Webinar: Improving Democracy Through Technology
Event submitted on Thursday, June 25th 2020, approved by Charles Villanueva ✓
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The Aspen Policy Hub has organized some excellent virtual events this year. This one is very likely the most topical (in my opinion) since it focuses on a major event that will be taking place in the US in November: the election. Titled: “Improving Democracy Through Technology” this virtual webinar, which is being beamed in from the West Coast, US, will be a fascinating event for all those with an interest in the Presidential Election of 2020.
Conference Event Summary
The following description was either submitted by the Conference Organizer on Thursday, June 25th 2020, or created by us.
The uses and effects of technological change permeate through all of our systems, including our democracy. Yet given political polarization and uncertain legal rules, our current climate presents unique challenges to our ideas and values of democracy. How might we use and think about technology to better serve our democratic institutions?
Join Aspen Tech Policy Hub Fellows as they showcase their projects under the theme: Improving Democracy Through Technology. Following the presentations of the projects, a keynote speaker (to be announced) will give further remarks. The projects to be presented are:
1) Combating Election Disinformation by Shining Light on Dark Ads. Every day, tens of millions of Americans view political advertisements on social media that disguise themselves as unpaid content, also known as “dark ads.” According to NYU researchers, more than half of Facebook pages from May 2018 until June 2019 that displayed U.S. political ads concealed the identities of their backers. Matt Volk and Elizabeth Allendorf joined forces to develop a game that educates the public about dark ads, and to propose a series of actions that regulatory entities can take to increase transparency in this ecosystem.
2) Using Automated Advocates to Provide Legal Services at Scale. The United States faces a crisis in its civil courts, where more than 80% of low-income households lack adequate legal representation. A promising new class of technology tools (“Automated Advocates”) can help close that gap, but regulatory complexity about who may practice law make it difficult for companies to build these tools and for regulators to distinguish good actors from bad. Jessica Cole led a project to coalesce and define Automated Advocates in order to regulate and incentivize their use in civil courts.