Chat with us, powered by LiveChat 1 WEEK 5 DISCUSSION 1 Remember to use your own words, - Study Help
  

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WEEK 5

DISCUSSION 1

Remember to use your own words, using your best writing skills, cite your sources, and provide a reference list

Integrating at least 3 the learning resources from this week, discuss the following:?

? What is the relationship between technological innovation and work, productivity, economic security, and social class?

? What opportunities and limitations have been created with the rise of digital technologies? What is the future of work as technology becomes more advanced?

? What are some ways that employers, policy makers, and workers can adapt to an increasingly digital world? ?What skills do workers need to set themselves apart in a world that relies more and more on digital technology?

DISCUSSION 2

Remember to use your own words, using your best writing skills, cite your sources, and provide a reference list

After reviewing this week’s learning resources, answer the following questions.

? How did technology impact ?women?s work??

? What is the ?digital gender divide? and what steps can be taken to close this gap??

? Very little research has been done regarding technology, work, and masculinity. How do you think that technology has impacted gender roles for men in the workplace and in the home?

1.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LBFXD06fudM

2.
https://foreignpolicy.com/2015/06/03/why-technology-hasnt-delivered-more-democracy-democratic-transition/

3.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1bc8dmvOrrU&t=26s

4.
https://medium.com/@sherifea/five-ways-technology-will-shape-the-future-of-politics-society-and-human-rights-8ee0bb12944a

5.
https://www.protocol.com/tech-legislation-2021

6.
https://www.nextgov.com/ideas/2020/01/5-ways-technology-will-revolutionize-government-2020s/162236/

7.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxrrMu9bU-E

FOR RELEASE FEB. 21, 2020

BY Janna Anderson and Lee Rainie

FOR MEDIA OR OTHER INQUIRIES:

Lee Rainie, Director, Internet and Technology Research

Janna Anderson, Director, Elon University?s Imagining the Internet Center

Haley Nolan, Communications Associate

202.419.4394

www.pewresearch.org

RECOMMENDED CITATION

Pew Research Center, February 2020, ?Many Experts Say Digital Disruption

Will Hurt Democracy?

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About Pew Research Center

Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes

and trends shaping America and the world. It does not take policy positions. It conducts public

opinion polling, demographic research, content analysis and other data-driven social science

research. The Center studies U.S. politics and policy; journalism and media; internet, science and

technology; religion and public life; Hispanic trends; global attitudes and trends; and U.S. social

and demographic trends. All of the center?s reports are available at www.pewresearch.org. Pew

Research Center is a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts, its primary funder.

For this project, Pew Research Center worked with Elon University?s Imagining the Internet

Center, which helped conceive the research and collect and analyze the data.

? Pew Research Center 2020

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How we did this

This is a nonscientific canvassing based on a non-random sample, so the results represent only the

individuals who responded to the query and are not projectable to any other population. Pew

Research Center and Elon University?s Imagining the Internet Center built a database of experts to

canvass from several sources, including professionals and policy people from government bodies,

technology businesses, think tanks and networks of interested networks of academics and

technology innovators. The expert predictions reported here about the impact of digital

technologies on key aspects of democracy and democratic representation came in response to a set

of questions in an online canvassing conducted between July 3, 2019, and Aug. 5, 2019. This is the

11th ?Future of the Internet? canvassing Pew Research and the Imagining the Internet Center have

conducted together. More on the methodology underlying this canvassing and the participants can

be found here.

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The years of almost unfettered enthusiasm about the benefits of the internet have been followed by

a period of techlash as users worry about the actors who exploit the speed, reach and complexity of

the internet for harmful purposes. Over the past four years ? a time of the Brexit decision in the

United Kingdom, the American presidential election and a variety of other elections ? the digital

disruption of democracy has been a leading concern.

The hunt for remedies is at an early stage. Resistance to American-based big tech firms is

increasingly evident, and some tech pioneers have joined the chorus. Governments are actively

investigating technology firms, and some tech firms themselves are requesting government

regulation. Additionally, nonprofit organizations and foundations are directing resources toward

finding the best strategies for coping with the harmful effects of disruption. For example, the

Knight Foundation announced in 2019 that it is awarding $50 million in grants to encourage the

development of a new field of research centered on technology?s impact on democracy.

