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At the intersection of technological innovation, economic change and social transformation, what "Digital Disruptions" will exert their influence in the coming years? Which emerging phenomena, transformative opportunities, and challenges can we no longer afford to ignore?
French version : http://fr.slideshare.net/slidesharefing/cahier-denjeux-questions-numriques-2013-2014
Digital Disruptions 2013 / 2014 : "Digital promises"
P romises DAY TOM TO Y OR YESTERDA ROW AFT W ER -TO O MO R R 2013/2014
Digital disruptions : making time for collective foresight A yearly creative foresight cycleAt the intersection of technological innovation, economic change and socialtransformation, what "Digital Disruptions" will exert their influencein the coming years? Which emerging phenomena, transformative opportunities,and challenges can we no longer afford to ignore?In order to anticipate rather than react, we all ask ourselves these questionsin our own way, as they pertain to our activities. Usually, we do so independently,closed off from external ideas and interactions. Yet the most profound questions,the most fecund visions, will almost certainly emerge from the most unexpectedplaces and people. Thinking about the future should be a collective exercise.“Digital Disruptions” offers its participants a chance to be part of an ongoing,collective cycle of foresight that unites innovators and policymakers, researchersand designers, entrepreneurs and activists together in a unique future-orientedcommunity. Its goal: to collectively explore the "Digital Disruptions" that willbecome central during the coming years - and begin to conceive of waysto anticipate them and respond to their challenges. A publication, a tool, and a processSince its inception in 2010, the "Digital Disruptions” program has evolvedinto: A yearly reference publication, the Digital Disruptions Actionbook,presented during several major events featuring high-level international speakers. A continuous co-production process, online and face to face, joiningtogether nearly 300 decision-makers, idea-generators and influencers from an exceptional variety of backgrounds, sectors, and places of origin. A tool to incorporate foresight into your own strategicthinking processes: Digital Disruptions partners benefit from strategic seminars and special workshops (internal, or open to clients and partners),presentations to management or in other spheres… Digital Disruptions on the Webwww.fing.org/digitaldisruptionsDigital Disruptions was initiated by Fing (Paris) and is nowa joint initiative with Waag Society (Amsterdam), Picnic (Amsterdam)and FutureEverything (Manchester)
Credits CoordinationDaniel Kaplan Véronique Routin Jacques-François Marchandise Margaux Pasquet Renaud Francou. Participative methodsNod-A facilitators and editorsMarine Albarede Amandine Brugière Loup Cellard Jean-Michel Cornu Fabien Eychenne Renaud Francou Fabienne Guibé Hubert Guillaud Daniel Kaplan Frank Kresin Aurialie Jublin Carole Leclerc Lucie Le Moine Amadou Lo Jacques-François Marchandise Thierry Marcou Juliette Maroni Françoise Massit-Folléa Charles Népote Philippe Nikolov Pierre Orsatelli Denis Pansu Margaux Pasquet Valérie Peugeot Véronique Routin Rémi Sussan Thomas Thibault and the students of Ecole Boulle. FR/EN translationJianne Whelton Workshops hosted byThe Waag Society (Amsterdam) - Picnic (Amsterdam) - Ecole Boulle(Paris) - Belle de Mai Media Park (Marseille) - Cap Digital (Paris) Graphic designIsabelle Jovanovic PhotosAll rights reservedFondation Internet Nouvelle Générationwww.fing.org - www.internetactu.net 8, passage Brulon 75012 Paris (+) 33 1 83 62 98 28 firstname.lastname@example.org CMCI 2, rue Henri Barbusse 13001 Marseille (+) 33 4 91 52 88 08
Promises that "stick" express widely shared hopes, Great ambitions, and modest onesEver since being named the technological pillar supporting the "Third Industrial Revolution", dreams, beliefs and intuitions. They fuel creativity,the digital world has not been short of promises. At one time or another, ICT gurus, industry entrepreneurial energy, and human desire, as much As we embarked on our search for the ways theleaders and public institutions have heralded the end of work; the impossibility of economic crises; as they are fuelled by them. They inspire concrete d igital promises have been expressed, especiallythe dawn of social harmony and world peace through the miracle of sharing and mutual technical, economic or political choices. Through by institutions and political figures, a dichotomyunderstanding between people; a reinvigorated democracy; access to development for even them, we tell the story of a future we hope to build. between American and European ambitions was We have to take these promises seriously, even if they immediately apparent.the poorest of the poor; the advent of a global consciousness to face environmental challenges... are not kept.Before any eye rolling at such naiveté, let us