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Do we control the technology in our lives or does the technology in our lives control us?

Pamela Pavliscak (pav-li-check) is a design researcher who studies our conflicted relationship with technology. She is founder of Change Sciences, a research think tank focused on humanizing technology for Chase, NBC Universal, Virgin, and many others. Pamela is writing a book coming out later this year called, Designing for Happiness, and has spoken at SXSW, Google Creative Labs, the Future of Design, and Collision.


Key Takeaways

  • What makes people feel happy or miserable about technology?
  • We have been through many waves of technology in the last 100 years.
    • Mainframe computers and home automation / home devices (refrigerators & washing machines).
    • Personal computers and early access to internet.
    • Smartphones and high-bandwidth.
    • Wearables and embeddables.
  • People are fascinated with smartphone and get emotionally attached to them.
  • We know how phones are making us miserable, but how does it impact happiness?
    • They allow us to be creative.
    • They allow us to create and foster relationships.
  • When we design technology for one purpose, how much control do we have over how people actually use it?
  • What do we value in technology?
  • When we move from smartphone to embedded tech, we can’t as easily “detox” or unplug.
  • People working in tech are generally optimists.
  • Data collection and privacy is a huge issue.
  • We have symbiotic relationship with technology and need to be conscious on how we use it and how it affects us.

Resources Mentioned


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