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YU News

Blekher Speaks at Three Events

Dr. Maria BlekherDr. Maria Blekher, professor of digital strategies and director of both the YU Innovation Lab and the MS in Digital Marketing and Media at the Katz School of Science and Health spoke about “Israel Top Tech Trends” at a private gathering on Monday, March 18, 2019. She covered the development of the “Start-Up Nation” and the leading role of Israeli start-ups in in the hottest global fields such as cybersecurity and artificial intelligence and also discussed the challenges Israel faces in maintaining an edge in an increasingly competitive and dynamic global tech market.

The following day, Dr. Blekher was part of panel discussing “Humans, Algorithms and Ethics?” on Tuesday, March 19, 2019, at Baruch College’s Ethics Week.

Sharing the stage with Dr. Yafit Lev-Aretz and Dr. Nizan Geslevich Packin, both of whom are assistant professors of law at the Zicklin School of Business, Baruch College, they discussed how the increased use of algorithms and other data-driven programming to make decisions that were usually reserved to human beings has led to errors, bias, manipulation and the perpetuation of social injustices. The three academics unpacked the reciprocal influence of humans and algorithms and the importance of ethics in this ongoing relationship.

On March 28, 2019, Dr. Blekher and Dr. Lev-Aretz will share the stage again at an event sponsored by SOSA NYC and Cyber NYC. “Privacy & Innovation” will look into the relationship between privacy, innovation and convenience and the degree to which a concern for privacy stifles or promotes innovation.

Dr. Blekher noted that “I spend most of my time understanding and managing interactions among people (such as students, faculty, founders, CEOs investors and so on) in the context of the startup environment in various industries, including biotech, cybersecurity, fintech, edtech and such. This positioning affords me a unique perspective for understanding the trends in the interplay among innovation, technology, marketing and privacy. Hence, I believe it is a part of my responsibility to provide thought leadership around these topics.”