February 6, 2019

Kara Swisher, New York Times technology business columnist and co-founder of Recode
Moderated by Laura Blumenfeld, Senior Fellow at The Philip Merrill Center for Strategic Studies, Johns Hopkins SAIS

Kara Swisher, technology business columnist for The New York Times and founder and executive editor of Recode joined the school’s community to offer insights on the influence of technology and social media on international affairs.

Swisher opened the discussion by providing context on the rapid changes in technology over the years, with the most recent being the big mobile revolutions. She highlighted the development of super artificial intelligence, self-driving technology, robotics and automation, privacy and assault, continuous partial hacking, and continuous partial attention as the key trends in technology. She noted that the increasing use of internet and mobile data have led to several political and social unrest across the world. Swisher opined that the United States must continuously think about how to regulate the internet without stifling regulation.

Swisher called attention to the impact of technology on massive job disruption, noting that every job on the planet that can be digitized will undergo job disruption from artificial intelligence and automation. She explained that cities will increasingly become autonomous with associated level of complexities. Despite these potential disruptions, Swisher explained that human creativity will remain important and would be used to develop robotic capabilities.

Swisher also raised concerns about the lack of a national privacy legislation in the United States, though the State of California has an existing legislation. She spoke about the influence of other powerful nations on technology such as China’s rising influence in the next internet age and Russia’s interface of US elections using internet data.

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