Course Description

FIMS 9332A-650 (Fall 2020)   Special Topic: Datafied Society

Instructor: J. Redden

Course Description
The hype, controversy and debate surrounding contemporary uses of data systems have exploded in the last few years. This is connected to the rapid implementation by government and corporate bodies of practices that involve artificial intelligence, automated decision making, machine learning, predictive analytics and increased data sharing. We know these systems can be used in ways that improve well- being, health, services and decision-making, but we also know these systems can be used in ways that discriminate, exacerbate inequality, infringe upon human, rights, socially sort, disrupt democratic processes, limit access to services and intensify surveillance. It is clear that we need to become more data literate and better appreciate how our information is being collected and used, in whose interests, and to what ends. In this module we will critically engage with contemporary data issues. In particular we consider how we might conceptualize contemporary datafication and its influence through the lenses of political economy, surveillance, power, social justice, governance, and activism. Along the way, through case studies and student research we consider specific uses of ‘big data’ in practice across the following areas: smart cities, education, advertising, journalism, health, science, finance, political campaigning, the surveillance industry, and the internet of things. Throughout the module we focus on promise and risk and aim for a nuanced appreciation of new and emerging datafied practices.

Course Syllabi for FIMS 9332A-650 (Fall 2020)
The syllabi for this course is a PDF file that requires a FIMS account to view

0.5 course