Intel Funds New Center with DM Program

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The Digital Media program is pleased to announce its recent research partnership with Intel in the creation of a new Intel Science and Technology Center for Social Computing (ISTC-Social). Intel is supporting the project by providing $1.625 million in funding, affirming liberal arts-based research as a leading edge for third-wave computing. ISTC-Social is the first Intel-academic collaboration to span technology, social sciences, and humanities. The premise of these centers is that technology, culture, politics, and computing are inextricably intertwined and are, therefore, essential to study in amalgam.

Digital Media associate professor Carl DiSalvo explains how Intel’s contribution is strengthening and innovating the Digital Media program at Georgia Tech.

“The research convention has been to create a technology and then find a use for it,” he says. “ISTC-Social shifts that to the innovation occurring in the humanities and social sciences. We begin with cultural and societal analysis, imagine social contexts or societal goals, and those become the driver for creating technology.”

Digital Media faculty members DiSalvo, Ian Bogost, and Christopher Le Dantec will partner with researchers at Intel and the ISTC-Social hub at the University of California, Irvine, as well as with faculty in centers at Cornell, Indiana, and New York Universities. The research of these centers will converge across infomatics, anthropology, communication, digital humanities, cultural studies, science and technology studies, media studies, philosophy, computer science and design. The center at Georgia Tech will lead research in Creativity and Collectivity, specifically studying how group production and “patterns of making” are changing what it means to be creative.

“This type of innovation at the crossroads of humanities, social sciences and technology has been a hallmark of liberal arts at Georgia Tech,” says Bogost. “ITSC-Social will further enable our research on completely novel forms of social computing.”

“One future aspect of media is social,” says DiSalvo. “People in humanities and social sciences understand what makes things social. Third-wave computing is moving us from the era of one person using one device to massively networked mobile and cloud computing, but it is the liberal arts-based exploration of how we use those technologies that will really reinvent the future.”