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AI and the New Information Age: Gloria Mark

April 24 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

*This talk is hybrid (in-person & remote). Capacity is limited. Please register ahead of time.

About Gaining Agency With Our Attention in the Digital Age

We are experiencing a fundamental shift in how we think, work, and focus in our digital age. Our personal technologies have been designed to extend our capabilities, yet in Gloria Mark’s research we find many people experience stress and multitask, leading to lower performance when using their devices. Gloria Mark argues that we need to reframe how we think about using our devices from maximizing productivity to instead achieving a goal of maintaining a healthy psychological balance. In this talk, Mark will present data showing how our attention spans on screens have measurably diminished over the last twenty years. The reasons for our shortening attention spans on devices can be tied to the broader sociotechnical world we live in. Mark will also describe why multitasking harms performance and why our use of devices can lead to exhaustion and burnout. Mark will then outline a path forward for gaining agency with our attention, considering solutions at the individual and collective level.

About the Speaker

Gloria Mark is Chancellor’s Professor of Informatics at the University of California, Irvine. She received her PhD from Columbia University in psychology and studies the impact of digital media on people’s lives. She takes a deep dive in examining multitasking, interruptions, and mood with the use of digital devices. She has published over 200 articles, and in 2017 was inducted into the ACM SIGCHI Academy which recognizes leaders in the field of human-computer interaction. She has presented her work at SXSW and the Aspen Ideas Festival, and her research has appeared in the popular media, e.g. New York Times, Wall Street Journal, NPR, CNN, The Guardian, the Dax Shepard show, the Dave Asprey show, and many others.



About AI and the New Information Age

In 2019, GPT-2 could not reliably count to ten. Only four years later, deep learning systems can write software, generate photorealistic scenes on demand, advise on intellectual topics, and combine language and image processing to steer robots. As AI developers scale these systems, unforeseen abilities and behaviors emerge spontaneously without explicit programming. Progress in AI has been swift and, to many, surprising.

  Managing AI Risks in an Era of Rapid Progress, Bengio, Hinton, et al. 

Along with rapid advancements in AI research, there are increasing concerns. Many concerns stem from a growing disconnect between the technology-centric approach to the creation of AI technologies and their inextricable embedding into complex personal, social, and cultural contexts. The theme of the Spring 2024 Design@Large is AI and the New Information Age. A primary focus is designing information spaces, places that foster thinking, in this new information age.


April 24
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Event Tags:


Design and Innovation Building
Room 208
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