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Emerging technologies: towards responsible, ethical futures


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A public lecture by Professor Sarah Pink, Professor of Design (Media Ethnography), RMIT and UWA Institute of Advanced Studies Visiting Fellow.

Self-driving cars, screenless technologies, digital assets, self tracking, automation and data - such emerging technologies are often represented through utopian or dystopian narratives that portray them as part of a future in which human society will be strongly impacted by technological change.

In this lecture Professor Pink will discuss the role of the social sciences both as critical voice in the debates around our futures with emerging technologies, and in an interventional mode of engagement and inquiry in technology futures as they play out. Having conducted ethnographic research into each of the technologies listed above, she will discuss the significant role the social sciences can play in determining how the possible futures implied by emerging technologies are imagined, envisioned and enabled, all of which opens up and deepens contributions towards responsible and ethical technological futures.

Professor Sarah Pink has a PhD in Social Anthropology from the University of Kent and an MA in Visual Anthropology from the University of Manchester. Following a highly successful career in the UK and other parts of Europe she moved to Melbourne to take up a Design Professorship at RMIT in 2012, where she became a Distinguished Professor in 2016, and was Director of the Digital Ethnography Research Centre from 2015-17. An acknowledged expert on digital, visual and sensory ethnography methodologies, Pink’s research is often developed through interdisciplinary collaborations across design, engineering and arts disciplines to which she brings social and cultural research expertise. She simultaneously pursues her own theoretical and methodological agenda focusing on emerging technologies, design anthropology and situated processes of change and intervention.