Giving Out Superpowers: A Discussion of Ethics, Cognitive Processes, and the Future of Interactive Technology with Juan Pablo Hourcade

Friday, October 20, 2017 - 5:30pm to 6:30pm
136 S Dubuque St.
Iowa City, IA 52240

The use of interactive technologies is changing the way our cognitive processes work: from perception to memory, attention, learning, problem solving, communication, and metacognition. In fact, we may be seeing the beginnings of one of the largest shifts in cognition brought about by technology, perhaps even bigger than the changes brought by handwriting and mathematical notation.


Generally speaking, we as a society have largely been reactive to these shifts. For the most part, technology designers develop what the market calls for without a holistic view of how these technologies may affect how we think and interact with each other. The good news is that we have choices and can champion a vision and an ethical approach to developing interactive technology for a more inclusive society. 


What do we want the cognitive future to be like? If we can give people cognitive superpowers through technology, what should those be? In this talk, Juan Pablo Hourcade will provide an analysis of how current and upcoming changes in interactive technologies are affecting and may further affect cognitive processes. This will be followed by a discussion of guiding principles to optimally affect cognitive processes.


Juan Pablo Hourcade is an Associate Professor at the University of Iowa's Department of Computer ScienceUI3 Associate Director for Informatics Education, and a member of the Delta Center. His main area of research is Human-Computer Interaction, with a focus on the design, implementation and evaluation of technologies that support creativity, collaboration, well-being, healthy development, and information access for a variety of users, including children and older adults. Dr. Hourcade is the author of Child-Computer Interaction the first comprehensive book on the topic, and has held various leadership roles in his research community (e.g., Papers Co-Chair for CHI 2016and CHI 2017). He is in the Editorial Board of Interacting with ComputersFoundations and Trends in Human-Computer Interaction, and the International Journal of Child-Computer Interaction. He is editor of the Universal Interactions forum, and a blogger for interactions magazine.

The event is located at MERGE, which can be found at the T-section of the Pedestrian Mall next to the Iowa City Public Library.

Co-sponsored by the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies and Witching Hour.