By Travis Holland
The series is produced by Senior Lecturer in Communication, Travis Holland: travish.co/DigSoc
Digital SocietyAug 21, 2023
Artificial Intelligence: Applications and Trajectories - Special Episode for the Big Rhetorical Podcast Carnival
In this episode of Digital Society, we revisit the question of generative AI and it's application in the media and communication industries. Michelle O'Connor and Travis Holland discuss the role and potential uses of AI in radio, journalism, podcasting and other aspects of media production and education. Student Rachel Vanderhel reflects on the links between AI and social media.
This is a special episode of Digital Society produced as part of The Big Rhetorical Podcast's 2023 Podcast Carnival, running from 28-31. Check out other episodes at https://thebigrhetoricalpodcast.weebly.com/.
The carnival will conclude with a keynote interview with Dr. Isabel Pedeson, Professor of Communication Studies at Toronto Ontario Tech University and Founding Director of the Digital Life Institute. To read more about Dr. Pedersen’s research, including her new book, Augmentation Technologies and Artificial Intelligence in Technical Communication, head to the Digital Life Institute website: https://www.digitallife.org.
Social Media and Cyberpunk
From Instagram to Snapchat and Facebook, social media has come to dominate how we communicate. For many, social media is the internet. Using these platforms subjects us to the whims of the huge social corporations. And occasionally, we push back. What’s more cyberpunk than that?
Four student-produced segments attack aspects of community building in participatory media.
Everything you never wanted to know about selfies
Flynn, Ruby, Luna, Charlotte, Annabelle and Gemma studied selfies this week, and now they're here to tell you all about it.
Students discuss challenges with internet regulation via perspectives thrown up from two major case studies.
Georgia ats Dril
This is the first episode in Digital Society in which the mic is fully turned over to students. They're asked to produce segments up to around five minutes in length examining internet topics from their own perspectives and ideas. This week, it’s the history of the internet, which Georgia Fisher has covered with a segment looking at Dril and his relationship with the rise, and now fall, of Twitter. Then, through interviews with internet users, Georgia Lewis-Minogue gives us a social history of the net.
How to make a podcast
This episode focuses on tips to craft effective audio storytelling via podcasts.
Referenced material and websites:
Berry, R. (2006). Will the iPod Kill the Radio Star? Profiling Podcasting as Radio. Convergence, 12(2), 143–162. https://doi.org/10.1177/1354856506066522
Euritt, A. (2022). Podcasting as an Intimate Medium. Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003340980
Spotify for Podcasters. https://podcasters.spotify.com/
Riverside FM. https://riverside.fm/
Twitter thread between Travis Holland and Richard Berry https://twitter.com/travisaholland/status/1637557919406522368
Persona and the Selfie
Professor David Marshall convenes a discussion about the way we represent ourselves online.
- Ellen DeGeneres' celebrity selfie: https://twitter.com/theellenshow/status/440322224407314432
- Marshall, D., & Redmond, S. (2015). A Companion to Celebrity. Wiley Blackwell. https://www.amazon.com.au/Companion-Celebrity-P-David-Marshall-ebook/dp/B016PI948Y
WTF is social media? With bonus AI and Cyberpunk chat
Is social media really social? Is it good for society? How do we respond to the unprecedented power and influence of such global corporations? These are just some of the questions asked in this episode. Plus, a chat about cyberpunk with Dr David Cameron, and everything AI with Ph.D. candidate Jasmyn Connell.
More to read:
Carr, M. (2022, May 4). Is TikTok A Social Media Or Entertainment Platform? ScreenRant. https://screenrant.com/tiktok-social-media-entertainment-platform-is/
Figueira, L. (2022, September 5). TikTok is not social media. In fact, it marks the end of the social era. The Drum. https://www.thedrum.com/opinion/2022/09/05/tiktok-not-social-media-fact-it-marks-the-end-the-social-era
Holland, T. (2017). How Facebook and Google changed the advertising game. The Conversation. https://theconversation.com/how-facebook-and-google-changed-the-advertising-game-70050
NPR (2018). The Science in Science Fiction. https://www.npr.org/2018/10/22/1067220/the-science-in-science-fiction
Regulation of the Internet
Featuring a look at whether the internet can and should be regulated, and three case studies of regulation from around the world: the 'Great Firewall of China', the Christchurch Call, and Australian Mandatory Data Retention. The episode also engages with JP Barlow's thirty-year-old Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace.
Barlow, J. P. (1996). A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace. https://homes.eff.org/~barlow/Declaration-Final.html
Barlow, J. P. (2014). A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace by John Perry Barlow. https://vimeo.com/111576518
Christchurch Call. (n.d.). Retrieved 23 January 2023, from https://www.christchurchcall.com/assets/Documents/Christchurch-Call-full-text-English.pdf
Galperin, E. (2015, April 7). Data Retention Law Passes in Australia, but the Fight Isn’t Over. Electronic Frontier Foundation. https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2015/04/data-retention-law-passes-australia-fight-isnt-over
Greenberg, A. (2016, February 8). It’s been 20 years since John Perry Barlow declared cyberspace independence. Wired. https://www.wired.com/2016/02/its-been-20-years-since-this-man-declared-cyberspace-independence/
Morrison, A. H. (2009). An impossible future: John Perry Barlow’s ‘Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace’. New Media & Society, 11(1–2), 53–71. https://doi.org/10.1177/1461444808100161
The Business of Participatory Media
LEGO Ideas: ideas.lego.com/
Brabham, Daren C. ‘Crowdsourcing as a Model for Problem Solving: An Introduction and Cases’. Convergence, vol. 14, no. 1, Feb. 2008, pp. 75–90. doi.org/10.1177/1354856507084420
Ghezzi, Antonio, et al. ‘Crowdsourcing: A Review and Suggestions for Future Research’. International Journal of Management Reviews, vol. 20, no. 2, 2018, pp. 343–63. doi.org/10.1111/ijmr.12135
Jenkins, H. (2006a). Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century. MacArthur Foundation.
Lee, Ashlin. ‘In the Shadow of Platforms: Challenges and Opportunities for the Shadow of Hierarchy in the Age of Platforms and Datafication’. M/C Journal, vol. 24, no. 2, 2, Apr. 2021. doi.org/10.5204/mcj.2750
O’Reilly, T. (2005). What is Web 2.0? Design Patterns and Models for the Next Generation of Software. www.oreilly.com/pub/a/web2/archive/what-is-web-20.html?page=1
A History of the Internet
The internet is the realisation of a centuries-old dream: instantaneous global communication. It has shaped and continues to shape global economic, political, and social structures in extraordinary ways. It is a relatively new technology and yet we can find numerous traces of the internet throughout human history.
In this episode, we will introduce some ideas about the internet and describe both its history and that of the precursor technologies and ideas which have informed and shaped not only the net itself but also how we might think about it. There's also an analysis of Bo Burnham's song, 'Welcome to the Internet'.
For further critique of Welcome to the Internet:
- Liza Quin, Filmmaker and Singer Reaction with Commentary https://youtu.be/GoqAXg2dfz8
- Wil Williams, Polygon, Bo Burnham's Inside begs for our parasocial awareness https://www.polygon.com/22553396/bo-burnham-inside-begs-for-our-parasocial-awareness https://slate.com/culture/2021/06/problem-with-bo-burnham-inside.html
- Leah Schnelback, Tor.com, Can I Interest you in a dark carnival? Bo Burnham, Ray Bradbury, and Our Modern Hall of Mirrors, https://www.tor.com/2021/06/15/bo-burnham-inside-and-ray-bradbury-something-wicked-this-way-comes-horrors-of-the-internet/