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Acceptance of technology

To understand how new technologies will change our life, we must first consider how new technologies get accepted.
I am no expert at this, and what i write here is not based on any type of scientific research, but this is a necessary step to continue this discussion.

It is striking that certain new technologies, such as cell phones and DVD players, get accepted easily, while others, such as personal computers, have to struggle for decades before getting a place in daily life.

I think the following factors influence the acceptance of technology:

  • Conservatism and fear of change
  • Practical use of new technology - how it makes our life easier.
  • Economic and other (scientific, strategic, military) advantages
  • Prolonguing our lives or advancing our health

The cell phones were easily accepted because they looked like normal phones, taking our fears away, and were handy.
Personal computers were not easily accepted because they didn't resemble anything familiar and seemed difficult to use. Their usefulness for normal people in the early days was low. People considered them a modern typewriter that was much more difficult to use than the oldfashioned ones.

The acceptance levels are different for different user groups. Large corporations, states and armies will more easily accept certain types of new technology because of economical reasons, and a certain class of people are more eager to new things, while others are conservative.

But the conclusion is clear: For new technology to rapidly become a part of our daily life, it has to look familiar, be easy to use and improve our lives.

Sorry for the boring entry, but i promise the next parts will be much more interesting.

Posted on Thursday, February 12, 2004 8:36 PM Artificial Intelligence , Politics | Back to top

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