"Fasten your seatbelts, it will be hard to avoid tech dystopia," says Ronaldo Lemos
On Thursday, February 21st, the Brazil LAB welcomed scholar Ronaldo Lemos to discuss technology's role in Brazil's 2018 election and new trends in tech policy. He called Brazil a "canary in the coal mine" for the impact of digital platforms on elections. The Institute for Technology & Society of Rio de Janeiro, where Lemos is a founding director, conducted an investigation on how the use of automation tools weaponized WhatApp to influence Brazil's election. Lemos also discussed the promise of creating national digital identity systems and compared success stories like Estonia and India with Brazil and the US. Finally, he pointed to the perils of leaving communities out of the digital revolution, referring to favelas with hundreds of thousands of residents that appear invisible on Google Maps. Lemos engaged in a lively and comparative discussion with Edward Felten, Director of Princeton's Center for Information Technology Policy.