In light of this furor, Pew Research Center and Elon University?s Imagining the Internet Center

canvassed technology experts in the summer of 2019 to gain their insights about the potential

future effects of people?s use of technology on democracy. Overall, 979 technology innovators,

developers, business and policy leaders, researchers, and activists responded to the following

query:

Technology?s impact on democratic institutions/representation: Between

now and 2030, how will use of technology by citizens, civil society groups and

governments affect core aspects of democracy and democratic representation? Will they

mostly weaken core aspects of democracy and democratic representation, mostly

strengthen core aspects of democracy and democratic representation or not much

change in core aspects of democracy and democratic representation?

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Some 49% of these respondents say use of technology will mostly weaken core aspects of

democracy and democratic representation in the next decade, 33% say use of technology will

mostly strengthen core aspects of democracy and democratic representation and 18% say there

will be no significant change in the next decade.

This is a nonscientific canvassing based on a non-random sample. The results represent only the

opinions of individuals who responded to the query and are not projectable to any other

population. The methodology underlying this canvassing is elaborated here. The bulk of this report

covers these experts? written answers explaining their responses.

In addition to the plurality view among these experts that democracy will be weakened, a large

majority of the entire set of respondents ? including both the pessimists and the optimists ?

voiced concerns they believe should be addressed to keep democracy vibrant. Their worries often

center on the interplay of trust, truth and democracy, a cluster of subjects that have framed key

research by Pew Research in recent months. The logic in some expert answers goes this way: The

misuse of digital technology to manipulate and weaponize facts affects people?s trust in

institutions and each other. That ebbing of trust affects people?s views about whether democratic

processes and institutions designed to empower citizens are working.

Some think the information and trust environment will worsen by 2030 thanks to the rise of video

deepfakes, cheapfakes and other misinformation tactics. They fear that this downward spiral

toward disbelief and despair also is tied to the protracted struggles facing truthful, independent

journalism. Moreover, many of these experts say they worry about the future of democracy

because of the power of major technology companies and their role in democratic discourse, as

well as the way those companies exploit the data they collect about users.

In explaining why he feels technology use will mostly weaken core aspects of democracy and

democratic representation, Jonathan Morgan, senior design researcher with the Wikimedia

Foundation, described the problem this way: ?I?m primarily concerned with three things. 1) The

use of social media by interested groups to spread disinformation in a strategic, coordinated

fashion with the intent of undermining people?s trust in institutions and/or convincing them to

believe things that aren?t true. 2) The role of proprietary, closed platforms run by profit-driven

companies in disseminating information to citizens, collecting information from (and about)

citizens, and engaging political stakeholder groups. These platforms were not designed to be

?digital commons,? are not equally accessible to everyone and are not run for the sake of promoting

social welfare or broad-based civic participation. These companies? profit motives, business

models, data-gathering practices, process/procedural opacity and power (and therefore, resilience

against regulation undertaken for prosocial purposes) make them poorly suited to promoting

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democracy. 3) The growing role of surveillance by digital platform owners (and other economic

actors that collect and transact digital trace data) as well as by state actors, and the increasing

power of machine learning-powered surveillance technologies for capturing and analyzing data,

threaten the public?s ability to engage safely and equitably in civic discussions.?

Those who are more optimistic expect that effective solutions to these problems will evolve

because people always adapt and can use technology to combat the problems that face democracy.

Those who do not expect much change generally say they believe that humans? uses of technology

will continue to remain a fairly stable mix of both positive and negative outcomes for society.

The main themes found in an analysis of the experts? comments are outlined in the next two tables.

Themes About the Digital Disruption of Democracy in the Next Decade:

Concerns for Democracy?s Future

Power Imbalance: Democracy is at risk because those with power will seek to maintain it by building systems that serve them

not the masses. Too few in the general public possess enough knowledge to resist this assertion of power .

EMPOWERING THE
POWERFUL

Corporate and government agendas generally do not serve democratic goals and outcomes. They

serve the goals of those in power.

