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Improving Democracy Through Technology
The uses and effects of technological change permeate through all of our systems, including our democracy. Yet given political polarization and uncertain legal rules, our current climate presents unique challenges to our ideas and values of democracy. How might we use and think about technology to better serve our democratic institutions?

Join Aspen Tech Policy Hub Fellows as they showcase their projects under the theme: Improving Democracy Through Technology. Following the presentations of the projects, Justice of the Supreme Court of California, Mariano-Florentino Cuellar, will give further remarks. The projects to be presented are:

1) Combating Election Disinformation by Shining Light on Dark Ads. Every day, tens of millions of Americans view political advertisements on social media that disguise themselves as unpaid content, also known as “dark ads.” Matt Volk and Elizabeth Allendorf joined forces to develop a game that educates the public about dark ads, and to propose a solutions to increase transparency.

2) Using Automated Advocates to Provide Legal Services at Scale. The United States faces a crisis in its civil courts, where more than 80% of low-income households lack adequate legal representation. A promising new class of technology tools (“Automated Advocates”) can help close that gap, but regulatory complexity make it difficult to build and regulate these tools. Jessica Cole led a project to coalesce and define Automated Advocates in order to regulate and incentivize their use in civil courts.

3) People Powered Policy. It is difficult for cities to obtain real-time feedback from their constituents on impending policy decisions. At the same time, constituents from disenfranchised communities struggle to get the attention of elected officials to drive policy change. Amy Wilson led a project focused on the City of Oakland that develops a strategy to encourage iterative digital communication between city government and their constituents.

Aug 5, 2020 09:00 AM in Pacific Time (US and Canada)

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