An Evening with Shoshana Zuboff

Our Digital Democracy in the Age of Surveillance Capitalism

A Free Live Virtual Event, Open to the Public

Thursday, October 14 at 5:00 p.m. EST

Live captioning available

Shoshana Zuboff2021 GEORGE D. AIKEN LECTURE

Shoshana Zuboff wants to make one thing clear: we are living in the age of surveillance capitalism and left unchecked, it will erode democracies.

Join us for an interactive virtual conversation on Thursday, October 14 at 5:00 p.m. EST with scholar, author, and activist Shoshana Zuboff to discuss her newest book, The Age of Surveillance Capitalism. The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power.

Zuboff, the 2021 Aiken Lecture Series Speaker, has dedicated her career to the study of the rise of digital and warns that surveillance capitalism, a term Zuboff developed in 2014. She says surveillance capital is undermining our personal rights and threatening democracy.

According to Zuboff, surveillance capitalism unilaterally claims human experience as free raw material for translation into behavioral data, which are fed into machine intelligence to create behavioral predictions. Those predictions are sold on what Zuboff calls the behavioral futures market.

“Google’s ‘clickthrough rate’ was the first globally successful prediction product, and its ad markets were the first to trade in human futures,” writes Zuboff.

Zuboff wants us to imagine a digital future where our personal information is back under our control.

“We decide how we are going to be governed in a democracy. Facebook can do whatever it wants, so can Apple and Google, so can Microsoft, so can Amazon; they have unaccountable power. This is a wake-up call. Together, citizens and law makers can build the infrastructures of laws and rights that we all need to tether this to our fundamental rights, tether it to public service, and make this digital century a safer democracy,” she adds.

Join in this engaging and interactive virtual conversation with Shoshana Zuboff hosted by the University of Vermont College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences and produced in partnership with the University of Vermont Continuing and Distance Education.

About the Aiken Lectures

The University of Vermont’s George D. Aiken Lectures are a permanent tribute to the former Dean of the United States Senate and Governor of Vermont for his many years of service to the people of the state and nation. Supported by an endowment created by George and Lola Aiken and held annually at the University of Vermont, the lectures, which began in 1975, provide a platform for distinctive views on critical American issues and is the University’s major annual public-policy forum. The tradition of keeping the Aiken Lectures free and open to the public endures.

The lecture series will stress four areas of public service for which Senator Aiken is best known, namely, foreign and public affairs, energy and the environment, food systems and health, and economic development for the purpose of making Vermont, the nation and the world a better place to live and work. There will be an annual rotation of these topic areas by the corresponding College at the University: Arts and Sciences, Agriculture and Life Sciences, Engineering and Mathematical Science, Education and Social Services, Environment and Natural Resources, Nursing and Health Sciences, Medicine, and the Grossman School of Business Administration.