Hackers, artists, activists descend on Berlin for internet conference




Berlin - By Jenny Tobien, - The re:publica internet conference kicked off in the German capital on Wednesday, offering artists, activists, bloggers, hackers and other tech enthusiasts hundreds of sessions on the future of digital culture.



 
"We are trying to depict as many facets of a self-developing digital society as possible," event co-founder Marcus Beckedahl said at the opening.
US whistleblower and transgender rights advocate Chelsea Manning is among the hundreds of speakers scheduled to attend the three-day event, which bills itself as Europe's biggest conference on digitization and society.
Manning, a former US Army private, was convicted in 2013 for stealing hundreds of thousands of secret government files and giving them to WikiLeaks while working as an intelligence analyst in Iraq. Manning was released from prison just under a year ago after having a 35-year sentence commuted by former US president Barack Obama.
Some of the central themes of this year's re:publica include society's approach to artificial intelligence and decisions made by algorithms. Beckedahl said there is a pressing need to grapple with these technologies, which present opportunities and as well as many risks.
Other topics include gender, journalism and politics in the context of digitization.
The re:publica event was founded in 2007 by the creators of the blogs Netzpolitik.org and Spreeblick. More than 9,000 visitors are expected to attend this year's conference and the Media Convention Berlin partner event. A free party open to the public will be offered for the first time this year following the conference.
"We are far from reaching all parts of society with re:publica," conference co-founder Tanja Haeusler said Wednesday. "We are venturing into a format that we hope will grow in the same way that re:publica has over the last twelve years
 

Wednesday, May 2nd 2018
By Jenny Tobien,
           


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