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The médialab of the Paris Institute of Political Sciences (Sciences Po), in partnership with the Centre Internet et Société (CIS), will host King’s College London researchers Jennifer Pybus and Mark Coté for an online presentation of their recent Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)-funded research on technical objects of datafication within mobile devices.

First, Pybus and Coté will outline the philosophical foundation of their research, which is informed by the model of ancient atomists Epicurus and Lucretius, in which all is ‘atoms, void, and clinamen‘; they argue that this paradigm offers relevant insights when applied to contemporary datafication.

Second, they will present their cross-disciplinary method, which enables non-expert engagement with the technical dimensions of mobile apps. They will describe their interactive platform enabling humanities and social science researchers to access the data permissions and software development kits (SDKs) of more than 7,000 apps, and to analyze the increasingly dominant role of Google and Facebook.

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About the speakers

Jennifer Pybus is Lecturer in Digital Culture and Society at King’s College London with a growing international reputation around processes of datafication, privacy and data literacy. Her research investigates those critical points of tension that lie at the intersection of digital culture, AI and algorithmic processes, and emerging infrastructures that are set up to capture and action personal data. Part of this work focuses on the political economy of social media platforms, display ad economies, and the mobile ecosystem.

Mark Coté is a leading researcher in critical digital methods focusing on the social, cultural, and political economic dimensions of big data, algorithms and machine learning. He is a Senior Lecturer in Data Culture and Society in the Digital Humanities department of King’s College London. He has been funded by the AHRC, EPSRC and H2020, primarily in cross-disciplinary projects on a European scale, primarily with computer scientists, data scientists and app developers.

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