We spy on the new culture of surveillance. Kurt Andersen talks to technologist and philosopher Jaron Lanier about why we have to watch the watchers. An artist meticulously tracks government spy satellites crossing the night sky. A computer scientist explains what goes into building a facial recognition system. And sitting silently in her car, a photographer secretly snaps pictures of strangers in their homes.
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Jaron Lanier is a computer scientist, composer, visual artist, and author.
In his new book You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto, he discusses what he believes to be the biggest problem on the web today: intellectual piracy.
Initially, Lanier was one of the early digital leaders that praised the possibilities of the Internet and was optimistic about its uses for musicians, artists, scientists, and developers. He has since come to the realization that the intellectual collective that the Internet has fostered may have come at the expense of individual creativity.
Lanier’s new book is a manifesto against "open culture" in which he posits a new theory against hive mentality. He argues the Internet has produced a new social contract in which the work of creatives has become public domain, the property of the majority.
Jaron Lanier, philosopher, digital guru and architect of Virtual Reality, is worried.
Individual creativity has begun to go out of fashion. Machines, specifically computers, are no longer just tools to be used by the human mind - these days, we treat them as if they are altogether better than humans.
Join Jaron Lanier as he delivers a call to arms against digital collectivism and proposes richer, more productive ways in which technology might interact with our culture.
Chair: Nico Macdonald, writer and consultant on design, technology and innovation