Last week we reported that the Computing Community Consortium (CCC) would be a part of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) 2016 Annual Meeting, February 11-15, 2016, in Washington, DC.
CCC Vice Chair Elizabeth Mynatt, from Georgia Institute of Technology, Kentaro Toyama, from University of Michigan, and CCC Chair Gregory Hager, from Johns Hopkins University, presented on The Confluence of Computing and Society: Emerging Themes in Socio-Technical Systems to a standing-room-only crowd of around 80 participants.
The growing importance of computing drives us to understand the interaction between computing and sociotechnical systems, we need to think about how we want to frame technological approaches in the context of societal needs or larger social systems.
The three different talks went into detail about different sociotechnical systems and what we may expect in the future, both in regards to positive changes and potential threats.
Health and Healthcare in an Increasingly Connected World
There are many Socio-technical system research challenges in healthcare such as working with, around, and against incentives, biases, and norms. It is important to manage the scale and scope of the healthcare system, including patient-centered care, as well as simulate and model future systems. A key concept to be managed for healthcare in the connected world is coordination of care.
Technological Amplification in International Development
Technology amplifies underlying human forces, however for technology to have a positive impact the right human forces have to be there first. It is important that we teach how to be productive in a high-tech economy. In a world of incredible machines, we need attention on the right human forces to amplify the right messages.
Computational Actors in a Physical World
As a society, we are already used to technology shaping our physical world. However, there is a new generation of advances, at the convergence of sensing data, computing, and machines, that will be the next stage of reshaping. Smart physical work will create new economies transcending scale distance and upending convention by augmenting the physical world.
From the discussion:
Question: All three sessions mentioned economic policy in one way or another, but what is the role of computer science research in understanding the economics of the work?
Answer: Partnerships, we need to create the right sort of partnerships that inform technology, inform policy and engage social science so that we are plotting a course instead of simply reacting to trends as they occur.
The next step is a symposium on Computing Innovation, Societal Needs: The Impact of Computing Research, May 9-10, 2016 in Washington, DC. Stay tuned for more information!
You can see all of the presentation slides here.