DIMINISHING THE
GOVERNED

Digitally-networked surveillance capitalism creates an undemocratic class system pitting the

controllers against the controlled.

EXPLOITING DIGITAL
ILLITERACY

Citizens? lack of digital fluency and their apathy produce an ill-informed and/or dispassionate

public, weakening democracy and the fabric of society.

WAGING INFO-WARS Technology will be weaponized to target vulnerable populations and engineer elections.

Trust issues: The rise of misinformation and disinformation erodes public trust in many institutions

SOWING CONFUSION Tech-borne reality distortion is crushing the already-shaky public trust in the institutions of

democracy.

WEAKENING
JOURNALISM

There seems to be no solution for problems caused by the rise of social media-abetted tribalism

and the decline of trusted, independent journalism.

RESPONDING TOO
SLOWLY

The speed, scope and impact of the technologies of manipulation may be difficult to overcome as

the pace of change accelerates.

PEW RESEARCH CENTER and ELON UNIVERSITY?S IMAGINING THE INTERNET CENTER, 2020

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Themes About the Digital Disruption of Democracy in the Next Decade:

Hopes and Suggested Solutions

Innovation is inevitable: Change is beginning to happen at the level of individuals and social systems. History shows how

human adaption pays off in the long run.

EVOLVING
INDIVIDUALS

Increased citizen awareness, digital literacy improvements and better engagement among

educators will be evident in the next decade.

ADAPTING
SYSTEMS

Changes in the design of human systems and an improved ethos among technologists will help

democracy.

ENSHRINING
VALUES

Deep-rooted human behaviors have always created challenges to democratic ideals. Historically,

though, inspired people have shown they can overcome these darker tendencies.

Leadership and activist agitation will create change

WORKING FOR
GOOD

Governments, enlightened leaders and activists will help steer policy and democratic processes

to produce better democratic outcomes.

Technology will be part of the solution: Some of the tech tools now undermining democracy will come to its aid and helpful

innovations will be created.

ASSISTING
REFORMS

Pro-democracy governance solutions will be aided by the spread of technology and innovations

like artificial intelligence. Those will work in favor of trusted free speech and greater citizen

empowerment.

PEW RESEARCH CENTER and ELON UNIVERSITY?S IMAGINING THE INTERNET CENTER, 2020

Some of the striking observations about democracy?s current predicament came in these

responses:

danah boyd, principal researcher at Microsoft Research and founder of Data & Society, wrote,

?Democracy requires the public to come together and work through differences in order to self-

govern. That is a hard task in the best of times, but when the public is anxious, fearful, confused or

otherwise insecure, they are more likely to retreat from the collective and focus on self-interest.

Technology is destabilizing. That can help trigger positive change, but it can also trigger

tremendous anxiety. Technology also reconfigures power, at least temporarily. This can benefit

social movements, but it can also benefit adversarial actors. All too often, technology is designed

naively, imagining all of the good but not building safeguards to prevent the bad. The problem is

that technology mirrors and magnifies the good, bad AND ugly in everyday life. And right now, we

do not have the safeguards, security or policies in place to prevent manipulators from doing

significant harm with the technologies designed to connect people and help spread information.?

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Susan Etlinger, an industry analyst with the Altimeter Group, responded, ?Today we have the

ability to amass massive amounts of data, create new types of data, weaponize it and create and

move markets without governance structures sufficient to protect consumers, patients, residents,

investors, customers and others ? not to mention governments ? from harm. If we intend to

protect democracy, we need to move deliberately, but we also need to move fast. Reversing the

damage of the ?fake news? era was hard enough before synthetic content; it will become

exponentially harder as deepfake news becomes the norm. I?m less worried about sentient robots

than I am about distorting reality and violating the human rights of real people at massive scale. It

is therefore incumbent on both public and private institutions to put appropriate regulations in

place and on citizens to become conscious consumers of digital information, wherever and

however we find it.?

Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, said, ?It was

naive to believe that technology would strengthen democratic institutions. This became obvious as

the technology companies almost immediately sought to exempt themselves from the laws and

democratic rules that governed other businesses in such areas as political advertising, privacy

protection, product liability and transparency. The rhetoric of ?multi-stakeholder processes?

replaced the requirement of democratic decision-making. The impact was immediate and far-

reaching: The rapid accumulation of power and wealth. Techniques that isolated and silenced

political opponents, diminished collective action and placed key employees by the side of political

leaders, including the president. And all with the support of a weakened political system that was

mesmerized by the technology even as it failed to grasp the rapid changes underway.?

An internet pioneer based in North America, said, ?I am deeply concerned that democracy

is under siege through abuse of online services and some seriously gullible citizens who have

trouble distinguishing fact from fiction or who are wrapped up in conspiracy theories or who are

unable or unwilling to exercise critical thinking. ? We are seeing erosion of trust in our

institutions, fed in part by disinformation and misinformation campaigns designed to achieve that

objective and to stir dissent. We are seeing social networking systems that provoke feedback loops

that lead to extremism. Metrics such as ?likes? or ?views? or ?followers? are maximized through

expression of extreme content. Trolls use media that invite commentary to pump poison into

discussion. Constant cyberattacks expose personal information or enable theft of intellectual

property. Tools to facilitate cyberattacks are widely available and used to create botnets, generate

denial of service attacks, spread malware, conduct ransom demands and a host of other harmful

things. Law enforcement is challenged in part by the transnational nature of the internet/web and

lack of effective cooperative law enforcement agreements across national boundaries. Privacy is

abused to commit crimes or other harmful acts. At the same time, privacy is extremely hard to

come by given the ease with which information can be spread and found on the net. Nation-states

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and organized crime are actively exploiting weaknesses in online environments. Ironically,

enormous amounts of useful information are found and used to good effect all the time, in spite of

the ills listed above. The challenge we face is to find ways to preserve all the useful aspects of the

internet while protecting against its abuse. If we fail, the internet will potentially devolve into a

fragmented system offering only a fraction of its promise. In the meantime, democracy suffers.?

Still, there are those who wrote that they expect human systems and tools will evolve to solve some

of the new challenges to democracy.

Paul Saffo, chair for futures studies and forecasting at Singularity University and visiting scholar

at Stanford MediaX, said, ?There is a long history of new media forms creating initial chaos upon

introduction and then being assimilated into society as a positive force. This is precisely what

happened with print in the early 1500s and with newspapers over a century ago. New technologies

are like wild animals ? it takes time for cultures to tame them. I am not in any way downplaying

the turbulence still ahead (the next five to seven years will not be fun), but there is a sunnier digital

upland on the other side of the current chaos.?

Brad Templeton, internet pioneer, futurist and activist, a former president of the Electronic

Frontier Foundation, wrote, ?There are going to be many threats to the democratic process that

come through our new media. There are going to be countermeasures to those threats and there

are going to be things that improve the process. It is very difficult for anybody to evaluate how the

balance of these things will play out without knowing what the new threats and benefits will be,

most of which are yet to be invented. It is certainly true that past analysis underestimated the

threats. Hopefully this at least will not happen as much.?

One of the most extensive and thoughtful answers to the canvassing question came from Judith

Donath, a fellow at Harvard?s Berkman Klein Center currently writing a book about technology,

trust and deception and the founder of the Sociable Media Group at the MIT Media Lab. She chose

not to select any of the three possible choices offered in this canvassing, instead sharing two

possible scenarios for 2030 and beyond. In one scenario, she said, ?democracy is in tatters.?

Disasters created or abetted by technology spark the ?ancient response? ? the public?s fear-driven

turn toward authoritarianism.

In the second scenario, ?Post-capitalist democracy prevails. Fairness and equal opportunity are

recognized to benefit all. The wealth from automation is shared among the whole population.

Investments in education foster critical thinking and artistic, scientific and technological

creativity. ? New voting methods increasingly feature direct democracy ? AI translates voter

preferences into policy.?

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Her full mini-essay can be read here.

The 12 main themes emerging from these experts? comments are shared in the following section,

along with a few representative expert responses for each.

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1. Themes about the digital disruption of democracy in the
next decade

The pessimists about democracy in this canvassing make several arguments and foresee several

outcomes. A share believe that there will be not be adequate reform in the design and management

of technology platforms; that government will not respond in the best interests of citizens; that the

speed, scope and impact of digital tools all work in favor of bad actors; and that educational

processes and growing citizen awareness of the flaws now emerging in tech systems will not

significantly lessen the known harms that networked digital technologies can enable in the next

decade.

