Control and Authority

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Atomisation and Ambient Intelligence raises questions of authority and ownership. Do we want decisions to be taken from our control? Do we prefer the captivating moments created by an adaptable environment or do we prefer the predictable conversations we have with ordinary light switch? The difficulty in the introduction of a new ambient system is the uncertainty of its effect in the society. The benefit of IT systems appears when it is implemented deeply into the society and impacts social activities in a large scope. Traditionally technologies slowly integrate themselves into society, allowing for a gradual adaptation period where eventually the exercise becomes intuitive. The key to designing intelligent environments is to design not too far removed for our normal practices.

The Information Society Technologies Advisory Group (ISTAG) who have been set up as a European advisory body for the overseeing of new technologies, suggests that the following characteristics will permit the societal acceptance of ambient intelligence:

  • AmI should facilitate human contact.
  • AmI should be orientated towards community and cultural enhancement.
  • AmI should inspire trust and confidence.
  • AmI should be consistent with long term sustainability
  • AmI should be made easy to live with and controllable by ordinary people.

ISTAG 2008, Annual Report Password

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