ask ourselves where such promises arise, who they are For the European Commission, as for most of itsdestined for, who listens to them, and what they bring about–and admit that in doing so, we are member governments, the role of ICT is:holding up a mirror to ourselves. Using promises to invent the future "to address the challenges facing society like With this in mind, from May to October 2012, Fing climate change and the ageing population." Promises made, and received exciting challenges that they then strive to meet. mobilized over 300 individuals to identify the most (Digital Agenda, 2010), and to turn the European Because their ambitions usually go beyond simply significant "digital promises" of recent years, assess Union into "the most competitive and dynamicTechnology foresight often describes the future as achieving some kind of technical feat, what might their progress and project them into the future. knowledge-based economy in the world, capablethe product of mechanical advances in technology have begun as an individual challenge often gets of sustainable economic growth with more andapplied to external challenges (ecological, economic, picked up by industry and institutions, who translate After laying the groundwork in the spring, we better jobs and greater social cohesion". (Lisbondemographic, etc.). Tending as it does toward per- them into promises. consolidated material from workshops and online Strategy, 2000).formance, optimisation and automation, this way exchanges and converged around 21 "promises."of thinking struggles to account for the diverse, un Wearing our caver’s lamps, we went in search of their From this standpoint, digital technologies arepredictable and generally disruptive ways that users The traces of our our dreams and desires expressions in the world, from the most conven ional t e xpressed as a given context to which we mustadopt these technologies. to the most heterodox. By late August, the raw mate- adapt, and which can (among other things) help us If these promises merely served to illustrate the dis- rial for the "Digital Disruptions" workshops had been to solve our current and future problems–especiallyConversely, in using the "promises" that digital tech- course of technology suppliers, they would hardly published online#. in terms of efficiency and productivity.nology has made to society as our starting point, we deserve our attention. But the Internet is distribu-are bound to focus on disruptions, on the transfor- ted and decentralised, digital transformations have In September and October 2012, workshops held in Things are quite different on the other side of the Atlan-mative role of technology. Almost by definition, a affected nearly every domain of human activity, Amsterdam (in conjunction with the Waag Society tic. By the early 1990s, the "information super ighway" hpromise envisions profound and positive changes in and the boundaries that once separated supply and and PICNIC), Marseille (with Lift) and Paris took a promoted by Al Gore met with the fiery proclamationsthe systems to which it is applied. It helps to flush out demand are becoming increasingly blurred. It is closer look at those promises that participants consi- of a "vastly increased human freedom" made by thehuman desire and spirit, past and future. It is formu getting harder and harder to figure out who is pro- dered most meaningful. In small groups, they res- co-authors of the Magna Carta for the Knowledge Agelated and made by an entity, targets an audience, and mising what to whom, when no single actor has all ponded to four successive questions: (1994). The authors of Wikinomics (2006) heralded "aintends to mobilise both the givers and the receivers. the resources needed to keep a single one of these new era, perhaps even a olden one, on par with the gThose are its strengths. promises. How would we assess the status of the promise? Italian renaissance, or the rise of thenian demo- A What worked or didn’t work, what surprised us, what cracy." In their report entitled onverging Technologies CLocal and national governments–stakeholders with When the barriers separating top from bottom are have we learned? for Improving Human erformance (2003), Roco and Pa vested interest in the success of the Internet or lifted, there is greater porosity between talkers and B ainbridge drew on sources close to science fiction andmobile telephony–praise ICTs as levers for (preferably doers. The promises made by intellectual prophets What about tomorrow’s world might change the transhumanism to define the technological strategy"sustainable") growth, competitiveness, democratic are not always so very distant from the pledges context of the promise’s formulation, reformulation, for the National Science Foundation. Later still (2011),and administrative modernisation and universal made and fulfilled by reclusive software developers. or fulfilment? Secretary of State Hillary Clinton defends Internet free-i nclusion in a "knowledge