Voice-enabled technologies and sociotechnical imaginaries of care, ageing and the home: Voice-enabled technologies and sociotechnical imaginaries of care, ageing and the home

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Voice-enabled technology has been seen as a breakthrough in eldercare, as practical assistants, and as social companions for older people. While dominant innovation discourses articulate these technologies as means to an end, research based on sociotechnical understandings has shown how technology, ageing and care cannot be seen as separate from each other, but as co-constituted (Peine et al., 2021).
Building on this view, and through a focus on sociotechnical imaginaries we explore how voice-enabled technologies are slowly beginning to transform care, ageing and the home, as they are increasingly pervading public, political and corporate discourses, and put into use in the homes and everyday practices of older people. Sociotechnical imaginaries are, drawing on Jasanoff’s definition; “collectively held, publicly performed visions of desirable futures, animated by shared understandings of forms of social life, and social order attainable through, and supportive of, advances in science and technology” (Jasanoff 2015, 19). Sociotechnical imaginaries are at once descriptive of attainable futures and prescriptive of the kinds of futures that ought to be attained.
This paper explores how sociotechnical imaginaries of voice-enabled technologies, ageing and care are being co-constituted in different sites through analyses of documents and visual representations, and ethnographic studies with older people using voice-enabled technologies. We look at big tech companies’ imaginaries of ageing and care vis a vis voice-enabled technologies, and explore how such imaginaries are being performed and negotiated in interactions between older people and voice-based technologies.
The paper contributes to the philosophy of technology by giving empirical examples of how concrete voice-enabled technologies take part in forming sociotechnical imaginaries and futures of ageing, care and the home.
Publikationsdato28 jun. 2021
StatusUdgivet - 28 jun. 2021
BegivenhedThe Society for Philosophy and Technology Conference: Sociotechnical Imaginaries - Online, Lille, Frankrig
Varighed: 28 jun. 202130 jun. 2021


KonferenceThe Society for Philosophy and Technology Conference