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Monday, March 11 • 9:30am - 10:30am
Bots for Civic Engagement

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From SmarterChild to the Low Orbit Ion Cannon to Horse_ebooks, humans have relationships of varying quality with bots. Mostly it’s commercial spam. But sometimes it’s less benign: for instance, the 2012 Mexican elections saw thousands of Twitter bots published by one candidate’s side denouncing the opposition with a flood of messages. There are countless examples of bots used for nefarious purposes, in America, Iran and elsewhere. What would a future look like where instead we see a proliferation of bots for positive civic engagement? Could we automate the distribution of civic information and education? Manipulate information flows to improve our welfare? Engineer reverse-Distributed-Denial-of-Service attacks? Should we? This panel takes a critical look at the discourse around, and architecture of, information overload to facilitate an important and timely debate around the engineering, usefulness, and ethics of bots for civic engagement.
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avatar for David Bausola

David Bausola

CEOPhilter Phactory LtdDavid runs Philter Phactory, a transdisciplinary studio of artists and engineers developing the award winning social media bot platform www.weavrs.com.
avatar for Erhardt Graeff

Erhardt Graeff

Graduate Student & ResearcherMIT Media LabErhardt is a graduate student at the MIT Media Lab and Center for Civic Media studying information flows across mainstream and social media. Before joining MIT, he was a research assistant at Harvard Project Zero's GoodWork Project and the... Read More →
avatar for Greg Marra

Greg Marra

Prod MgrFacebookPreviously, Greg has deployed socialbots designed to pass the Turing test on social networks by acting like people instead of spambots. He thinks about the future of automated systems, and how autonomous agents can work together for good.

Monday March 11, 2013 9:30am - 10:30am CDT
Austin Convention Center, Room 5ABC

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