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Philip Boucher

This tag is associated with 26 posts

Does technology exacerbate social polarisation?

With the Cambridge Analytica scandal, it became clear how technologies such as social media and techniques such as psychological profiling can be combined in election campaigns with worrying effects. Continue reading

Building a renewable energy future on dialogue and cooperation

The STOA workshop ‘Responding to public opposition to low-carbon energy technologies’ gathered academic experts, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), regulators and grid operators to share their perspectives on managing public opposition to and support for low-carbon energy technologies. Continue reading

What if we could design better technologies through dialogue? [Science and Technology Podcast]

While we often worry about the acceptance of technology in the face of real and potential public opposition, there are frequently gaps between how regulators, developers and experts conceptualise acceptance and opposition. Continue reading

Why are people opposed to low-carbon energy technologies?

In the context of climate change, we often talk about the need to achieve public support for low-carbon energy technologies. However, new installations frequently face public opposition, and there are gaps between how regulators, developers and experts conceptualise and respond. Continue reading

Can technology help to win elections?

At the STOA-ESMH workshop ‘How to win Elections: Reflections on the use and misuse of technology in electoral campaigns’, a full house of parliamentarians, journalists and citizens heard a panel of distinguished scholars and practitioners discuss the role of technology and analytical techniques in contemporary election campaigns. Continue reading

Use and misuse of technology in contemporary election campaigns

Until recently, discussions of technology and elections focused primarily on e-voting. Controversies highlighted the potential for modernising the voting system, as well as the security flaws that open opportunities for interference and manipulation Continue reading

New STOA study examines 3D bio-printing for medical and enhancement purposes

3D printing refers to the production of physical artefacts by the gradual addition of layers of material. Scientists are now exploring methods of 3D bio-printing, defined here as the production of biological and ‘biologically relevant’ materials for medical and human-enhancement purposes. Continue reading

What if social media were open and connected? [Science and Technology Podcast]

Social media platforms are often thought of as open and connected spaces, since they allow users to communicate with a wide range of people and organisations. It seems obvious that to have access to a social network it should be necessary to open an account with the platform, and that on closing the account that access would be lost. Continue reading

New collection asks if we should fear artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) is emerging, once again, as one of the most hotly debated technologies on the horizon. This horizon is getting closer and, in some application areas, AI is already here. This has prompted debates about what AI means for the future of humanity, which occasionally includes extreme predictions on employment (such as a job-free society), and existential threats (such as a human-free earth). Continue reading

What if all technologies were inherently social? [Science and Technology Podcast]

How technology has shaped society and how future technologies might affect it in the years to come are subjects for frequent debate. It can be tempting in this context to think of technologies as neutral ‘things’ that can be used for good or bad depending on the user’s intentions and skills. Continue reading

How assistive technologies could make society more inclusive of people with disabilities

Assistive technologies (ATs) are designed to improve the functional capabilities of people with disabilities. Some are relatively low-tech and very familiar, such as reading glasses, crutches and hearing aids. Others are more advanced, using cutting-edge science and technology, with future ATs under development that could have a huge impact on all our lives. Continue reading

How should we manage media in the age of artificial intelligence?

This year’s STOA Annual Lecture focused on how media and other information is managed and distributed in the age of artificial intelligence (AI) – including how AI can be used to disseminate information and misinformation – and also in implementing new measures to counteract fake news. Continue reading

What if we could 3D-print our own body parts? [Science and Technology Podcast]

The 3D-printing sector has proven its commercial viability in recent years, reaching the high street and, indeed, many homes. The technology is already used in some medical domains, such as dentistry and prosthetics, and many scientists are now exploring methods of printing biological materials – even if reports about lifesaving 3D-printed hearts are certainly premature. Continue reading

STOA Annual Lecture 2017: Media in the age of artificial intelligence

This year, STOA’s Annual Lecture will focus upon how media and other information is managed and distributed in the age of artificial intelligence (AI). Continue reading

Is it rational to be optimistic about artificial intelligence?

The STOA workshop ‘Should we fear the future? Is it rational to be optimistic about artificial intelligence?’ gathered speakers from the fields of sociology, policy, computer science and philosophy to contribute their perspectives on the future of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Continue reading

Will artificial intelligence really improve our lives?

Humans are, on the whole, living longer and healthier lives than ever before. For many, these basic measures are enough to conclude that the world is becoming a better place. Continue reading

What if technology helped society become more inclusive? [Science and Technology Podcast]

Written by Philip Boucher, There are already many ‘assistive technologies’ available, which can help people with disabilities participate more fully in society. More advanced assistive technologies are under development, but is technology the key to a more inclusive society? Assistive technologies (ATs) are designed to improve the functional capabilities of people with disabilities. While some … Continue reading

Blockchain stimulates a lively debate at the European Parliament

Written by Philip Boucher, On 11 May 2017, the STOA workshop ‘Spotlight on blockchain: a new generation of digital services’ provided a unique opportunity for the public to join policy-makers, technology experts and businesses to discover the wide-ranging opportunities and challenges presented by blockchain technology. In the course of the workshop, co-organised with the European … Continue reading

The role of citizens in the future of science

Written by Philip Boucher. The links between science and policy have been strengthened in recent years. We often hear about the role of scientific evidence in policy-making, but policy also has a substantial influence on the way that science develops. Scientific research is not only about advancing knowledge, but also responding to the most important … Continue reading

What if blockchain changed social values? [Science and Technology Podcast]

Written by Philip Boucher, Blockchain technology could shake up many aspects of our daily lives, from the currency we use to the purchases we make. But what is the impact on our social values, and what can policy-makers do about it? Blockchain technology is a remarkably transparent and decentralised way of recording lists of transactions. … Continue reading

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