Professor Jon Rogers holds a personal chair in Creative Technology at the University of Dundee and is a senior research fellow at the Mozilla Foundation. His work explores the human intersection between digital technologies and the design of physical of things. He balances playful technologies with cultural and societal needs to find new ways to connect people to each other and to their data in an approach that explores not just what is possible but also what is responsible.
Jon founded the Product Research Studio and has worked with organisations like BBC, Microsoft, NASA, and the Victoria and Albert Museum. Jon has a PhD in neural networks from Imperial College London and built up his knowledge while being a tutor and researcher at the Royal College of Art. He is currently based in Berlin's Mozilla offices, working with the foundation to build the Open IoT Studio. A project that seeks to advance responsible open IoT through professional practices and a network of practitioners who conduct research, make prototypes and build meaningful collaborations. He lives between Berlin and Fife. Swapping lakes and forests for big fires and cold seas.
'Has society become a product?'
This keynote is a call to action. It will force you to think about your role in designing and developing digital services. Jon: ‘In 1999 I read Guns, Germs and Steel by Jarad Diamond. It presented a convincing thesis that technological power in the hands of the few can force catastrophic change on global populations. It is a highly cautionary tale. It was also the year that I discovered the little-known search engine Google. Fast forward to October 2017 and I wonder if we’re at one of these points in human development where we will see massive changes made by a few once more. People are increasingly becoming concerned that the use of data to unknowingly change societal behaviours and the erosion of personal privacy are leading in a very unhealthy direction for the world.
Now if we consider how the Internet of Things amplifies everything we thought we knew about computation: It has the power to immensely improve our lives. It could make us live longer, be happier and be more responsible. It might though do the opposite which poses the question that if society isn’t paying for the data that drives its products, then is society a product of that data? And if so, a product of whom and for what purpose? Understanding and responding to this question is a design challenge. Perhaps the biggest we’ve faced.’
Saturday, October 7th, 9:15 am