White Mirror

Written by Ken Perlin on October 8, 2018

If we assume that in five years (more or less) smartphones will be replaced by wearables, I think we can see from Marta’s very thoughtful post yesterday how many negative consequences there can be for face-to-face social interaction between people. Yet there is still time for us to help shape the outcome in a more positive direction.

What sort of decisions would we make now in order to steer the use of these technologies toward more positive outcomes, outcomes that will increase the richness of social interaction between people who are physically in the same room, face-to-face, rather than isolate them from each other?

One mission of our lab to figure out what some of these positive scenarios are, and to help steer the conversation in a way that will support people who would like to use new and emerging technologies for communication to be able to be kinder and more empathetic with one another.

One thought on “White Mirror”

As I mentioned on Marta’s post, I think “responsibility” is indeed a key element of this conversation. We’re working on designing and deploying tech-based interventions for young people to improve their mental health and we are CONSTANTLY hitting up on this question: Are we doing more harm than good when we encourage people to learn emotional resilience skills through tech-enabled media? I applaud you all for first and foremost hosting the conversation, and returning to it regularly. Khoi Vinh just wrote a really interesting article along these same lines (from a designer’s perspective), questioning the design community’s responsibility to deploy solutions that “finish the job” by not only being effective, but also sustainable, viable (and I would add: ethical/moral): https://www.subtraction.com/2018/10/08/uber-lyft-taxis-design-the-age-of-ambivalence/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.