How do we deal with algorithms in the attention economy?

This session will be live streamed via Webex. Please provide your contact information to receive the meeting link before the session.


Famous for coining the term ‘net neutrality, Tim Wu, an author, lawyer, activist, and professor at Columbia Law School, published his book titled ‘The Attention Merchants: The Epic Scramble to Get Inside Our Heads’ in 2016. In the book, Wu delineated how the tech companies became the newest heads of the attention merchants by cultivating and harvesting our attention with the help of algorithms and customized advertisements. According to this argument, users are constantly facing trade-offs between their attention and free internet services. 

People have argued that the newest form of attention economics, where the tech companies and social media platforms cultivate our attention by personalized contents and sell them to other businesses to make money, is what leads to today’s divided society and growing hate crimes. How do we address this issue? American technology ethicist Tristan Harris advocates that the economic principle of maximizing net profits should evolve along with the impact technology poses on humans and our environment. In other words, the tech giants should rethink what it means to ‘grow the business.’ Should Harris’s idea be realized? Or is this going to slow technology innovation?  

Through the lenses of sociology, public policies, mass communication, technology, and human rights, experts from academia and the industry will discuss the problems caused by the attention economy propose possible solutions.


  • Date: August 26 (Thu.) 2021, 14:00-16:00(on live)
  • The speakers are being invited as of now and names will be listed in the alphabetical order, which is subject to change.
  • The Event may be cancelled without notice in the case of natural disaster or force majeure, based on the Government announcement.




如此的發展不禁讓社會開始思考,社群平臺與科技業者利用演算法提供精準接觸服務的商業模式,並靠廣告營利的免付費媒體的傳播推助力下,間而引發與激化在特定議題上之對立甚而仇恨等問題,我們該如何看待這種注意力經濟商業模式對我們社會的影響?應該讓所有的網路使用者取回自己注意力的擁有權,不任由平臺業者恣意傾倒內容?曾擔任Google設計倫理師職務的Tristan Harris曾倡議,獲利最大化的經濟法則應順應科技對人類或環境造成之衝擊而改變,換言之,科技大廠要重新思考「企業成長」的意義。這個倡議有可能實現嗎?有沒有可能因此減緩科技創新?






14:00–14:05  開場:梁理旋 主持人(臺灣網路講堂)

14:05–15:45  焦點座談

主持人:陶振超 理事長(台灣資訊社會研究學會)


  • 李政德 副教授(國立成功大學 數據科學研究所)
  • 李韶曼 助理教授(國立成功大學 敏求智慧運算學院)
  • 何明諠 專案經理(中央研究院 資訊科技創新研究中心)

15:45–16:00  線上Q&A