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Presented by the School of Media and Communication Digital Ethnography Research Centre, Arc Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation and Design Research Institute.
We have relationships with technology – we always have had. And these relationships have regularly strayed beyond the merely functional, or rational. Whether anthropomorphising all manner of objects from steamships to guitars, or systematically attacking and breaking machines out of fear and loathing, we have had strong emotional connections with technology. Furthermore, this emotionality is not only borne out of daily activity, it also has its origins in the realm of fiction, myth and even legend. As such we can tell a story where Excalibur, the Luddites, The Turing Test and Cyberdyne share a common genealogy – they are all about our relationships with technology.
Today we inhabit a world in which there are many pieces of technology in our lives, our homes and our places of work, worship and leisure. Early mechanized objects like looms, pianolas and wireless radios have given way to digitally connected computational devices, but have we developed a new emotional register with which to engage with these objects? In this talk, Genevieve offers a meditation on the nature of our relationships with computing, locating them within this larger conversation, and offering a much wider space for human-computer relationships to flourish.
A public lecture by Dr. Genevieve Bell is an Australian-born anthropologist and researcher. As director of User Interaction and Experience in Intel Labs, Bell leads a research team of social scientists, interaction designers, human factors engineers and computer scientists. This team shapes and helps create new Intel technologies and products that are increasingly designed around people's needs and desires. In this team and her prior roles, Bell has fundamentally altered the way Intel envisions and plans its future products so that they are centered on people's needs rather than simply silicon capabilities.
In addition to leading this increasingly important area of research at Intel, Bell is an accomplished industry pundit on the intersection of culture and technology. She is a regular public speaker and panelist at technology conferences worldwide, sharing myriad insights gained from her extensive international fieldwork and research. Her first book, “Divining the Digital Future: Mess and Mythology in Ubiquitous Computing”, was co-written with Prof. Paul Dourish of the University of California at Irvine and released in April 2011. In 2010, Bell was named one of Fast Company's inaugural ‘100 Most Creative People in Business’. She also is the recipient of several patents for consumer electronics innovations.