society" that we assume to Exploring this terrain means being able to cross dom in the name ofbe better than today’s society. From the " eclaration D vast expanses of the overblown and naïve; it means Considering everything we have learned, if we wereof the Independence of Cyberspace" (1996) to pirate s ailing entire oceans of storytelling and vapourware to make a promise for tomorrow’s world, how would "the protester using social media to organize aparties, activists have also assigned ideolo ical g (not always an unpleasant task) and ultimately we rephrase it in a forward-thinking, credible and march in Egypt; the college student emailing hercharac eristics to technology, be they libertarian, t d etecting desirable horizons, far-off aspirations and ambitious way? family photos of her semester abroad; the lawyerneoliberal, collective or authoritarian. a will to act. in Vietnam blogging to expose corruption; the Finally, again using experience as a guide, what steps teenager in the United States who is bullied andSimilarly, large technology firms have construc- Thus this "promising" is becoming a more and more would be needed to keep this new promise? finds words of support online; for the small busi-ted "grand narratives", which are often reinforced collective act.. It carries with it the pledges we make ness owner in Kenya using mobile banking toand conveyed throughout an ecosystem of inno- to ourselves. First and foremost, this ‘ourselves’ stands The material generated during these workshops was manage her profits; the philosopher in China rea-vative entrepreneurs: "Think different" (Apple), A " for ‘we the people’: the direct and indirect users, assembled, arranged and cultivated by the team at ding academic journals for her dissertation; theS marter Planet" (IBM), "Your potential. Our passion." beneficiaries, and receivers of the promises. Secon- Fing. You hold the results of this work in your hands: scientist in Brazil sharing data in real time with( icrosoft)… These slogans do more than target see- M dly, it represents those who try to imbue technology use it as a source of inspiration, and to support your colleagues overseas; and the billions and billionsmingly gullible consumers: they bolster employee with some kind of intention – whether innovative, work, your future aspirations, and your efforts. Think of interactions with the internet every single daymorale and send a clear message to markets and encyclo aedic, activist, military, service-oriented, p of it as a tool, rather than an intangible reference. as people communicate with loved ones, followinvestors. They also entail a certain degree of risk. environmental, creative or any other – so long as they the news, do their jobs, and participate in the benefit others. A careful reading of this collective work in its entirety debates shaping their world."Research labs, clusters, and communities of deve- does reveal a few overriding impressions, however.lopers, hackers and other makers come up with What European politician could make such a speech? 4 5
At first reading, one might conclude that the It would be too easy to chalk this up to inertia, or to platforms for whom it acts as both raw material andA mericans are talking politics while the Europeans the resistance of the establishment. They are factors, bounty. Relying as it does on their users’ voluntary (orare talking economics. But the challenge that the of course. But let us look to a few markets that digital a least passive) contributions, their business modelAmericans set for themselves is clearly economic: technologies have already transformed profoundly is based on capturing the most comprehensive andthe only real difference lies in the degree of their and forever, such as those of cultural goods and the sustainable levels of individual work, informationambition. For them, the function of technology is to media. The stakeholders and economic models have and attention. Instead of being applied to collectiveprofoundly transform whatever it touches, to alter indeed changed, and new stakeholders have emer- issues, this massive energy is absorbed into a kindits terms of reference. It points toward new fron- ged. But has a new golden age of creativity arisen? of private black hole, only to emerge in the form oftiers that innovative organisations go off to conquer. Are culture and knowledge more widely distributed? financial value – because "if you’re not paying for it,W ithout necessarily adhering to the overblown ora- Is the media more incisive, more independent from you’re the product".tory, at the heart of this ambition lies one of the rea- economic and political power? We think not.sons for the continued dominance of the Internet by It is no small wonder, then, that most of our pro-American giants, and their formidable capacity for So what is missing? A vision that far exceeds the mises devote increasing attention to choice, skillsscientific and entrepreneurial initiative and renewal. scope of technology, and will