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Keynote Presentation

The End of Expertise in the Age of the Algorithm

Dr. Michael Wesch
Associate Professor of Cultural Anthropology
Kansas State University

New media and technology present us with an overwhelming bounty of tools for connection, creativity, collaboration, knowledge creation and problem solving, transforming the way we work and demanding new forms of expertise. Computers armed with big data and complex algorithms are quickly enveloping areas of expertise that were once the sole domain of human experts; writing articles, trading stocks, making music, making complex medical diagnoses, and of course, doing our taxes.

But rather than being "the end of expertise" this new environment simply redefines what the "end" or purpose of expertise needs to be.  We must not just provide our clients with conventional routine expertise but also with our creative and adaptive expertise - the capacities we have developed to address novel, messy, complex problems that are frequently encountered in the real world.

Nurturing this adaptive expertise requires more than just learning knowledge and skills. It requires a transformation in how we approach and organize our work.  In this talk, we will explore the key elements that will allow us to make our way toward adaptive expertise, and how to bring this expertise to clients.

Dubbed "the explainer" by Wired magazine, Michael Wesch, PhD, is a cultural anthropologist exploring the effects of new media on society and culture. His videos on culture, technology, education, and information have been viewed by millions, translated in over 15 languages, and are frequently featured at international film festivals and major academic conferences worldwide. Dr. Wesch has won several major awards for his work, including a Wired Magazine Rave Award, the John Culkin Award for Outstanding Praxis in Media Ecology, and he was recently named an Emerging Explorer by National Geographic.

Full Biography

Monday, Aug 17, 2015

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