Apocalypse Soon? A Study of Views About Future Technological Development

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Repository URL:
https://digitalcommons.wpi.edu/iqp-all/1357; https://digitalcommons.wpi.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2356&context=iqp-all
Goldberg, Daniel E; Waitt, Daniel M; Martin, Danielle Desiree; Ferreira, Paul Jesman; Robillard, Rachel A
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Interdisciplinary Programs
artifact description
The following is a study of the WPI community on their thoughts and ideas associated with the development of new technology. It provides background into the specific areas of technological research today as well as the social and cultural factors associated with its development up to this point. Through video taped interviews and discussion groups, we aimed to answer two basic questions. How do members of the WPI community feel about the future of technology? And what social forces do they believe are driving the development of technology? What we found was a general pessimism towards the direction of future technology. Our subjects attributed this to their own experiences with technology in their lives so far, which has shaped their future predictions. It is believed that the main driving forces behind technological advancement are capitalism, military, and government. Other cultural and social theories were brought up, including the idea that technology disempowers and separates humans, which is discussed further in the analysis section. All of the insight from the WPI community we collected was arranged into a video documentary. The video accompanies our written report to completely grasp the purposes of this study, which are to aid in further research and to raise the awareness of what a large role technology plays in our lives, and what that means for our future.