Ensuring Acceptability - Towards a Socially and Humanely Acceptable Technology Design (itsowl-TA)
Consortium leader:Bielefeld University, Institute of Science and Technology Studies (IWT)
Project partner:Paderborn University, Psychology of work and organisation
Usually, innovations are considered under technical and/or economic aspects. The user's perspective and other possible societal points of view (like the perspective of "common welfare") are consequentially neglected. Questions of safety, controllability, acceptance and the individual benefit of the technology, however, are excluded. The ensuing threat is that new products and production systems meet resistance concerning social responsibility and users' reservations. This shows in the example of driver assistance systems and electronically controlled brakes, which are not trusted without constraint, or when protests against new technologies emerge that regard increasing automation as a "job killer".
Companies do, in fact, apply methods that serve the purpose of coping with image problems or immediately visible conflicts, but there are no methods for mediating the technical innovations with external actors. When it is about actual innovation, it is sensible for enterprises to take the lead in that matter in order to ensure that the insights gained can be considered in the innovation's design process.
The aim of this research project is to develop recommendations and consulting concepts for humanely and socially acceptable technology development in general and the inclusion of non-technical and non-economical, albeit relevant perspectives in particular.
In cooperation with the participating cluster companies workshop concepts and methods for Technology Assessment (TA) and User Centered Design (UCD) will be developed and applied. These methods shall aid the companies in increasing acceptance of new technologies. On this basis guidelines for humanely and socially acceptable technology engineering will be compiled. Furthermore a service center is being established and will be at the companies? disposal regarding questions of Technology Assessment and user orientation.
The project provides the cluster companies with practice oriented recommendations for the humanely and socially acceptable design of intelligent technical systems. This ensures that their products are in accord with societal expectations and the users' needs. This will also strengthen the cluster companies' competitiveness. The service center offers a comprehensive range of services, which will be at further companies' disposal.
Prof. Dr. Alfons Bora (Bielefeld University)
Tel.: +49-521-106-6884; E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Marc Mölders (Bielefeld University)
Tel.: +49-521-106-4674; E-Mail: ServicestelleTA@uni-bielefeld.de
Prof. Dr. Niclas Schaper (Paderborn University)
Tel. : +5251-602-901; E-Mail: email@example.com