22 Apr '24
Management Seminars | Monday Mikkel Flyverbom, Copenhagen Business School

Mikkel Flyverbom, Copenhagen Business School, will present "In the digital prism: Refractions, coded visions and the politics of visibility"

Abstract: Data-driven, automated forms of pattern recognition and prediction are a new frontier of action and influence, particularly in digital advertising, business intelligence and security. Data enthusiasts and big tech companies are busy rolling out data-driven approaches to crime prevention, consumer analytics, human resource management and other forms of governance. The goal is usually more accurate, more proactive and more objective methods for the anticipation of developments on the horizon – the opportunity to shape futures from the vantage point of the present. What is often overlooked, however, is the technical and practical ‘production of visibilities’ underlying such governance efforts, and the kinds of digital exposure and recategorization involved. In this talk, I set out to show how the forms of visibility made possible by data, algorithms and artificial intelligence come to produce surprising and sometimes troubling political futures. I argue that such datafied, algorithmic visibilities, or ‘coded visions’, constitute new forms of political interventions in need of scholarly attention. To understand how futures are produced and steered through data and algorithms, we need to return to fundamental questions about how social phenomena become seeable, knowable and governable through processes of knowledge production. Focusing on policing and anti-radicalization efforts, I highlight the consequences of the refractions involved in reducing social phenomena to information and sorting them out algorithmically. The kinds of coded visions that I explore constitute novel kinds of politics, what I term a ‘politics of prediction’ and a ‘politics of conversion’ – both of which have far-reaching and potentially problematic ramifications for social life.

This research seminar is organized with OUI KC and ERA Chair in Social Innovation

Mikkel Flyverbom, Copenhagen Business School
  • From 22 April 2024 2:00 PM
  • To 22 April 2024 3:30 PM
  • Location D004