29 April 2019 - 1pm - The Intelligence of Things
Dr Mercedes Bunz, Kings College London
RC204 - Information School
Artificial intelligence – data analysis and machine learning - drives many internet of thing devices from the speaking Siri on our phones to self-driving cars or smart cities. Devices are tracking and tracing their users and communicating with them, processing data and learning about their environment. In her talk, Mercedes will analyse how the agency of technology introduced by intelligent things is currently negotiated. Using critical discourse analysis, the first step will be to contrast technologies that are making things ‘intelligent’ with the way tech companies but also the media address this intelligence. In her second step, she will then focus on the potential of things which that sense their environment, which they offer through their data.
Mercedes Bunz is Senior Lecturer in Digital Society at the Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London. She came to London in 2009 to work as the technology reporter of The Guardian. Her research explores how digital technology transforms knowledge and with it power; a question she explores currently specifically regarding medical knowledge with the Wellcome Trust grant for the project ‘Public data, private collaborator: will machine learning relocate medical knowledge?’ Recent publications: The Internet of Things (Polity 2017) co-published with Professor Graham Meikle, and the small Open Access publication Communication with Finn Brunton (University of Minnesota Press 2019), in which they discuss how contemporary communication puts us not only in conversation with one another but also with our machinery.
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About Information School
The Information School at The University of Sheffield is a thriving community of students, educators and researchers dedicated to the study and advancement of the information field and its professions. Our field is characterised by its distinctive, interdisciplinary focus on the interactions between people, information and digital technologies. It has the ultimate goal of enhancing information access, and the management, sharing and use of information, to benefit society. Good information empowers people and enriches their lives. Expertise to use, design and manage information products, services and systems effectively has never been more important than today, in our increasingly fast-moving and complex world.
The School has been at the forefront of developments in the information field for more than fifty years. We are recognised as the leading school of our kind in the UK, with an international reputation for the quality of our teaching and research, and for the achievements of our graduates. Our research is world-leading and we achieved the highest possible grade in every one of the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) evaluations of research quality in UK universities since these began in 1989.
We achieved top positions in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 for research environment and for the impact of our research, based on the combined 4* (world-leading) and 3* (internationally excellent) categories. The results show that 100% of our research environment was judged to be of world-leading quality and 100% of our research impact was judged as world-leading or internationally excellent. Through our research we seek to make a significant intellectual contribution to advancing knowledge in our field, but also to impact on the practical management and use of information.
Information science is a multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary subject. Our staff backgrounds and research reflect influences from computing, health, chemistry and different arts and humanities and social sciences disciplines, as well as experience from professional practice in information roles. We have particular expertise in information and knowledge management, information systems, libraries and the information society, information retrieval, health informatics, data science and chemoinformatics. We run a vibrant doctoral programme which attracts students from many different countries to work with us in all of these areas.
Students who come to study with us at the Information School are an integral part of our research culture. The School is their home and we pride ourselves on the friendliness and helpfulness of staff. We offer students an outstanding academic education through a wide range of taught postgraduate degrees which embed the principles of research-led teaching. Students joining any of our degree programmes will develop a critical understanding of current issues in library and information management and will benefit from being taught by staff who are undertaking leading-edge research and who have many links with industry. As part of our mission to provide world-quality university education in information, we aim to inspire and help our students to pursue their highest ambitions for their academic and professional careers.