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Participant name: swati srivastava
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FT-278682-21

Swati Srivastava
Purdue University (West Lafayette, IN 47907-2040)
Algorithmic Empires: The Political and Ethical Implications of Data Extraction by Technology Companies

Writing two chapters for a book on the development and use of algorithms by big technology companies.

Big technology companies like Facebook and Google concentrate power over the world in “algorithmic empires” — the concept this book develops to describe the extraction of vast amounts of personal data to feed digital systems that structure what we know and how we are known. Algorithms convert individual experience into data, the most valuable global commodity, and generate artificially narrow content to capture our attention. Through mass surveillance and information manipulation, algorithmic empires contribute to an erosion of trust in technology and a misinformed citizenry. The book makes sense of algorithmic empires by: 1. Tracing the logic of algorithmic empires for resource extraction and social control and its relationship to “surveillance capitalism”; 2. Cataloguing Facebook scandals in privacy violations and microtargeting along with gaps in its global regulation; 3. Theorizing public responsibility that shifts our relationship to algorithmic empires from consumers to subjects.

Project fields:
History and Philosophy of Science, Technology, and Medicine; International Relations; Political Theory

Program:
Summer Stipends

Division:
Research Programs

Totals:
$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2021 – 7/31/2021