3 Burst results for "Julia Powell"
"julia powell" Discussed on Good Code
"Google, apple Facebook, Amazon. Ted combinations are so big they're often compared to impairs their wealth data should their sheer size and power. Worry us why our traditional governments having hard time regulating them. That's what we're talking about today. Welcome to good code a weekly podcast on ethics in our digital world. My name is she lobby. I'm visiting journalist at Cornell texted so life initiative, and I'm your host very French host into this episode we speak with Julia Powell's associate professor of law at the university of Western Australia in Perth but for two years, she was in New York, working as a research fellow at the digital life initiative, and at NYU, we sat with her last December before she flew to the other end of the world, and we started by asking her how the bulk of her work. Came to be about criticizing big tech inaccuracy Mia. We're often.
"julia powell" Discussed on Good Code
"Natural desire to live in a smart city, 'cause it's a fish in its gleaming, and something we may not citizens think about. But our city leaders think about is attractive to global capital. So part of the allure of all that it's also in that, that the dangerous and the risks lie because what we know now from our last twenty years of binging on digital technology. Is that it holds a lot of promises? But if. If rolled out in a way that ignores the public interest and values that are harder to understand our ticket late and actualize than efficiency goals, if we're not attentive to those things, we end up in a place where we feel are human agency is compromised in our democracies or compromise. So big picture. I think those are the risks the same risks that we faced with digital information technologies we face with these kinds of digital urban technologies so more. Specifically, what are some of the biggest risks? Let's put aside because that will take us to a whole nother area sort of the risks of bias. There's another area that I'm also leaving to others which actually has gotten the most attention, which will be most familiar to people, which is privacy. So that's a whole nother basket of concern, the things that I'm more focused on. On partly because I come from a telecom background. It's more. The infrastructural concerns that we might have. So I'll just mention two things which is private and concentrated control over urban functions. And the other is kind of a loss of democratic accountability, you know, we know that these digital technologies and especially when they require massive amounts of big data, they tend towards concentration, we have seen big companies operating in this space. We've seen sort of concentration in specific applications, like criminal Justice or like these family services algorithms. So we have to be on the lookout for that, right? And we actually I think need policies that try to advance small businesses local businesses so that it's not big BMX coming in and taking control, because when they take control as much concern as we've had over Google and Facebook take. In control of our information space to me. It's even scarier, if they're taking control of our grid of our water supply of our transportation of our office space in our housing. So there's that issue of control which, you know, so you can think of economically, as competition, you can think of it democratically, as sort of Tani, and the other piece of this. I mentioned was our loss of democratic accountability. There's a risk with all these automated systems that has been well studied is that when you ask for an explanation or you wanna understand why something has happened. The answer is the machine said. So when we don't really know because it's to complicate in the outcomes are impenetrable, Zach book sub blackbox, exactly in the smart city context, there's a risk of that pervading decisions that the city makes about trash pickup and bus schedules. And the. Development of park land, or the maintenance of facilities or the opening and closing of libraries and other kinds of public accommodation and amenities and so on and so forth, these decisions that were used to being made in messy and perhaps sometimes corrupt. But usually relatively penetrable processes when you've got sort of a digital light layer. That's ingesting a lot of data and that is spitting out answers as to where resources should go. There's a risk that there's no accountability there. And I guess let me add their particular ways of living and doing business that so far the smart city mentality favors. And so, I think we can think of this by analogy to digital platforms, and in a way it's the same thing it's kind of the platform is Asian of city life. So if you think of. Of the gig economy, your Uber's in your Airbnb is right. They privilege efficiency, they don't particularly value other kinds of public interests, like employment or the quiet of certain streets. So they're public interests that are just not included in the platforms sense of the good, and what one of the things that we see with kind of smart city, rhetoric and plans is, especially to extent that they are fastened onto this tech kind of world view is that other that kind of platform is Asian, just in time, everything as a service comes to invade more and more territory. So you begin to think of housing in the same way, and we kind of have this. Right. So the we work model for offices and the, the co housing, which is, which is a great idea in many ways. But there's a risk that it becomes basically a housing platform. Where there are couple of entities that have all the data about that and may have ownership interests in the real estate. And everyone else uses the space in, in time housing as service way. And in some ways, it's very efficient and in many ways, it could help solve housing crises, and much more. Flexible and can give people the kind of very short term leases that they want, but there are other externalities that may not be fully accounted for, in the model about neighborhood community peace and quiet. So I you know, I think this third cluster of concerns is think we need to be very vigilant about the theory of the good. That is driving some of these innovations, and make sure that we're okay with the with the world and the third of sort of value chain that is creating with an officiant world, right? With officiency sort of over everything. When thing that was going to ask you, it's philosophic. Question. One thing one can wonder is is it a good thing? Even if we the smart city goes as we wanted to so taking all the other fears assigned it's respecting privacy, and it respects human dignity. What have all of these important values? It would probably it's L about officiency takeout. Serendipity out of the picture. Is that CT? We wanna leave in maybe humans don't meet one another in the street anymore. Those who construct and our boosters of smart cities, might tell you that a more efficiently planned and utilize city can create more opportunities for serendipity. So one of the smart city applications, I believe is about sort of sensors on park benches. So we know what benches are getting used who's using them. We know where to put