no doubt partly orient development, the individual mastery of technologies its development and deployment. and content, and ultimately, to the balance between contribution and some kind of "return" (symbolic or The more things change, the more they Even when it has been massively adopted, techno- tangible) for community contributors.stay the same? logy alone cannot solve problems whose origins can be traced to the political and economic organization ***Some of the promises made by digital techno of our societies, or back through history. If we wantlogies have clearly not been kept. ICTs help to upset systemic change, we have to describe it clearly, and The first cyber utopias were based on the idea thatdicta orships, but have yet to solve the crisis facing t display an iron, common will to apply it that is unwa- the physical, social and economic constraints ofdemocracy. They have not made growth more stable vering yet accepting of confrontation. the "real world" would disappear into an infinitelyor more environmentally sustainable–in fact, they reconfigurable and plastic space without gravity oractually enabled the disruptions that triggered We typically assign the task of identifying and imple- friction, without scarcity or conflict of use. Inevitably,recent instability in the financial market. They have menting the collective will to political institutions. their encounter with reality proved disappointing.also not rescued LDCs from underdevelopment. Were But these days there is doubt as to their ability to And yet, the digital world remains the place wherethese promises out of reach? Were the technologies perform either role. Which is probably why most contemporary hopes are discussed and instantiated,misused? If not, what else is missing? of the groups working on the promises seemed to where creators and innovators dissatisfied with the converge around a similar idea: that the mission of current state of the world converge.Even more interesting–and more disturbing–is the technology itself should be to more widely distributedisjunction seen in several areas between, on the information, power and the capacity for action, to That’s why promises are so important, and why weone hand, the rapid and massive development of facilitate the emergence and growth of alternatives. must doubt them and cherish them at the samedigital tools, services and practices; and on the other, time – and also why we chose to make of them bothsystemic effects that are weak or non-existent, if not raw material and finished product of our collectivedownright paradoxical. ICTs have released us from a The risk of capture effort.myriad of temporal constraints, yet we feel ever morepressed for time. Although dematerialisation has However, such distribution of power will not be the Ultimately, it is probably the reformulation of thebecome a large part of our lives at home and at work, mechanical result of even the quasi-universal pres- p romise related to gamification (original title:it has neither simplified our lives nor our managerial ence of digital devices and online access. We need to "Games that transform us and transform the world")practices, nor has it reduced paper consumption. ICTs will it into existence! that best expresses what we should expect fromhave transformed the way we get around, the way technology. The name of the game, if we may say so, iswe organise our daily lives, and the ways we commu- Technology places huge demands on us...and more no longer to escape from reality, nor to find fun waysnicate... and yet our everyday experience of mobility from some than others. We spend valuable time and to tackle serious subjects, but "to make reality itselfhas hardly changed at all. Nearly every teacher and energy learning how to use it, manage it, stay secure, more playful." Now there’s a handsome promise.the vast majority of parents use the Internet for and solve the countless daily problems it produces.educational purposes, and yet virtually nothing in Becoming autonomous, active and productive usersthe educational system reflects this. Online, we are has proven more demanding still. Time, resourcesall becoming authors, innovators and producers; we and skills are unevenly distributed: often the poorest Daniel Kaplanknow how to produce collective intelligence on an (locally and globally) pay more for their digital prac- and Jacques-François Marchandiseunprecedented scale, and yet we have proven inca- tices in both time and money. Do digital technologiespable of responding to the greatest collective chal- evenly distribute power to "everyone" or do they pri-lenges, and worry more and more about our future. marily pave the way for new elites to replace the old ones?In other words, many promises are simultaneouslykept (i.e., practices that were predicted have materia- A multitude participating in information and objectlized, often more rapidly than expected) and broken production, innovation and value creation, and(we are no closer to solving the hassles of everyday d ebate across a range of issues–from the side effectslife, social injustice, economic aberrations, and of a given drug to U.S. diplomatic secrets–is indeedenviron ental impasses than we were yesterday). m one of the major changes that ICTs have produced.Everything has changed, and nothing has changed! But the content created through this participation is usually generated using (often privately-held) 6 7
