18 February 2007

High technology meets cultural anthropology: Dr Genevieve Bell

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Professor Genevieve Bell takes questions
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) features Genevieve Bell, Intel’s top anthropologist, who was keynote speaker at the recent Australasian Computer Science Week, where she discussed the past and the future of wireless technology trends around the world and across generations.

“I have a group of about 15 other researchers who work with me, and one of the things we’re trying to do is not just look at a brief moment when a human being interacts with a piece of technology – because sure that’s interesting but in some ways it’s not interesting unless you know the bigger picture … we go to a range of different countries around the world, we spend time living off and with people in their homes participating in their daily activities.

“What we’re interested in is the rhythm of life. What people care about what motiviates them, what frustrates them, what annoys them… in some ways the really mundane stuff of daily life, so you know – what do you do when you get up in the morning? Can I come shopping with you? Can I come down to the temple or the pub or the park – I’ve done all of those things, because part of what you want is to get a sense of that much bigger picture of people’s lives.”

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Listen to a discussion with Genevieve Bell on how her job works, how technologies differ worldwide, and how babyboomers are the most tech-savy generation modern civilisation has ever seen. MP3, duration: 13mins 15secs

Listen to edited version of the keynote by Genevieve Bell at the Australasian Computer Science Conference, beginning with the cultural implications of basic broadband wireless technology in American versus Asian homes. MP3, duration: 55mins 38secs

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