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Sunday, March 15 • 12:30pm - 1:30pm
Smart vs Smart-Ass: A Brief History of Smart

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ATTENTION: This session requires advance signup to attend. For Online Schedule: Please utilize the RSVP link below the description to reserve your seat. For SXSW GO App: Use the RSVP 'Find a Timeslot' link. You must have a SXSW Interactive, Gold, or Platinum badge to attend, and, you must have an activated SXsocial account (social.sxsw.com) to reserve a seat. If you have any issues with signing up, please email support@sxsw.com. VERY IMPORTANT: Because of the limited space, we recommend you arrive at least 15 minutes prior to the published start time of this session. If you have not checked in at the room you RSVPed for at least five minutes prior to the session start time, you may lose your seat to an attendee in the waiting list line.
As a computer scientist once said, there's a fine line between smart and smart-ass. Why is it so hard to build a smart city? It's not a new idea—we've been making our cities smart for centuries. And for as long as we've had computers, we've used them as models and tools for making our cities smarter.
So where exactly does "smart" come from? In this solo session, we'll look at episodes in the history of smart cities, from computers to postal services to pneumatic tube systems to cybernetics, to name a few. We'll examine why cities try to be intelligent, how they fail, and where they succeed. What can we learn from these lessons? Where might they lead us in the future? And what exactly is that line between smart and smart-ass?

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avatar for Molly Steenson

Molly Steenson

Asst Professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Molly Wright Steenson is an assistant professor in the School of Journalism & Mass Communication at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she focuses on digital media studies.

Sunday March 15, 2015 12:30pm - 1:30pm CDT
JW Marriott Room 211-212