Radical Technologies: The Design of Everyday Life with Adam Greenfield

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a part of
COMMONS CONVERSATIONS: TECHNOLOGY AND PUBLIC LIFE IN CHANGING TIMES
Co-sponsored with the Institute of Urban and Regional Development
and UC Berkeley’s SwarmLab


Everywhere we turn, our everyday experience of the world is being transfigured by the advent of startling new technologies. But at what cost? In this urgent and revelatory excavation of the Information Age, leading technology thinker Adam Greenfield forces us to rethink our relationship with the networked objects, services and spaces that define our lives, as well as the Silicon Valley consensus that is determining the shape of our future.


We already depend on the smartphone to navigate every aspect of our daily lives. The technologies that follow in its wake, from augmented-reality interfaces and virtual assistants to autonomous delivery drones and self-driving cars, are offered to us with the promise that they will make life easier, more convenient and more productive. 3D printing promises unprecedented control over the form and distribution of matter, while the blockchain stands to revolutionize everything from the recording and exchange of value to the way we organize ourselves in groups and polities. And all the while, fiendishly complex algorithms are operating quietly in the background, reshaping the economy, transforming the fundamental terms of our politics and even redefining what it means to be human.


Having successfully colonized everyday life, these radical technologies are now conditioning the choices that will be available to us in the future, and most of us haven’t even begun to think about what it all means. Just how did they claim such a prominent place in our lives? How do they work? What challenges do they present to us, as selves and societies? In answering these questions, Greenfield’s timely guide orients us to the circumstances we now confront — and prods us to the thought and action necessary to ensure that our values will survive the years to come.


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Previously a rock critic, bike messenger and psychological operations specialist in the US Army, Adam Greenfield spent over a decade working in the design and development of networked digital information technologies, as lead information architect for the Tokyo office of internet services consultancy Razorfish, independent user-experience designer and head of design direction for service and user-interface design at Nokia headquarters in Helsinki.


Adam was selected in 2013 as Senior Urban Fellow at the LSE Cities centre of the London School of Economics. His books include Everyware: The Dawning Age of Ubiquitous Computing (2006), Urban Computing and its Discontents (2007), and the #1 bestselling “Against the smart city” (2013). He lives in London with his partner, the filmmaker Nurri Kim.


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Radical Technologies is part of Commons Conversations: Technology and Public Life in Changing Times, a discussion series hosted by the Berkeley Center for New Media on the impact of new media on our current political and public climate.


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Register for lunch here!
Wednesday, March 1, 2017
12:30-2pm | BCNM Commons, 340 Moffitt Undergraduate Library, UC Berkeley