ODAY TOM DAY TOM DAY TOM DAY TOM Y T TO TO TO Y Y Y YESTERDA YESTERDA YESTERDA YESTERDA OR OR OR OR ROW AFT ROW AFT ROW AFT ROW A F T W W W W ER ER ER ER -TO ORRO -TO MO R R O -TO MO R R O -TO MO R R O M a promise its assessment what is tomorrow’s potential action promise? Our experience of digital technologies The Choice Project: reclaiming has improved, but they continue to place control huge demands on us, and impose Technology as the new Latin of the 21st century their logic upon us. The New Laws of Robotics We have managed to speed up our daily life Give time real value and may even enjoy this, but we have yet Episodic "time capital" to really master our time. Temporal culture, official time policies A less nebulous "cloud" Convenience and encumbrance. Hybridization as a substitute for… Freedom and dependance. Mobility and substitution dehumanisation. A questionable The other kind of dematerialisation: environmental impact. Dematerialisation sharing is a fact, not yet a value. Materialising individual empowerment Time for assessment What is tomorrow’s promise? What action can we take? .…………………………………………………………………………… .…………………………………………………………………………… .…………………………………………………………………………… .…………………………………………………………………………… .…………………………………………………………………………… .…………………………………………………………………………… A promise .…………………………………………………………………………… .……………………………………………………………………………To be addressed...by you! .…………………………………………………………………………… .…………………………………………………………………………… .…………………………………………………………………………… .…………………………………………………………………………… 8 9
What worked What didn’t work DAY TOM The sheer number of people Personal robots (not yet), wearable computing… TO Y who have adopted digital technologies. Technology still requires a lot of our attention, YESTERDA OR Technology connecting people, and facilitating our time, our money. We need to learn and relearn yesterday, a promise ROW AFT communication and collaboration. It is a vehicle every time it evolves; obsolescence is rapid. We tend for self-expression and creativity. to accept from digital machines what we’d never Digital technology has provided us with thousands accept from humans, and tend to blame ourselves W ER when they fail. -TO O MO R R of useful tools and services. It works as an extension of our bodies and minds. It has allowed us to delegate Some of the worst aspects of technology-centered many tasks to machines and to "externalize" development still remain prevalent: programmed a portion of our memory. obsolescence, excessive energy use, feature creep… Interfaces have become better and more "natural", Labor conditions are still problematic in many using voice, touch, gestures… Although there plants that produce electronic devices. are still many exceptions, overall, we have become We’re more depressed now than before we had all better at creating user-friendly and accessible this technology–but technology might not be applications. the cause… What surprised us What we learned Man feels that he has lost touch with reality. The slow evolution of technological paradigms: Technology changes us as we change it. We co-evolve. The development of polysensuality, soft touch, the Windows/mouse interface is more It forces us to discuss what is human or non-human, odor encapsulation, or more generally the use than 30 years old. and reminds us that the answers might change The best computer is a quiet, invisible servant of materials that appeal to all the senses, Digital technology is still prone to failure for which over time (In some cultures, "inert" things are not ontologically different from living things). (...). The most profound technologies are all a response to this loss of contact." technological firms assume no responsibility.are those that disappear. They weave themselves Self-publicity, and the extent of the privacy loss Interfaces are not just about usability, they change Monique Large, Dezineo, 2004 the nature of what we do with/through technology. into the fabric of everyday life until related to digital uses. The right balance between features, simplicity, they are indistinguishable from it." Less time to think: digital technology and openness to tinkering and unforeseen usage, is all about action! Marc Weiser, 1991 is and will remain hard to find. "Emotional technologies", friendly robots, If technology is cold today, the challenge Technology will continue to evolve faster than social Tamagotchi, Furby… customs and organizations, thus excluding some parts of the coming years will be to warm it up with "Emerging" phenomena on wholly automated of the population. the kind of human warmth that