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Jathan Sadowski is a senior research fellow in the Emerging Technologies Research Lab and an associate investigator for the Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making in Society, both at Monash University. He is currently working on a DECRA fellowship from the Australian Research Council for a three-year project (2022-2025) researching the formation, applications, and implications of the insurance technology (insurtech) sector.

Jathan's work focuses on the political economy and social impacts of digital systems that are data-driven, networked, and automated. He investigates the often hidden interests, imperatives, and ideologies that influence the design and use of these “smart” technologies. Who benefits, who’s represented? Who loses, who’s left out? Why are things made in certain ways, for certain purposes—and how can we realise alternative pathways?

Jathan's book – Too Smart: How Digital Capitalism is Extracting Data, Controlling Our Lives, and Taking Over the World (2020, The MIT Press) analyzes how the pursuit of power and profit is being materialized through smart tech. He outlines the impacts that are already emerging as our lives, homes, and cities are made smarter. He then offer a series of tactics for how to unmake and remake technology, putting it under democratic control so that it serves truly progressive and socially beneficial purposes.

In addition to publishing research in a wide-range of academic journals, Jathan also regularly writes and speaks about the politics of technology in many major media outlets. He is the co-host of a weekly podcast on technology and political economy: This Machine Kills

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action

Education/Academic qualification

Human and Social Dimensions of Science and Technology, Doctor of Philosophy, Arizona State University

Award Date: 9 Aug 2016

Research area keywords

  • smart technology
  • digital technology
  • automation
  • data and society
  • political economy
  • inequality
  • urban geography
  • social theory


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