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Why Should We Care About the Failure of the British Computing Industry?

Please join us next Wednesday, April 19th at 4 pm as Marie Hicks presents Databite No. 97: Why Should We Care About the Failure of the British Computing Industry?

This talk draws on the example of our closest historical cousin–the UK– to look at the ways in which computing initiatives often go wrong in unexpected ways at the national level. In 1944, the UK led the world in electronic computing. By 1974, the British computer industry was all but extinct. What happened in the intervening thirty years holds lessons for all postindustrial superpowers. This talk will outline the systematic processes deployed by the UK government to enhance the nation’s technological superiority–and through that its global political standing–and discuss why these efforts went disastrously wrong. The talk will conclude with a discussion of the ways the US is currently falling prey to similar errors of judgement in its attempts to leverage computing technology as an engine of social and economic change.

WHEN: Wednesday, April 19, 2017. 3:30 pm Doors open. 4 – 5 pm Public talk + Q&A. 5 – 7pm Reception and book signing.

WHERE: Data & Society, 36 W. 20th St., 11th Floor

RSVP is required to attend.

Data & Society’s Databites speaker series is geared toward engaging our network and the broader public on unresolved questions and timely topics of interest to the D&S community.

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