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Has Silicon Valley Lost Its Humanity?

Thursday, November 30, 2017 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

The Know It Alls cover

The Know It Alls cover

Silicon Valley innovations have given rise to a class of tech titans wielding immense economic and political influence, and has paved the way for a cultural shift towards individualism with historically little regard for marginalized groups left in the wake. Noam Cohen, a former New York Timestechnology columnist and author of The Know-It-Alls: The Rise of Silicon Valley as a Political Powerhouse and Social Wrecking Ball, argues that this type of disruption often flies in the face of empathy, civility, and even democracy itself, leading to problems ranging from the rise of fake news to the growing divide between the “haves” who benefit from these technologies and everyone else. Cohen joins Northeastern University assistant professor of journalism and Wired Magazine contributing editor Jeff Howe for a moderated panel that focuses on the ethical push and pull between the drive for innovation and preserving our own humanity and moral codes.


Noam Cohen covered the influence of the Internet on the larger culture for the New York Times, where he wrote the “Link by Link” column beginning in 2007. His first book, The Know-It-Alls: The Rise of Silicon Valley as a Political Powerhouse and Social Wrecking Ballwas published in October, 2017.

Jeff Howe is an assistant professor of journalism at Northeastern University and a contributing editor at Wired Magazine. He is the author of Crowdsourcing: How the Power of the Crowd is Driving the Future of Businessand co-author of Whiplash, How to Survive Our Faster Future.

Sara M. Watson is a technology critic who writes and speaks about emerging issues in the intersection of technology, culture, and society. Her work has appeared in The Atlantic, Wired, The Washington Post, Slate, and Motherboard. She is an affiliate with the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, and author of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism’s report on the current state of technology coverage.

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This event is sponsored by Radius at MIT and is free for the MIT community and the general public.


Thursday, November 30, 2017
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
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MIT Communications Forum


MIT Building 3, Room 270
33 Massachusetts Ave (Rear)
Cambridge, MA 02319 United States
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