Bookmark: "Duped by the Automated Public Sphere"

Sebastian Greger


In this article, professor of law at the University of Maryland Frank Pasquale, makes the case for why automated generation of “news content” is so dangerous to our societies.

Yet, this is not only about automation, but also about commercialisation:

The public sphere cannot be automated like an assembly line churning out toasters. As Will Oremus has explained, there are aspects of the journalistic endeavor that are inherently human; so, too, are editorial functions necessarily reflective of human values. To be sure, there will be deep and serious conflicts over the proper balance between commercial interests and the public interest in assigning prominence to different sources; in deciding how much transparency to give decisions made about such issues; and how much control individual users should have over their newsfeeds, and the granularity of that control. But these are matters of utmost importance to the future of democracy.

As with so many things, transparency is utterly important.

I'm Sebastian, Sociologist and Interaction Designer. This journal is mostly about bringing toge­ther social science and design for inclusive, privacy-focused, and sustainable "human-first" digital strategies. I also tend to a "digital garden" with carefully curated resources.

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