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“Technology is usually fairly neutral. It’s like a hammer, which can be used to build a house or to destroy someone’s home. The hammer doesn’t care. It is almost always up to us to determine whether the technology is good or bad.” – Noam Chomsky
What are the results of an ever-increasingly connected world and where will it lead us? How can we use technology to our advantage and what are the dangers lurking behind it that we should pay attention to? What are the right questions to ask regarding the effects of the digital age we live in? What are we building and what can be the outcomes for the future of our society?
The growing complexity powering the technologies that take part in our daily lives makes it harder to understand how these intervene and influence our agency as individuals. This complexity reduces our capacity to observe unintended side-effects and, therefore, prejudices our ability to anticipate, respond and correct technology's shortcomings.
Our aim is to produce and publish content that fosters discussions surrounding technology and its general impact. Ultimately, we hope to provide to the community critical ways of looking at the role of technology and hopefully disseminate diverse methods to think about our relation with it.
Critical Future Tech is to be a hangout for technologists and other professionals, academics, tech enthusiasts and everyday people to have open conversations on the merits and faults of technology in general.
Technologists play a crucial role in our society, being the creators of the tools we use to communicate with each other, to experience and to some extent understand the world surrounding us. Hence it is important that technologists have access to the broadest set of angles to analyze their work and their peers' through an ethical and moral lense, and not simply regarding the utilitarian technical expertise required to be good professionals in their field
This initiative is not meant to demonize technology nor appeal to any anti-tech feeling. On the contrary it is for lovers of technology that understand its potential for positive social impact and societal change and wish to partake in discussions surrounding it being put to good use, all the while commenting its misuse.
Finally, at the core of Critical Future Tech is a wish to elevate the Portuguese tech scene.
We believe tech hubs are not simply a reflection of a critical mass of tech companies and startups, nor the number of technical Meetups surrounding the latest hot programming language.
All these certainly constitute fundamental features of a vibrant tech hub, which Portugal has been consistently evolving into over the years. Nevertheless, mature tech hubs around the world all feature characteristics that foster higher order conversations for anyone wishing to discuss broader technological matters.
It is therefore our goal to nourish and support the evolution of this facet within the Portuguese ecosystem.