Author(s): Adam Greenfield
Everywhere we turn, our everyday experience is being overlaid and interrupted by startling new technologies. Today, we depend on the smartphone as an interface to an urban environment we share with autonomous drones and self-driving cars, even as we use augmented-reality applications to interact with things that aren't quite there. Now 3D printing offers us unprecedented fine-grained control over the form and distribution of matter, while the blockchain promises to remake the way we record and exchange value. And all the while, fiendishly complex algorithmic systems are operating quietly, reshaping the economy, transforming the fundamental terms of our politics, and even beginning to etch away at what it means to be human. Just how did these things come to be? How do they work? What (and whose) values do they reproduce? And what kind of choices do they present us with? Radical Technologies raises all of these questions to the surface and provokes us to ask what we might want to do with them now, when we might still be able to shape their impact on our shared future.
Adam Greenfield has worked as a lead information architect for the Tokyo office of internet services consultancy Razorfish, head of design direction for service and user-interface design at Nokia headquarters in Helsinki, and Senior Urban Fellow at the LSE Cities Centre of the London School of Economics. He is currently an instructor in Urban Design at the Bartlett, University College London. His books include Everyware: The Dawning Age of Ubiquitous Computing, Urban Computing and its Discontents, and the 2013 pamphlet 'Against the smart city.'