Digital Society and Technologies
This program has been archived.
The future and well-being of the Nation depend on the effective integration of Information Technologies (IT) into its various enterprises and social fabric. Information Technologies are designed, used and have consequences in a number of social, economic, legal, ethical and cultural contexts. With the rise of unprecedented new technologies (e.g., smart homes, shop-bots, pedagogical agents, wearable computers, personal robots, multi-agent systems, sensors, grids, knowledge environments) and their increasing ubiquity in our social and economic lives, large-scale social, economic and scientific transformations are predicted. While these transformations are expected to be positive, such achievements are not automatic. Instead, there is general agreement among leading researchers that we have insufficient scientific understanding of the actual scope and trajectory of these socio-technical transformations. We have great difficulty predicting or even clearly assessing social and economic implications and we have limited understanding of the processes by which these transformations occur. Furthermore, we have barely begun to make the critical theoretical and empirical connections among 1) design principles for IT artifacts, 2) the ways in which IT artifacts become embedded in activities and used in various contexts, 3) their long-term outcomes and consequences, which are frequently unintended, and 4) finally, the ways in which learning about use and outcomes can feed back into new and better designs. To assure that transformations related to IT serve human needs and are productive for society over the long term, more focused and generalizable scientific studies and related education activities are necessary.
What Has Been Funded (Recent Awards Made Through This Program, with Abstracts)
Map of Recent Awards Made Through This Program