This section includes elaboration on each of the most common themes. Some responses have been

lightly edited for clarity.

Two main themes emerge in the answers of those who are mostly worried about the impact of

technology on democracy. The first ties to their view that democracy is at risk because those with

power seek to maintain their power by building systems that serve them, not the masses. These

respondents say that elites? control over technology systems gives them new tools and tactics to

enhance their power, including by weaponizing technology. The growing imbalance further erodes

individuals? belief in their agency and impact as actors in their democracy. The resulting fatalism

causes some to give up on democracy, ceding more control to the elites.

The second broad concern links to issues around trust. These experts worry that the rise of

misinformation and disinformation erodes public trust in many institutions and one another,

lowering incentives to reform and rebuild those institutions.

Theme 1: Empowering the powerful: Corporate and government agendas generally do not serve

democratic goals and outcomes. They serve the goals of those in power.

Responses representing this theme:

Srinivasan Ramani, Internet Hall of Fame member and pioneer of the internet in India, wrote,

?Unless society regulates democratic processes to avoid exploitation, we have to assume that those

who can get away with it, will in fact get away with it. There is a very strong incentive for

politicians to use technology to win elections. This is not matched by the zeal of the citizens?

representatives to use technology to learn about peoples? problems and to deal with them. There is

no movement to use technology to improve democracy. Improving transparency in governance,

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improving citizen awareness of societal issues and choices, and similar steps forward are essential.

We did not let loose the monster of electricity on our people without regulations and safeguards.

In comparison, we seem to be letting loose the privacy-eating monsters of technology on internet

and telecom users.?

Neal Gorenflo, cofounder, chief editor and executive director at Shareable, an award-winning

nonprofit news outlet, said, ?The crisis is now. Currently, just a few big corporations control our

digital lives, and users have no say. If this monopolist regime and the gaping power asymmetry

between platforms and users continues, we?ll see a continued decline of democratic institutions. In

addition, tech culture is becoming popular culture. Tech culture prizes speed, scale, efficiency,

convenience, a disregard for the law (move fast and break things; ask forgiveness not permission)

and a dislike, if not hatred, of government ? the perfect ingredients for fascism. Tech monopolies

and culture are profoundly shaping our lives and perceptions, and this is done for profit at the

expense of our ability to understand the world, relate to one another constructively, feel valued

and have some control over our circumstances. If not corrected, this will lead to a collapse in our

ability to rule ourselves effectively, and perhaps well before 2030.?

Joseph Turow, professor of communication, University of Pennsylvania, commented, ?I fear

that a combination of political-marketing interests and antidemocratic forces within the U.S. and

outside will create an environment of concocted stories (often reflecting conspiracy theories)

targeted in hyper-personalized ways. The situation will make it virtually impossible for the press

and civic groups to track and/or challenge lies or highlight accurate claims effectively to the

electorate because there will be so many mass-customized variants, and because news audiences

will be so fragmented. At the same time, people running for election will convince a significant

percentage of the population to refuse to deal with or to confuse pollsters that don?t represent their

constituencies. These long-term dynamics will undermine our traditional sense of an open and

democratic election ? though politicians encouraging the dynamics will insist the system remains

open and democratic. I fear regulations will not be able to mitigate these problems.?

Anita Salem, research associate at the Graduate School of Business and Public Policy, Naval

Postgraduate School, said, ?As corporations gain more control and freedom, they are able to more

effectively harness their resources to manipulate public perceptions. They have the resources to

fully engage big data to leverage individual preferences and habits into structured sales and

influence campaigns that can effectively manipulate opinions and behaviors of the common man.

They will also use these resources to continue to purchase the votes of democratically elected

officials. This will put corporations in control of the top decision-makers and the majority of the

voting public and result in a new-age oligarchy. Democracy will collapse and be replaced by the

oligarchy that has been feeding the masses.?

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Theme 2: Diminishing the governed: Digitally networked surveillance ca

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