Technology paternalism – wider implications of ubiquitous computing

Poiesis and Praxis 4 (1):6-18 (2006)
Abstract
Ubiquitous computing technologies will have a wide impact on our daily lives in the future. Currently, most debates about social implications of these technologies concentrate on different aspects of privacy and data security. However, the authors of this paper argue that there is more to consider from a social perspective: In particular, the question is raised how people can maintain control in environments that are supposed to be totally automated. Hinting at the possibility that people may be subdued to machines’ autonomous actions we introduce the term Technology Paternalism . We elaborate a working definition and illustrate the concept by looking at different examples based on current and future technology. We also dwell on the impacts of ubiquity and control of technology and suggest some approaches to assure a reasonable balance of interests such as a general right for the last word
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