Social Aspects of Cooperating Objects Technologies
The workshop was organized by the Center for Technology and Society (Prof. Dr. Werner Rammert) in the framework of the Coordination Action "Cooperating Embedded Systems for Exploration and Control featuring Wireless Sensor Networks" (Acronym Embedded WiSeNts, Coordinator: Prof. Dr. Adam Wolisz, EU/IST/FP6). Thus, the workshop complemented Embedded WiSeNts´s work on technological aspects and application scenarios as well as appropriate visionary considerations with an analysis of social aspects.
In the scope of Embedded WiSeNts, a "cooperating object" is defined as a collection of sensors, actuators, controllers or other cooperating objects that communicate with each other and are able to achieve, more or less autonomously, a common goal. The inclusion of other cooperating objects, as part of a cooperating object itself indicates that these objects can combine their sensors, controllers and actuators in a hierarchical way and are, therefore, able to create arbitrarily complex structures.
The central goal of the workshop was to identify and discuss the grand challenges emerging on the social side of the cooperating objects technologies, and related technologies like ubiquitous and pervasive computing. The workshop aimed to create awareness of this challenges and to trigger the systematic treatment of the social aspects starting from early stages of design and development of these systems as contrary to the pure "ex post" technology implications assessment. Moreover, it not only concentrated on the negative, or unintended, effects of the technology, but also on new possibilities emerging from knowledge about the social impact of technology, or its social embeddedness, respectively.
To learn more about the event you can read the Workshop Report which was completed at the end of December 2006.
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