COMD/GRA Semineri: “The politics of location: Mobilities, data and machine learning”, Dr. Didem Özkul, 14:00 10 Eylül (EN)

COMD/GRA TALK featuring The politics of location

The Department of Communication and Design and the Department of Graphic Design are pleased to invite Bilkent students, faculty and friends to the zoom online talk by Dr. Didem Özkul with the topic:

The politics of location: Mobilities, data and machine learning

Our lives are populated with connected devices which sense and record where we are at any given point in time, how we move between places, who we are travelling or meeting with and, most importantly, why. From drones and commercial satellites to real-time identification of citizens using facial recognition technologies, technologies of future media and communications are extensively making use of location data. Location data has geospatial references, providing information on where and when people and things are located. The current global, political and economic crises have allowed the processing of location data to grow exponentially, most prevalent in the examples of border security and predictive policing. In this talk, I draw on the problematic entanglement of machine learning, algorithmic decision-making and politics of mobilities with a specific focus on location data. I discuss what kinds of inferences are drawn from location data and how, what kinds of decisions are made based on those inferences, and how such decisions govern physical and social mobilities through examples from a fieldwork I conducted with computer scientists and locative media users, patents and case studies. In doing so, I discuss the societal implications of location data and machine learning, which I frame as ‘the politics of location’.

Dr. Didem Özkul is Assistant Professor in Media and Communication Studies at the Department of Geography, Media and Communication (Geomedia) at Karlstad University, Sweden and hon. Associate Professor at the Department of Culture, Communication and Media at University College London, UK. She has written extensively about mobile media, locative media and location data practices. Her work has appeared in Media, Culture & Society, Mobile Media & Communication, Convergence: International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies, and First Monday. Her latest work will appear in New Media & Society (forthcoming). She is on the editorial board of Mobile Media & Communication (SAGE) and recently founded Online Media and Global Communication, and she is the Social Media Editor of Mobile Media & Communication. She held research positions at the Department of Culture, Communication and Media at the University College London (ongoing), Department of Media and Communications at London School of Economics and Political Science, and Communication and Media Research Institute at the University of Westminster. She is member of Alan Turing Institute and UK Government Science and Innovation Network’s Robotics and AI Research Collaboration in UK and Italy, and Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Connect Program in Germany. Currently she is writing a research monograph, The Politics of Location Tracking and Profiling, which presents a critical analysis of location data, machine learning, and politics of mobilities (under contract with Routledge), editing a special issue on sensor media and mobile sensing for the Journal of Computer Mediated Communication (Oxford University Press, under review), and writing a research article on children’s perception of privacy in relation to mobile and locative media for Information, Communication & Society.

The talk will be on 10 September at 14:00. It will be held via Zoom. See link below. We hope to see you!

Time: Sep 10, 2021 02:00 PM Istanbul

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