Konrad Becker Keynote on “Cultural Intelligence and Digital Control Revolutions”:
Journalism and professional information processing is undergoing deep structural shifts. Despite hopes for a more diverse information environment and in the face of massively decentralized processes digital networks produce stronger centralized market concentrations. The consequences are dangerous asymmetries and an increasing gap between civil society and a militarized ICT complex. Even though personal computers know more about their users than they do themselves, the manipulation of privacy is not just an intrusion into an intimate zone. Much more it is about classification markers for segmentation of social groups and its exploitation. In the name of security and economization new digital control regimes drives social fragmentation and stratification. Big Data allows to predict behavior and optimize it by smaller or larger interventions. But in whose interest? The opaque structures for these new control systems are open only to those who have sufficient resources – not the public that is affected.
A military-entertainment economy dominates operative technologies of information systems in an age of permanent crisis. Perception and behavior management shapes psycho-social interaction, communication becomes a transversal force for the colonization of both outer and inner space. In the theater of digital control revolutions and omnidirectional low-intensity conflicts, culture and the engineering of desires is key in the arsenal of power. While an emergence of innumerable blogs and so-called social networks drowns in personalized filter bubbles an attention economy based on click rates enforces strong links to self-fulfilling silliness. Independent cultural intelligence is a practice that frees cognitive technologies to map other possible worlds.