Smart-Tech Society

A book launch and conversation with Professor Mark Whitehead.

A book launch and conversation with Professor Mark Whitehead, co-author (with William G. A. Collier) of Smart-Tech Society: Convenience, Control, and Resistance.

27th April 2023

Some of the architects of artificial intelligence systems recently called for a 6-month moratorium on AI research. Should we do something similar with the smart-tech revolution? When your smart watch tells you after a jog, “Keep it going: yesterday you rocked your Exercise ring,” are you being programmed by your own technology? Adding up the effects of billions of devices, where is the smart-tech revolution taking society as a whole? 

These are the kinds of questions that former ISRF Fellow Mark Whitehead and William G. A. Collier address in their important new book, Smart-Tech Society. They explore the many ways smart tech insinuates itself into everyday life. They examine the benefits it brings. They describe how it controls us and how we are learning to control it. They look at smart tech at work, at home, and in the realms of personal health, social life, urban management, and politics. Smart-Tech Society offers the better understanding of smart-tech’s effects that will help us steer it through what appears to be a revolutionary transformation for humanity.

Professor Whitehead is joined by two panelists: Nishat Awan, Lecturer in Global Urbanism at University College London and author of Diasporic Agencies: Mapping the City Otherwise (Routledge, 2016); and David Murakami Wood, Professor of Critical Surveillance and Security Studies at the University of Ottawa and co-editor (with David Lyon) of Big Data Surveillance and Security Intelligence (UBC Press, 2021). A Q&A follows, moderated by Professor Christopher Newfield, ISRF Director of Research. 

This event is the twenty-fourth in the ISRF’s series of Book Launches.