Technological innovation is almost monopolised by big companies which harbour money and muscle required. This practice has made the products alien to societal culture. All this is changing with many organisations calling up locals to build technologies for their local problems in the form of hackathons and workshops. This practice focuses more on the process than the result, the process of building together and we can accomplish together. Relationships are built in this process; trust is built with workers and on product. Level of ownership also increases with the level of involvement.

Speaker Rahul Bhargava, Research Scientist from MIT Centre for Civic Media which focuses on building technologies with the help of communities and identifies the maximum level of appropriate involvement was hosted by the Department of Communication, S N School of Arts & Communication, University of Hyderabad (UoH) on 13 August, 2019. Rahul Bhargava is a researcher and technologist specializing in civic technology and data literacy. He creates interactive websites used by hundreds of thousands, playful educational experiences across the globe, and award-winning visualizations for museum settings. He leads technical development projects ranging from the interfaces for quantitative news analysis, to platforms for crowd-sourced sensing.

Many arms of MIT Centre for Civic Media like Algorithmic Justice League are mitigating algorithmic bias during the design, development and deployment of machine learning. In a world increasingly becoming reliant on Artificial Intelligence, it is imperative that machine learning is corrected in its budding stages. Linked Out project of MIT is looking to facilitate societal re-entry for formerly incarcerated individuals.

Open source software facilitate many researchers to customize a software to one’s need, this generates a peer reviewed culture and the practice of open thinking. Media control of MIT is an open source media ecosystem analysis.

Democratization of technology is the need of the hour; the public should be the largest stakeholders in the decision making. This enables technology to percolate the nooks and corners of the world.

-Contributed by Lokesh Naik, Department of Communication