Technology Policy in the Developing World

This course will examine the role of information and telecommunication technologies (TICs) for developing countries, focusing on policy issues such as privacy, net neutrality, social networks, financial inclusion, and more. This is a “bird´s-eye view” course. We will discuss a number of selected issues. Our goal is to understand the different roles played by TICs in the developing world, and at the same time understand the opportunities they bring in terms of building transformative practical tools.

To address these issues, the course will analyze the following tools and their role to the developing world: cryptocurrencies and Bitcoin, Artificial Intelligence, social networks, machine learning, big data, digital identities, intellectual property, FLOSS licenses, Creative Commons, DAOs (Decentralized Autonomous Organizations), the “sharing economy”, smart contracts, blockchain, fake news campaigns, Ethereum and more. The focus is the developing world. There will examples from Brazil and Latin America, but we will go much beyond and study US, Europe, China, India, Estonia and other countries. Students are expected to consider and propose how these tools can help tackle development challenges, something that Professor Lemos has some personal experience in doing.