Technology Analysis (TA) provides taken about two connotations. One centers on analysis of the houses of existing technology options – electronic. g., as you might choose between two printers. The other, plus the one of interest here, has been classically defined by May well Coates (1976) as: A category of plan studies which in turn systematically analyze the effects upon society that may occur each time a technology is usually introduced, prolonged, or altered. It stresses those outcomes that are unintended, indirect, or perhaps delayed. [italics added] This is a form of influence assessment, along with Environmental Impact Evaluation, Social Effect Assessment etc .
What TA is all about
Deciding the " unintended, indirect, or delayed” societal effects of a future technological innovation poses severe difficulties. Determining trigger and impact relationships in complex, fun socio-technical devices is exceedingly difficult – even in the past (i. e., looking backside, no less searching forward) (Tarr, 1977). There is absolutely no hope of predicting the full and actual effects of changing technology; also less the way in which in which these effects will certainly interact among themselves and with other socio-economic forces.
Paul Coates (1971) offered an insightful representation of the problematic nature of pinning down indirect effects. He nominally tracks the first through 6th order associated with introducing television set on communities. The 1st order force of a riveting supply of entertainment in the house leads to fewer mingling in local golf equipment; that leads to less neighborly interaction; solitude follows; in that case overdependence on spouses to fulfill one's psychological needs; and then, divorce rates escalate.
The aim in undertaking TA ought not to end up being prediction of tangible effects and their timing, but rather identification of potentially important vectors of alter. Identifying possible concerns (and benefits) may alert technology developers and overseers to potential issues – we. e., a beginning warning program. Going one step...