Conference Proceedings

Socially beneficial technology: Can it be achieved in practice?

G Adamson

2011 IEEE International Symposium on Technology and Society (ISTAS) | IEEE | Published : 2011


© 2011 IEEE. For an engineer, a good technology is one which is 'fit for purpose'. For the wider community there is a broader judgement, summed up in the IEEE tag-line 'Advancing Technology for Humanity'. Technology may be developed for socially beneficial purposes, addressing challenges such as clean drinking water or environmental protection. Nevertheless, given the phenomenon of unintended consequences, its practical effect may be different. This paper considers whether 'socially beneficial technology' is a valid concept. It briefly examines the experience of specific projects to deliver social benefits from technology.