A new report by the British Science Association (BSA), commissioned by Sciencewise, has been published. 

The report titled Tomorrow’s tech, today explores the public's views on five areas of emerging technology:

  • AI and automation in the workplace
  • Data-driven decision-making
  • Human enhancement technologies
  • Augmented and virtual reality
  • New gene therapies

Through analysing public dialogue, surveys, social and traditional media, opinion polls, and other sources, the BSA aimed to deepen understanding of the effects such technologies are having on peoples' day-to-day lives now, and how that might change in the future.


What we learnt

Three recommendations arose for stakeholders in emerging technology policy, research, and industry:

  1. Build trust in emerging technology governance

    By and large the public are still unsure about data collection and how they might directly change such processes. Broadly, the public agree with technologies where they have agency over how it affects them or that have trustworthy governance. More and specific public engagement around trust in emerging technology systems could be the answer.

  2. Ensure the benefits of emerging technology are shared equitably

    Knowledge about, and benefits of, emerging technologies are inequitable across society. It is essential that the positive outcomes from pioneering technologies can be experienced by people from all demographics, which means increasing efforts to engage communities and groups who won't come across such systems in their everyday life, work environments or education.

  3. Protect people’s personal information, health, and wellbeing
    The potential dangers of emerging technologies are another area where effective public engagement from the sector is necessary. Consultations around issues of safety, and sound regulation in response to these concerns, could also contribute to assuring the wider public.

The BSA is part of a consortium of organisations delivering Sciencewise, alongside Involve UK, the National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement, and UK Research and Innovation.

Extracted from BSA website - read more here

Posted in Opinion

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