gives meaning markets: e.g., the 2010 NASDAQ "Flash Crash". We also use machines to take less personal care of to life. Only on this condition can it become Captcha: "Prove you’re a human!" others, such as our elderly parents. an extension of life’s domain." Technology can only become human if those Didier Fass, Futur 2.0, 2007 who design, produce and put it to use have humane purposes and behaviors. DAY TOM DAY TOM TO TO Y Y YESTERDA YESTERDA OR OR time for assessment... tomorrow what will change ROW AFT ROW AFT W W ERDigital technology is human enough to t hinking"... They have contributed to ER O -TO O -TO MO R R MO R Rhave been massively adopted by people, c reating a less humane society: automatedoften well beyond market expectations and systems are replacing workers, dehumanizing What will change Societyahead of organizational readiness. It has provided relationships within organizations as well as betweena significant contribution to human aspirations and organizations and their customers, threatening pri- Technology Aging population in the North "Digital natives"endeavors, especially in the area of communication, vacy, and allowing autonomous behaviors to eme ge r Growth of values-oriented lifestyles and consump- Ambient I.T., "smart" objects and spaces Big data, au-expression and cooperation. over which no one has full control, as can be seen on tion Mixed digital-virtual relationships, with effects tomatic knowledge discovery, nowcasting, lgorithmic aIn many areas, our experience of digital techno ogies l financial markets. on work, socializing, etc. decision-making Personal robots to reach maturityhas improved. However, they continue to place huge In the past few decades, we have learned a lot about "Nano-Bio-Info-Cogno" convergence … And what won’tdemands on us. We need to learn how to use new how we co-evolve with our technology. This knowledge Tangible interfaces using all five senses Progress in The language barrier, despite attempts at improvingdevices and software. Programmed obsolescence uses is increasingly important, given that technology speech recognition and language comprehension automatic translation technology Our perceptiontime, attention and money. When things break down or makes it possible to deliberately alter our minds, "Affective computing": the ability to understand and (and shortage) of time Technology mostly designedfail, we’re usually left on our own. Digital techno ogies l b odies, and key elements of our society and economy. communicate emotions Bio-inspiration… for the few, before (more or less) slowly trickling downfuel constant acceleration, and cause information This knowledge needs to be shared, and used to inform to the massesoverload, attention deficit, standardized "Powerpoint the design of future technologies. Economy Impoverished middle classes and smaller, poorer g overnments (in the North) "Smart" environments and systems: homes, cities, grids… Increasing d ependency on technology "Do-It-Yourself" elec- tronics, manufactured objects, biotech… Pressure t owards energy efficiency, slower obsolescence 10 11
TO DAY TOM How does this differ Y from the original promise? OR YESTERDA what is tomorrows promise? ROW AFTE The original promise focused on the simplicity and the "naturalness" of digital technology. This one recognizes that technology is a medium that can be used to change ourselves and our environment, and that humans have always created non-natural artifacts. Technology is human, the issue being whether W R- TOM RO OR those who create it and apply it do so in a humane way. Therefore: The promise recognizes the creative tension It considers technology as a cultural production that exists between empowerment (which assumes that is (or should be) shaped by a society’s values, a certain level of understanding of, and control over, while contributing to the evolution of these values. technology) and simplicity (which makes technology Cultures are diverse, and technology should value and its application more usable and accessible). this diversity and allow it to express itself It acknowledges the fact that technology embeds in all possible ways. power, and that its goal should be to distribute Digital technology will interact more and more that power and allow citizens and consumers profoundly with all our senses; it will be embedded to have their say about how it is applied, rather than in objects and spaces. This development will openDigital technology will: to make (corporate as well as institutional) up new possibilities and diversify the way in which Empower humans, not alienate and estrange them; power more opaque. different people will use it toward their own ends. Help humans reach new personal and collective frontiers, while showing them respect and empathy, It embraces openness and open-endedness: However, the result should not be that technologyand helping them be resilient when things fail; Technology is a product of human creativity and becomes "invisible", more