Does Technology make any difference in our Social Life ?

Professor Alistair Sutcliffe from Manchester University has kindly offered to give a talk this coming Tuesday 14th July on the topic of technology and the impact on our social lives. It promises to be very interesting…

If we get enough people interested this will be going ahead in the usual place, the MDDA offices, so please add a comment if you’d be interested in joining us.

The abstract is here…

This talk will give an overview of the EPSRC/ESRC Foresight project ‘Developing Theory for Evolving Socio-Technical Systems’ (TESS). The project is based on Robin Dunbar’s Social Brain Theory that explains the evolutionary constraints on human relationships and social organisation. With the spread of Social Networking Sites such as Facebook and MySpace, will we be able avoid those constraints to keep up with more friends and be more social, or is the downside, invasion of privacy, stalking, and a less social world ? The TESS project is researching these issues by studying social networks and work-related groups. I will describe current research on social networking sites and how this fits into the wider picture of social mediating technologies such as Twitter, Wikipedia, etc. ┬áInvestigating the questions- does technology really change the way we behave in our social life, how do we adapt and use these technologies, and what impact might technology have a social capital?
For more information on the project http://www.mbs.ac.uk/research/DTESS.aspx

About the speaker

Alistair Sutcliffe has been principle investigator on 15 EPSRC and European Union projects on requirements engineering, multimedia user interfaces, safety critical systems and cognitive modelling for information retrieval. His research interests span a wide area within Human Computer Interaction and Software Engineering. In HCI particular interests are interaction theory, and user interface design methods for the web, multimedia, virtual reality, safety critical systems and methods for usability evaluation. His research also covers application of cognitive theory to design, and design of complex socio-technical systems. In software engineering he specialises in requirements engineering methods and tools, scenario based design, knowledge reuse and theories of domain knowledge. Alistair Sutcliffe is a leading member of both the international HCI and requirements engineering communities and chairs / serves on a number of committees.