Conference / Meeting

Technology and Democracy

8 November 2023
Start time 
4:00 pm
Target audience: 
UniTrento students
Online – Registration required
Registration email: 
Contact details: 
Collegio Clesio


  • Moshe Y. Vardi, Rice University, TX, USA

U.S. society is in the throes of deep societal polarization that not only leads to political paralysis, but also threatens the very foundations of democracy. The phrase "The Disunited States of America" is often mentioned. Other countries are displaying similar polarization.  How did we get here? What went wrong?

I this talk I argue that the current state of affairs is the results of the confluence of two tsunamis that have unfolded over the past 40 years. On one hand, there was the tsunami of technology -- from the introduction of the IBM PC in 1981 to the current domination of public discourse by social media. On the other hand, there was a tsunami of neoliberal economic policies.  I will argue that the combination of these two tsunamis led to both economic polarization and cognitive polarization.


  • Roberto Sebastiani, Department of Information Engineering and Computer Science - University of Trento

Moshe Y. Vardi - Biography:

Moshe Y. Vardi is a University Professor and the Karen Ostrum George Distinguished Service Professor in Computational Engineering at Rice University, Houston, TX, USA. His interests focus mainly on automated reasoning, a branch of Artificial Intelligence with broad applications to computer science, including machine learning, database theory, computational-complexity theory, knowledge in multi-agent systems, computer-aided verification.
He is the recipient of three IBM Outstanding Innovation Awards, the ACM SIGACT Goedel Prize, the ACM Kanellakis Award, the ACM SIGMOD Codd Award, the Blaise Pascal Medal, the IEEE Computer Society Goode Award, the EATCS Distinguished Achievements Award, the Southeastern Universities Research Association's Distinguished Scientist Award, the ACM SIGLOG Church Award, the Knuth Prize, the ACM Allen Newell Award, the CADE Herbrand Award, and IEEE Norbert Wiener Award for Social and Professional Responsibility.
He is the author and co-author of over 700 papers, as well as two books: "Reasoning about Knowledge" and "Finite Model Theory and Its Applications". He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Mathematical Society, the Asia-Pacific Artificial Intelligence Association, the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, the Association for Computing Machinery, the European Association for Theoretical Computer Science, the Institute for Electrical and Electronic Engineers, and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics. He is a member of the US National Academy of Engineering and National Academy of Science, the American Academy of Arts and Science, the Royal Society of London, the European Academy of Science, and Academia Europaea.
He holds eight honorary doctorates. He is currently a Senior Editor of the
Communications of the ACM, after having served for a decade as Editor-in-Chief.
Apart from his outstanding scientific career, Prof. Vardi is very well-known also for his many editorials and lectures relating science and technology with society and politics.