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COST 298 à Moscou : la figure de l’utilisateur

dimanche 15 octobre 2006

Cette conférence interdisciplinaire organisée par le réseau COST 298 à Moscou en mai 2007 vise à rassembler des recherches
menées sur la figure de l’utilisateurdans la société de
l’information et de la communication.

Extrait :

The main objective of the conference is to create new knowledge about users’ creativity and facilitate their empowerment in a broadband information society. This knowledge is crucial in order to strengthen the European Research Area. Moreover, this requires an examination of the factors that can both constrain and enhance users’ abilities to shape and use ICTs.

From our perspective, the ‘broadband society’ refers to a possible, but not inevitable, substantial transformation of our experience of telecommunications based on these technologies allowing information and communication technologies to be used everywhere, all the time and by everybody. Given the widespread aspirations of Governments and companies to achieve this goal, the extent to which any such transformation has occurred needs, of course, to be evaluated in a balanced manner.

Broadband technologies have resulted mainly from technological and institutional imperatives. To what extent have potential users managed to find ways in which such technologies can be useful, worthwhile and attractive ? We certainly know from previous research this can require those users to be creative in terms of fitting ICTs into their activities or using them to find solutions to the everyday problems that they already encounter. But how much is being demanded of those users, what considerations have a bearing upon whether these technologies actually find a place in their lives and what new issues, of indeed problems, can these ICTs themselves create, especially if they really are ‘disruptive technologies’ ? Ultimately, we also need to acknowledge that users may well decide that their existing solutions suffice, in which case these new technological options may find only a modest place in their lives. Indeed, they may even be resisted or ignored. Whatever strategies users employ for assessing and dealing with such innovations, we need to learn more about these social processes, including strategies for dealing with the up and coming generation of new information and communication products and services. Only by so doing can we hope to empower them further in their relationships to technology and through this hope to increase the quality of their lives.

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