COMMLD 580: Communication for Emergent Technologies

Course Description:

This course is about dealing with the uncertainty of emerging technologies. While the course will not, unfortunately, provide students with a crystal ball capable of predicting all future impacts of a new technology, we will develop a set of questions and conceptual tools that will enable students to critically assess technologies in early periods of development and adoption, and we will explore strategies that students can use to help their organizations better plan for and adapt to technological change. Part of this will involve critically examining the narratives used to explain new technologies and their development: We will examine the theoretical assumptions underlying accounts of technological change, the limitations and liabilities of different theoretical perspectives, and the ways that these assumptions become integrated into expert commentary on new technologies. We will also, as a class, collaboratively develop a “toolbox” of key questions to ask about emerging technologies, precisely to aid in identifying the aspects of technological change that can be overlooked. And finally, we will review practical models for organizational strategy in the face of uncertain technological developments.