ANALYZE TECHNOLOGY AND ITS SOCIAL AND COMMUNICATIONS IMPLICATIONS
Sociology 460 – Issues in the Information Society
Spring 2022 TECHNOLOGY ANALYSIS ASSIGNMENT
(20% of your course grade) Due date: March 1, 2022 You are required to do a technology analysis assignment. This will be an approximately three page (750 words) paper, analyzing a technology and its social and communications implications. This assignment will involve library research. Specific Timeline details to remember: · Select a technology to examine by February 8th. · Due on March 1st. Expectations for the technology analysis
: Your paper is expected to be a discussion of the benefits and costs associated with the introduction of new technologies. I am speaking here in a relatively broad sense – new is within the last 50 years or so, technologies are science / technological innovations that are relevant to how we collect, store, process or use ‘information’. If the latter is not obvious, you need to make a case for the connection in your paper. Description: For this assignment I am interested in how you are able to reflect on new information related technologies using the concepts and readings we have used in class. Yet I also want you to do a bit of research about the technology. So beyond class readings, find a source or two about the technology – what it is, how it works, who it might be designed for. Don’t spend more than a half page on this in your paper, unless it is particularly relevant. Analysis: This is the core of the assignment. I want you to reflect on the impact of the technology, so you will use course readings and concepts to frame your analysis, and also find one or two other sources that also reflect on the technology. Don’t just tell me what those sources found – do your own analysis.
Analyze the impact of the technology based on a variety of considerations, including (but not limited to) such issues as: · How widespread is the technology? · How does the technology change how we interact? · How does the technology affect our work, play, learning, or social lives? · What kinds of decision-making go into the technology’s introduction? Is it inevitable? · What processes are / have been / might be automated by the technology? · What kinds of information might be ‘informated’ through the technology? · Who benefits, and who might be harmed by the technology? How? · Who might be able to avoid impact of the technology? · What are the costs and benefits of the technology? To individuals, to society? Technologies: I want to be open to a variety of technologies for you to consider for this assignment. I have listed a variety of topics / technologies below. If you are choosing one of these topics, you do not need to let me know. If you want to choose a different topic or technology, then you do need to get it approved by me. Energy · Hybrid or electric cars · Geothermal power · Solar power generation · Wind power generation Biological / medical related technologies · Robot assisted surgery · Human cloning · Organ transplants · Spherical imaging technologies · Genetic engineering of plants, animals or humans · DNA / genetic analysis Security · Smart card entry systems (including passports) · Security cameras / Closed circuit television (CCTV) · Biometrics · Electronic monitoring (ankle bracelets, chips, tattoos, etc.) · Chip enabled purchase cards · Face detection systems, including apps and software · RFID – radio frequency identification devices Communication / entertainment · Smart phones / digital cameras / gps · Thumb drives / data keys · The Internet ! Wifi · Augmented reality / virtual reality · Software – Social media apps, computer programs, online gaming · Video teleconferencing applications (Zoom, Skype, Discord, etc.) · Streaming technologies (film, television, music, Twitch) Other commercial / monetary ‘stuff’ · Debit cards / ATMs · Barcode readers / scanners / smart readers · Digi-cash – square, electronic banking, eCommerce, bitcoin, etc. · Wireless networks / Bluetooth technologies / hands free anything · Hardware – tablets, colour laser printers, 3D printers, GPS · Driverless cars / automated driving elements – Self driving long-haul trucks · Robotics – manufacturing, object processing, etc.