3.00pm – 4.30pm, MECO Seminar Room, S226, John Woolley Building A20, University of Sydney

Friday 13 September: Worlds of Journalism – Beate Josephi (University of Sydney)

3.00pm – 4.30pm, MECO Seminar Room, S226, John Woolley Building A20, University of Sydney

Monday 30 September: AoIR Pre-conference event: Data Futures

Co-hosted by the Media Futures Lab at UNSW and the STuF Lab at the University of Sydney

Friday 18 October: Jacqueline Vickery (North Texas University)

3.00pm – 4.30pm, MECO Seminar Room, S226, John Woolley Building A20, University of Sydney

Friday 25 October: “Pulling the sheep’s wool”: Online thriftiness, labour relations and domesticity in a Chinese factory – Tom McDonald (Hong Kong University)

3.00pm – 4.30pm, MECO Seminar Room, S226, John Woolley Building A20, University of Sydney

Friday 1 November: Sharing News Online: Commendary Cultures and Social Media News Ecologies Book Launch – Fiona Martin and Tim Dwyer (University of Sydney)

3.00pm – 4.30pm, MECO Seminar Room, S226, John Woolley Building A20, University of Sydney

Friday 8 November: Digital Intermediation: Towards transparent public automated media – Jonathon Hutchinson (University of Sydney)

3.00pm – 4.30pm, MECO Seminar Room, S226, John Woolley Building A20, University of Sydney

How Pet Scenarios Can Disrupt Energy Futures

Friday 14 June, 3.00pm – 4.30pm

MECO Seminar Room, S226, John Woolley Building A20, University of Sydney

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Australia has one of the highest rates of pet ownership in the world and is part of the trend towards humanising pet care, which is making keeping pets more energy intensive. In this talk, Yolande Strengers will approach speculation about future energy demand through the lens of changing household practices using the example of pet care and entertainment. Developing the concept of a ‘social practice imaginary’ as a variation of the ‘sociotechnical imaginary’, she will outline how energy forecasting methodologies for anticipating futures such as those involving energy can and should be informed by ethnographic insights about changing household practices.

Yolande Strengers is Associate Professor of Digital Society and Technology at Monash University’s Faculty of Information Technology, where she leads the energy futures theme in the Emerging Technologies Research Lab. Yolande is a digital sociologist specialising in the interactions between people and emerging  technologies, particularly in the home. Her research is mostly applied, and delivered in collaboration with research partners include electricity distribution businesses, consumer advocacy organisations, peak bodies such as Energy Consumers Australia. She has recently completed an ARC DECRA project on the smart home, and is lead CI on the ARC Linkage project ‘Digital Energy Futures’. She is author of Smart Energy Technologies in Everyday Life (2013),  and has published widely on energy consumption and emerging technologies in households and other contexts.   

Beyond Anthropomorphism Symposium

International Symposium

The University of Sydney

Beyond anthropomorphism: Rethinking human-machine relations in robotics and A.I.

Tuesday June 11 and Wednesday June 12

The Beyond Anthropomorphism symposium challenges the popular expectation that the perfect future robot will be indistinguishable from, or superior to humans, or that humans will be perfectible through technology. Drawing on the latest research in engineering, social sciences and humanities, this event will evaluate the current state-of-the art against these fantastic visions. AI, robotics and social robotics were founded on the metaphors of the thinker, the labourer and, most recently, the companion. This symposium will explore where these metaphors are productive, and where they are misleading to provide a more grounded understanding of the likely futures for these exciting and terrifying technologies.

This symposium is organised by the University of Sydney Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Systems SIRIS (previously Centre for Robotics and Intelligent Systems), in collaboration with the Sociotechnical Futures Lab (STuF) in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and the University of Sydney Business School.

*This program is a draft and it is current at the time of publishing. Further changes and updates will follow.

Download Symposium Program

Tuesday 11 June 2019

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Co-hosted by Sydney Ideas at SSB Lecture Theatre 200 Social Sciences Building

6pm: Opening by Ian Manchester, Associate Director, Sydney Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Systems (previously Centre for Robotics and Intelligent Systems)

Chair: Naoko Abe & Chris Chesher

6.10pm: Minoru Asada (Osaka University, Japan)

Watch an introduction to How to Design Artificial Moral Agents Towards a Symbiotic Society here

6.30pm: Raya Jones (Cardiff University, UK)

Watch an introduction to Anthropomorphism as a Dialogue with Ourselves here

6.50pm: Discussion and Q&A

7.30pm: End of Day 1

Wednesday 12 June 2019

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Lecture Theatre 1130 Abercrombie Business School Building

9am: Registration

SESSION 1

9.30am: Laurence Devillers (Sorbonne University/CNRS, France)

Watch an introduction to Bad Nudge Bad Robot: Ethical Issues here

Chair: Naoko Abe

10.20: Coffee Break

SESSION 2

Chair: Kai Riemer

10.40am: Mike Seymour (University of Sydney, Australia)

The Arms Race of Faces: AI, Agency and Identity

11.10am: Chris Chesher & Fiona Andreallo (University of Sydney, Australia)

Eye, vision and gaze in science fiction and social robotics

11.40am: Katsumi Watanabe (Waseda University, Japan, University of New South Wales, Australia)

Agency, experience, and social interactions in cognitive scientific views

12.10pm: Lunch

SESSION 3

Chair: Justine Humphry

1.10pm: Naoko Abe (University of Sydney, Australia)

Generating anthropomorphic motion and sociological perspective

1.40pm: Simon Coghlan, Lucy Sparrow, Martin Gibbs, Jenny Waycott (University of Melbourne, Australia)

The human touch: Ethical dimensions of care robots made “in our image”

2.10pm: Yolande Strengers (Monash University, Australia) & Jenny Kennedy (RMIT University, Australia)

Turn me on, turn me off

2.20pm Coffee Break

SESSION 4

Chair: Jolynna Sinanan

2.40pm: Yuji Sone (Macquarie University, Australia)

Hiroshi Ishiguro’s android science: The fabulation of “upstream engagement” and entertainment

3.10pm: Jason Tuckwell (Western Sydney University, Australia)

Technē, agency and computation

3.30pm: Ed Santow (Australian Human Rights Commission, Australia)

Of AI, horses and jockeys: Re-negotiating our relationship with machines in the era of AI

4pm: Toby Walsh (University of New South Wales, Australia)

Artificial and Natural Minds

4.30pm Break

SESSION 5

Chair: Chris Chesher

4.40pm: Panel discussion

5.40: End of Day 2