Computing for the People

7:00 pm - 9:00 pm, 03/22/2017
I for one welcome our Robot Overlords.
Are you concerned about how computers are interacting with public policy? Do you worry that “algorithmic decision making” will conceal inherent biases? What will automation mean for jobs in the future? Should autonomous vehicles be programmed with “ethics”? Just what does it mean to store your stuff “in the cloud”?
If you’ve had questions like these, join us at Ithaca Generator on Wednesday nights for discussions and presentations on these and similar topics. “Geek Night” is being renamed to “Computing for the People” and refocused on the “big picture” topics of computers and society.
The weekly Computing for the People meetups will alternate between focused topics, and general open-ended discussions of whatever issues you care to bring to the meetings.  For the focused topics, the organizers will suggest short readings to familiarize you with the issues at hand, but in depth knowledge should not be required.
A rough schedule of topics include:
Jan 11: Planning discussion
Jan 18: Can we make decisions algorithmically while avoiding bias?
Jan 25: Open discussion
Feb 1: How are libraries adapting in the digital age?
Feb 8: Open discussion
Feb 15: Do network effects lead to natural monopolies?
Feb 22: Open discussion
Mar 1: How do we address misogyny and racism in the tech industry?
The meetups are scheduled from 7pm to 9pm, and are open to the public. Donations are welcome.
“Geek Night” was a continuation of the weekly dinner meetings of the Ithaca Free Software Association. “Computing for the People” draws naming inspiration from the podcast “Science for the People”, which in turn named itself after the political activist group of scientists from the 1970’s.
This event is free, donations welcome.