magical and mysterious to should welcome further creativity. It should be visible, people – instead, technology should make it easier Strive for simplicity and accessibility, while embracing the diversity of users and allowing those understandable, and open to discussion for everyone to decode their own world and organizewho wish to understand how it works and tinker with it; and tinkering. their own relationship with their environment. Provide more human interaction and cooperation, rather than less; Enlarge the space of future possibilities, rather than predetermine outcomes. How might this work? Y TO DAY TOM making good direct action YESTERDA OR on the promise ROW AFT The important thing is not that machines We are all chimeras, theorized, sympathise with us, or become our friends, and fabricated hybrids of machine and W but that we sympathise with them." organism; in short, we are cyborgs. This cyborg ER -TO O MO R R Ben Bashford, 2012 is our ontology; it gives us our politics. (...) A cyborg world might be about lived social Decisions to make Grand challenges When human beings acquired language, and bodily realities in which people are not Reorient a significant portion of European R&D The Choice Project: through technology, industry we learned not just how to listen but how afraid of their joint kinship with animals programs towards open-ended technologies/devices/ consensus and regulation, provide users with real, to speak. When we gained literacy, we learned and machines, not afraid of permanently partial applications with multilevel interfaces, from 100% informed, permanent choice, especially pertaining to not just how to read but how to write. identities and contradictory standpoints. (...) "back-end" (users as consumers) to 100% "hackable" their rights. Opt-in should be the default. Users should (users as producers). never be in a position to permanently relinquish any of And as we move into an increasingly digital Cyborg unities are monstrous and illegitimate; their rights. They should have the right to easily access, Invest part of R&D budgets in anthropology, reality, we must learn not just how to use in our present political circumstances, reuse and transmit all their personal data. Organiza- e thnography, sociology... programs but how to make them." we could hardly hope for more potent myths tions should be held liable for unacceptable or opaque for resistance and recoupling." ‘Terms of Service’ or privacy policies, even if users have Douglas Rushkoff, Hurdles to overcome "accepted them". Program or be programmed, 2010 Donna Haraway, 1985 Real, 2-way interfaces using the 5 senses "Technology as the new Latin": educate all Automatic, real-time, natural speech recognition children (and if possible, adults) about digital techno- This existential, philosophical dimension, and translation logy: how it works, what it does, where it comes from, hints at the transformation of humans into how to use it, how to program it, what its potential risks and benefits are... digital objects, and also objects of the digital: "The New Laws of Robotics": create and discuss cultural digital beings that are convertible, the simple set of "laws" (after Isaac Asimov’s "Laws of extendible and capable of moving in ways that Robotics") that new and future "converging" techno have never been seen before, thanks to logies should obey. the convergence of technology and the body." Milhad Doueihi, Pour un humanisme numérique, 2012 12 13
What worked What didn’t work DAY TOM TO Y The availability of relevant and effective The dictatorship of urgency, the impossibility YESTERDA OR information and services to help us make choices of prioritising, shortened forecast and decision yesterday, a promise ROW AFT and act remotely… horizons. The widespread use of mobile phones, Hyperconnectivity, incessant importunity especially to constantly synchronise, and now to and cognitive overload. W ER access the Internet and various services. -TO O MO R R The collective organization of time within political The synchronisation of productive activites regions: actors and activities establishing schedules on a local and global level: "Just in Time", without considering others’ schedules. precision logistics... The technology itself remains complex, fragile, Digital agendas. shifting, and time consuming. The improvement, diversification, and After twenty centuries of mostly trying The pace of modern life is fast – and only interpenetration of the means for distance to [advance] the frontiers of space, now it getting faster. In previous eras, we had fewer communication: email, social networking, microblogging, instant messaging, is the frontiers of time that we seek to overcome. choices and more time in which to make them. visiocommunications... The man of the twenty-first century will do Today, we need all the assistance we can get The densification of time: with the capacity whatever he wants from wherever he chooses to make our choices easier and faster, and to