Paolo Bory

Paolo Bory
Politecnico di Milano | Polimi · Department of Design

Phd

About

23
Publications
3,895
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78
Citations
Introduction
Paolo Bory is an assistant professor of Sociology of culture and communication at the Department of Design, Politecnico di Milano. His research focuses on the role of the imaginary and narratives in the history and contemporary development of digital media such as computer networks, supercomputing and Al. He is also researching on the relationship between gaming and human-technologies interactions and between narrative of innovations and media/technological change.
Additional affiliations
March 2020 - present
Politecnico di Milano
Position
  • PostDoc - Adjunct Professor
April 2018 - February 2020
University of Lugano
Position
  • Postdoc - Lecturer
September 2017 - July 2018
CNRS
Position
  • Visiting PhD
Education
February 2014 - April 2018
University of Lugano
Field of study
  • Communication Sciences
September 2010 - March 2013
Università degli Studi di Torino
Field of study
  • Communication sciences
September 2005 - April 2010
University of Naples Federico II
Field of study
  • Sociology

Publications

Publications (23)
Article
Full-text available
This article discusses digitization weaknesses, biases, and malfunctions to challenge popular, almost hegemonic visions of contemporary technologies. By focusing on examples provided by recent mediated cases, controversies, and critical research about biases, we aim to propose an analysis of anything digital starting from its vulnerabilities, to lo...
Article
This article discusses digitization weaknesses, biases, and malfunctions to challenge popular, almost hegemonic visions of contemporary technologies. By focusing on examples provided by recent mediated cases, controversies, and critical research about biases, we aim to propose an analysis of anything digital starting from its vulnerabilities, to lo...
Book
Full-text available
The history of federalism in the digital age unfurls against a complex backdrop of dreams and expectations, cooperation and conflict, and preservation and change. Throughout this history, a range of individual and institutional actors in pursuit of a common goal are forced to grapple with a constantly shifting balance of resources, technologies, an...
Chapter
Full-text available
This article retraces the origins of the Swiss National Supercomputing Centre (CSCS), founded in Manno in 1991, and the fervent debate surrounding them. Relying on a vast corpus of primary sources collected in institutional, private, and national archives, we show how the early history of CSCS reflects key features of the Swiss federalist model, wh...
Chapter
Full-text available
Beginning with a critical exploration of the canonical histories of AI, this chapter stresses how the history of communication and media research may contribute to existing historiographies of AI. Four key aspects of the long-standing relationship between communication, media, and AI are discussed: the cross-history of communication theory (especia...
Article
This article contributes to the literature on WeChat, providing a historical perspective on the long-lasting culture of its mother company, Tencent. Through a corpus of primary and secondary sources, the article retraces four constitutive choices which characterized Tencent’s culture from 1998, when the company was founded, to 2011, when the first...
Book
Full-text available
Before the rise of the Web and our contemporary digital cultures, computer networks had already been imagined, tested, and used worldwide. This special issue retraces some of the technological, cultural and social paths that shaped the development of networks in six different areas of the world. The papers and the final conversation between two lea...
Article
Full-text available
This paper proposes a new theoretical concept, corporational determinism, to describe narratives by which digital media corporations are presented as the main or only agency informing socio-technical change. It aims to unveil how digital media corporations employ such narratives to reinterpret the past of digital media, to underline their leading r...
Article
Full-text available
This paper retraces the histories of two Italian networking projects of the mid-19990s: the national infrastructural plan named Socrate, launched by the monopolist Telecom Italia in 1994 and the civic network Iperbole, launched by the municipality of Bologna in 1995. Relying upon a corpus of primary sources and in-depth interviews with key-informan...
Article
Full-text available
The paper compares two key-events that marked the narratives around the emergence of AI in two different time frames: the game series between the Russian world champion Garry Kasparov and the IBM supercomputer Deep Blue held in New York in 1997; and the GO game series between the South Korean champion Lee Sedol and DeepMind's artificial intelligenc...
Article
Full-text available
The article aims to critically reinterpret the role of narratives regarding the birth and childhood of media and their relation with the elements of fear and terror. Through the topos of the panicking audiences, these narratives conveyed the idea of technology's disruptive force and express its potential impact on society in terms of perception of...
Article
Full-text available
The essay investigates the evolution of the “narratives of invention” used by the founding fathers of the World Wide Web in a selected corpus of papers written by Tim Berners-Lee and colleagues from 1989 up to 1993 and later in the books of James Gillies and Robert Cailliau and of Berners-Lee himself in 2000. Thanks to a textual analysis that cross...
Conference Paper
In the popular imaginary digital media have unlimited potentials: e. g. computers has been often hailed as instruments of liberation because they are able to extend the power of any other medium. Challenging this perspective, this paper analyzes how digital media, rather than expressing their full potential, need to be limited for two main reasons....
Article
Full-text available
This essay investigates the historical role of play in computer history, drawing on the main studies on play conceived as an essential feature in human culture. The analysis of the relationship between play and forms of human-computer interaction falls into two main phases: phase 1 (1950-70), when computers were conceived by scientists as the main...
Article
Full-text available
The paper aims to investigate the relationship between the artificial intelligence as narrated by science fiction movies in the late five decades and the socio-technical imaginary related to intelligent systems. The first sci-fi movies in analysis shed away from the idea of a symbiotic interaction between humans and AI as forecast during the 1960...

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Projects

Projects (2)
Project
Media are not only technical and social objects, but also cultural constructions that inform wider representations and perceptions of technologies and societies. This project aims to study the role of the imaginary in media histories, focusing in particular on how narratives about the so-called 'digital revolution' were employed by groups such as political parties, social movements and big corporations, and how these narratives shaped practical interactions with media in everyday lives.
Project
The aim of this exploratory study is to investigate the early history and co-evolution of the Swiss National Supercomputing Centre (CSCS) in Manno, Ticino, and of the Swiss telecommunication system for higher education and research (SWITCH) from 1985 to 1995. We wish to explain the development of national digital infrastructures capable of sharing computing power and accessing information throughout the country, and more precisely, the early history of digital federalism in Switzerland.