The world according to Trump is different than that of many of us, including the confusing and often contentious world of technology. We’re mired in debates about privacy, international hacking and cyber security.
This week’s SXSW conference is tackling these issues with nearly 18 “Tech Under Trump” sessions. If you’re headed to the conference, here are 10 that are of particular interest based on my own nerdy needs. However, your mileage may vary, and the full list can be found here.
HEAD FAKES AND PIVOTS: TRUMP PUNKS SILICON VALLEY
Remember when we all thought there was no way Trump could win the election, and then when all of the nerdiest of data pundits got it totally wrong? In this talk, How to Be Black author Baratunde Thurston talks about not just how we got it wrong, but what we can do about it. Turns out geeks aren’t the best political analysts after all.
HOW WILL TRUMP STEER CAR AND TRANSPORTATION TECH?
You just know that Trump’s oil-industry cronies are hating all of the advances the technology industry has made recently when it comes to solar, electric, and renewable energy. This panel features experts from the auto and electronics industry to talk about fuel-economy standards, alternative fuels, and how the Trump administration understands it.
IMMIGRATION AND INNOVATION: THE FUTURE OF H-1B
One of the first things Trump did was attempt to ban immigrant travel from seven Muslim countries. Meanwhile, the American technology industry leans on the backs - no, stands on the shoulders - of immigrants. This panel promises to discuss what Trump policies could mean for the H-1B visa program, which is how most foreign-born tech talents makes its way into American technology companies.
MEDIA IS THE PROBLEM: IT’S ALSO PART OF THE SOLUTION
Trump has declared war on the media, calling anything he doesn’t agree with “fake news.” This panel, featuring Eli Pariser of Upworthy, aims to deconstruct what he calls the “filter bubble” and how media isn’t the problem - it’s the answer.
OUR BRIGHT, JOBLESS FUTURE: TRUMP POLICY VS AI
While Trump is promising to bring jobs back to hard-working Americas, robotics and artificial intelligence are quickly taking those jobs away. This forum looks at how the Trump administration may, or may not, understand the issues at hand, and how the technology industry needs to educate Trump before our robot overlords simply tell us, “You’re all fired.”