more benches that if we sense that better if we sense, our environment, better plan accordingly. Suddenly we have more spaces for people to be in public and bump into each. Each other. So I don't think we should necessarily equate smart city in ovation slash developments with a loss of serendipity. But I, I get your point is that if we're efficiently whist from here, and there in autonomous vehicles, and all of our needs are delivered to our doors, or we even living in a city anymore. We just living in isolated pods Ken, we design for friction which is which would drive an engineer, I think undercurrent kinda value systems crazy because that's what they're trying to get out of the systems. But maybe we need to be thoughtful about where efficiency yields to friction, the idea that private companies are put in charge of previously publicly managed task so basically doing government work. Why is that an issue just feel offically theoretically couldn't that be more efficient or you're talking about less less of accountability? But if we designed it the right way with. With transparent algorithms, and a partnership that worked y need that be issue after all, while so public private partnerships have been around for a long time. Now, I tend to be a critic of public private partnerships in general. I mean at least we know we've seen some real problems and charter school movement and private prisons, and there's reason to want to cabin the role of private entities. They generally for profit motive and so that may not be consistent with the public interest motive that cities have, but I don't think they necessarily, they're necessarily a problem. I think the problem that we've seen with smart cities, sort of writ, large with smart city projects. Writ small is that cities have not had the wherewithal to kind of take charge of the relationship in their procurement contracts. And in their passing the baton to the private entity Dave really passed it with not enough. Rings attached. And this is certainly been true with data that could be changed. Their definitely some really forward leaning cities, that are beefing up their capability with chief, data officers, and chief information officers who are really trying to kind of claw back. Their rightful domain is the senior partner in these partnerships. I, I don't think they have to be a problem, but they have been a problem. I just wanted to ask you about some of those smart city projects that make the headlines and there are being built by the tech companies, so Facebook Google Facebook village in Menlo Park. California dubbed zek town by the press. We have a piece of land in the Arizona, Arizona desert. That was bought by Bill Gates and we don't really know what it's gonna be. But it's going to be cold Belmont, and it's gonna be smart seedy. And of course, we have site, walk Toronto, the child of Google, when, when Menlo Park when the Facebook village was I talked about every member, the New York Times asked. Do people love, tech company so much they will leave inside them in that sort of the question, do we love them so much? And that we trust them blind lease that also part of the of the problem I, I wouldn't wanna leave in Facebook land. I think but maybe some people find find attractive. I don't think we know much about what those things are going to be. And right now, those companies are not very popular right? So but has changed a lot. Yeah. I mean, the to the shadow the big was CISCO's originally CISCO's project. In South Korea wisps to be, you know, one of these shining smart cities. That was going to attract everyone was gonna wanna live in. I think it's underperformed at has not. It's occupancy rate has been disappointing. I've seen many explanations for that. It's to stare all it's inconvenient. People were put off by all the surveillance, though. I think it is not as highly surveilled as was originally -ticipant did. So I think it's hard to know when. When there are plans, sort of occupancy plans, whether or not, they pan out. But look, I mean, this is not new either. So, you know, one of your regional kind of smart cities in the United States was DisneyWorld, which was Walt Disney's idea of a city that was gonna need everyone's needs. And it was gonna look like smalltown America. And, you know, and it didn't pan out in some of the, the company towns that early industrialists built where all your needs to be taken care of and you do your shopping, and you would live and you would work there. So there have always been these utopian slash industrialists slash capitalists. Paternalist resonant society. Yes. You know, I think they will attract people if if the price is right. And they, you know, sort of deliver an fine not pen out like, and they might not tanned, and they might not pan out and I'm less interested in slash scared of slash hopeful about them as I am. And I think it's much. More likely that, these companies will find a way to penetrate this places where we do live. You know, I think there we talk about voice and exit. You can raise your voice, and change, your place relive or you can leave it. But we know that exit is not always available as particularly not available to lower income people, and so much more concerned about the entry of smart city technologies into places where people already live. So let's talk a little bit more about once Pacific exemple sidewalk Toronto. So I understand that you ding research about it right now. Just explain to us why you decided to look into this particular project sidewalk labs is a sister company of Google. So it's alphabet company. It responded to an RSP although it was also, we think kind of instrumental in creating this RFP to create a master plan for a twelve acre plot of land in the Portland's area on the water in Toronto. It's, it's an obvious choice to study. Because it's just it's unique the fact that a private company, and the fact that it's Google is creating the master plan of what will be a city is already sort of a private user patient of governance. Right. I mean cities often will contract out master planning to private planners. But here, it's really Google is driving. This is. So that's already if interest. But really, you know, I think what's interesting about it is that they are spending a lot of money so fifty million US dollars just to do the master plan on the publicity around it. So it's a chance to really see because there's so much communication about it, and so much vision and language and reporting and public meeting, how does a company like Google kind of harness utopian progressive ideas of how a city should operate the phrase that its using. To do those things is what it calls the digital layer to us. My co-authors Julia Powell's on this to us. This whole notion of a digital layer is really fascinating because it ties in to kind of telecom concepts of infrastructure, and rod band, and fiber. It is an infrastructural layer. So it immediately brings to mind kind of governance mechanisms that you might wanna have in place, there to ensure that you're taking care of access your access of consumers, but also access of other entities that need to plug into that digital layer to.
"julia powell" Discussed on Daily Tech News Show