System Error to System Success: Where Big Tech Went Wrong and How We Can Reboot

New America

Thursday, September 23, 2021 - 2:00pm to 3:30pm
Time Zone: 
Virtual Event

Big tech companies have become essential to many of our daily activities--how we keep in touch with friends and family, how we find information, and how we get news about current events. At the same time, pundits say big tech is also too complex to break up -- and doing so would have far-reaching implications.  

However, according to three Stanford professors who had a front seat at the tech evolution, the same technology that can be used for good is sacrificing fundamental human values and eroding privacy and democracy. It’s not too late to make changes, though. In fact, these experts say society must act now to reduce big tech’s control. Rob Reich, Mehran Sahami, and Jeremy Weinstein wrote a manifesto, System Error: Where Big Tech Went Wrong and How We Can Reboot that outlines the problem. The book details how big tech’s obsession with optimization and efficiency has sacrificed fundamental human values and provides potential solutions and a blueprint of what we can do today to control technology -- instead of letting it control us.

A roundtable discussion with Reich, Sahami, and Weinstein as they discuss how big tech is paving the way for a future that reinforces discrimination, erodes privacy, displaces workers, and pollutes the information we have available. They will also cover how we, as a society, can hold big tech accountable and will provide concrete solutions we can use to rein in its control.