Has technology enhanced or damaged our experiences?

Has technology enhanced or damaged our experiences?
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Technology is changing at a rate faster than ever before, while as a population we are seemingly more willing to embrace it as part of our everyday lives. Head to any restaurant and as your eyes wander around the room, you’ll no doubt notice other diners, smartphones in hand, carefully framing and snapping the food in front of them. Whether for a simple memento, or to upload for their hordes of followers on social media to ‘like’ and comment on, technology is seemingly penetrating large parts of society.

But what impact is this having? This year’s One Question conference aims to tackle just that. With a range of perspectives provided by experts from a diverse array of industries, we’ve picked three that may help answer the question: Has technology enhanced or damaged our experiences?

The international perspective

Tara Prabhakar – Global Director, Insights Division, Kantar

With over 19 years experience studying people, brands, culture and their dynamics, Tara uses data to answer the biggest questions that businesses are asking today. She believes that technology can have a transformative effect for good, improving interpersonal communication, and giving a voice to parts of the world and society that have traditionally been isolated or neglected.

Highlighting the dangers of designing tech products “from a bubble” and focusing on a single, and often privileged narrative, she is keenly aware of the broader impact technology is having on our lives. Focusing on the importance of broadening the agenda when creating technology, Tara thinks it’s important to design for more perspectives, and advocating more trickle-up innovation that increases inclusivity.  

The relationship perspective

Lucy Litwack – CEO, Coco de Mer

As CEO of Coco de Mer, a brand associated with luxury and empowerment, Lucy has instilled a sophisticated, entrepreneurial ideology across her business. From online dating, sex tech, and interactive toys, she believes technology and innovation is allowing people to explore pleasure in more ways than ever before.

The impact technology is having on “traditional” romance, and whether technology is pushing us towards isolated and transient encounters is an area she feels strongly about. Particularly the impact pornography is having on younger generations’ idea of what is considered normal.  

The arts perspective

Mariana Pestana – architect and curator, The Victoria & Albert Museum

With a PhD under her belt, two master’s degrees, a post as curator in the Design, Architecture and Digital Department at the Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A), Mariana is also co-director of The Decorators, a collective that designs experiences to test alternative futures for specific places and people.

She believes emerging technology in civic spaces can change our experiences and shape the world of tomorrow. Having recently worked on The Future Starts Here, an exhibition exploring the impact of the fast-accelerating future of artificial intelligence, synthetic biology, and more, she believes technology is having a varied impact on our experiences. From increasing isolation, to an open world of new and exciting possibilities for collaboration and communication, the role technology can play in society will undoubtedly play out to be a varied one.  

Tara, Lucy and Mariana are just a few of the speakers who will be discussing this topic at One Question on 7 June 2018 at the Electric Cinema in Notting Hill, London. Featuring an interview with renowned British photographer and filmmaker Rankin, expect varied and lively answers.

Find out more and sign up for tickets here.

This article was created for One Question by Quartz Creative and not the Quartz editorial staff.