double up on our activites, and do everything and at whatever time suits him best. digital technology helps with that. (...) Our new from wherever we may be, we are able The conquest of life will no longer be a question technologies also save time by letting us get so to accomplish more in a single day. of reducing distances by accelerating time, but much more done without leaving the house." of erasing distances altogether." Simone Zhang, Euro RSCG Shanghai Christian Loviton, La vie à distance, Belfond, What surprised us What we learned 1989 Chrometa gives you a gift like nothing New forms of time management, The total amount of time shared by a human else can. It gives you the gift of time! It is fully especially in some "local exchange trading systems" community is abundant, but it is unevenly automatic, and you do not have to work where time is the unit of exchange. distributed and uncoordinated. This uneven The "slow" movement: initially individual, now distribution at keeping records of how you account adopted on a grand, city-sized, scale (Cittaslow). is inversely reflected in social inequalities: for your time for work." Advertisement the ‘excluded’ earn less income, have fewer contacts, The rapid development of hybrid, shared, "third" enjoy less mobility...and often have an excess spaces: "coworking" spaces, telecentres, of free time. The experience of modernity and cafés that fulfill different functions, grocery-delivery 16% of France’s employees work at least occasionally modernization has always been the experience centers, public service centres... at night, half work on Saturdays, one quarter of an incessant acceleration." on Sundays: a sharp increase since 1990 (INSEE). Publicité de 1980 [source Rosa, Hartmut and William Scheuerman, eds. Digital technologies are involved http://www.flickr.com/photos/ High-Speed Society: Social Acceleration, in the general acceleration and confusion of time, jbcurio/3367196078/sizes/o/in/ Power and Modernity, 2009 the individualisation of rhythms, as well as photostream/ the resynchronization and organization of time. They help fill up whatever time remains unoccupied. DAY TOM TO Y YESTERDA OR DAY TOM time for assessment... TO ROW AFT Y YESTERDA OR Digital technology was supposed to have between peak and off-peak, day and night, tomorrow what will change ROW AFT W ER made us more productive and flexible, and -TO MO R R O weekday and weekend are blurry… Besides, generally save us time. We are certainly ac- technology itself requires dedicating copious complishing more at a faster rate, yet we always amounts of time to selecting, installing, lear- W ER -TO O seem to feel pressed for time… Because as we speed up, ning, protecting, repairing, updating, and networking MO R R so does everything around us. Decision-making, inno devices and software. vation, and product life cycles are all getting shorter Our (sometimes weak-willed) desire to slow things and shorter. Public and corporate strategies are more down shows us that our relationship to time is no Technology Economy Society and more focussed on the short term.. The level of our b etter today than it was in the past. For some – Ambient computer technology, the "cloud": Less anchoring in the spatial and temporal: impatience with any form of waiting is only equalled e specially the most integrated – time is lacking, while never unplugged. dematerialisation, teleconferencing, mobile working by the impatience others feel toward us. others have too much time on their hands, with no and telecentres, "flexible" spaces... Digital technology was supposed to enable us to orga- i nkling as to how it might be spent. Some experience "Contemplative computing": nise our time more fluidly and improve how we use the "taylorization" of service activities: call centre cus- technologies, tools, and methods designed An increase in economic spatial constraints: it. And yet we often feel as though our time isn’t even tomer service, the timed-to-the-minute rounds made to help us manage the pace of our lives. energy economies, "relocalisation". our own: we can no more control the constant flux of by salespeople, technicians and carers… Time is as "Human augmentation": (digital and biological) Longer lifespans and – after a long period attention-grabbing messages and requests than we poorly distributed, and as unequally fluid, as capital. technologies that help us think of reduction – longer working hours over a year can the distinction between working hours and off We have definitely managed to accelerate the pace of and over a lifetime. and react more quickly. hours, or the constant fluctuations in our daily sche- daily life, and even enjoy the tempo some of the time, dules. Lifestyle individualisation and economic trans- Employment flexibility: variable work schedules but we haven’t yet managed to get time under our formations have pulled us out of synch; distinctions and status, less secure jobs, non-linear careers, control. "lifelong learning"... 14 15