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How Has Computer Code Shaped Humanity?
Jan 31 • 7:00 pm PST
On January 31, Zócalo Public Square and Future Tense present, “How Has Computer Code Shaped Humanity?” It can be easy to forget that software springs from the minds of living, breathing people with the same insights and failings that have driven human history for centuries.
Nearly 80 years after engineers programmed the first electronic computers, most of us still regard machines as supremely rational collections of electrical circuits, speaking in binary “1”s and “0”s. It can be easy to forget that software, the digital instructions that tell computers how to do their jobs, springs from the minds of living, breathing people. And these coders imbue their craft with the same impulses, insights, foibles, and failings that have driven human history for centuries. Ultimately, code works (or fails to work) because of the brilliance—or boneheadedness—of the people who write it. How do biases shape software, and ultimately, society? What does ethical programming look like? And how does computer code generate beauty, pain, discovery, love—reflecting and reimagining the very things that make us human?
Tech entrepreneur Nonny de la Peña, author Charlton McIlwain, and internet activist Ethan Zuckerman join Zócalo and Future Tense to ponder human decision-making’s impact on the digital world–and the ways that code, in turn, has impacted humanity.
This event is free and open to the public in person and online. Zócalo invites the in-person audience to continue the conversation with speakers and each other at a post-event reception with complimentary drinks and small bites.
Image credit: Courtesy of alphaspirit.it/shutterstock.