The Secret Life of Data: Navigating Hype and Uncertainty in the Age of Algorithmic Surveillance (The Information Society Series) (Hardcover)

The Secret Life of Data: Navigating Hype and Uncertainty in the Age of Algorithmic Surveillance (The Information Society Series) By Aram Sinnreich, Jesse Gilbert Cover Image
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How data surveillance, digital forensics, and generative AI pose new long-term threats and opportunities—and how we can use them to make better decisions in the face of technological uncertainty.

In The Secret Life of Data, Aram Sinnreich and Jesse Gilbert explore the many unpredictable, and often surprising, ways in which data surveillance, AI, and the constant presence of algorithms impact our culture and society in the age of global networks. The authors build on this basic premise: no matter what form data takes, and what purpose we think it’s being used for, data will always have a secret life. How this data will be used, by other people in other times and places, has profound implications for every aspect of our lives—from our intimate relationships to our professional lives to our political systems.

With the secret uses of data in mind, Sinnreich and Gilbert interview dozens of experts to explore a broad range of scenarios and contexts—from the playful to the profound to the problematic. Unlike most books about data and society that focus on the short-term effects of our immense data usage, The Secret Life of Data focuses primarily on the long-term consequences of humanity’s recent rush toward digitizing, storing, and analyzing every piece of data about ourselves and the world we live in. The authors advocate for “slow fixes” regarding our relationship to data, such as creating new laws and regulations, ethics and aesthetics, and models of production for our data-fied society.

Cutting through the hype and hopelessness that so often inform discussions of data and society, The Secret Life of Data clearly and straightforwardly demonstrates how readers can play an active part in shaping how digital technology influences their lives and the world at large.

About the Author

Aram Sinnreich is an author, professor, and musician. He is Chair of Communication Studies at American University. His books include Mashed Up, The Piracy Crusade, The Essential Guide to Intellectual Property, and A Second Chance for Yesterday (published as R. A. Sinn).

Jesse Gilbert is an interdisciplinary artist exploring the intersection of visual art, sound, and software design at his firm Dark Matter Media. He was the founding Chair of the Media Technology department at Woodbury University, and he has taught interactive software design at both CalArts and UC San Diego.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780262048811
ISBN-10: 0262048817
Publisher: The MIT Press
Publication Date: April 30th, 2024
Pages: 312
Language: English
Series: The Information Society Series