I am extremely humbled to have been awarded a competitive scholarship to undertake a PhD at the the University of Newcastle (UoN) through the college of Human and Social Futures. This includes admission to a Higher Degree by Research (HDR) program at the University.
I’ve always wanted to do a PhD, although recent events have brought this forward. Given the increase in pervasive technologies being implemented without the public’s knowledge and the unwavering “Obedience to Authority” (Stanley Milgram, 1974) seen over the last 2 years with the Covid Pandemic, I thought it high time to delve deep into the human psyche and the role technology plays in influencing human behaviour.
I approached the University of Newcastle, where I had an undergraduate degree in Industrial design, to partner with me for a “COVID-19 TechVoucher” Grant, which we subsequently won (Another Blog will expand on this). In discussions, I professed my interest in further studies, namely a PhD, to develop my knowledge base. They (UoN) informed me there was a scholarship being awarded in four weeks, so I better hurry up and submit a rigorous application. The amazing staff at UoN guided me through this process, off the back of a project we were currently developing, enabling me to compile a very professional application.
Two months after my nimbly compilated submission was whisked off, I was notified via email that I was successful with my application, a dream come true and one that I am very honoured to be undertaking. To be working with esteemed professionals and academics at the UoN is a privilege. Notably, the Professors at UoN including Prof. Mario Minichiello, Prof. Paul Egglestone and Assoc Prof. Craig Hight
My Topic: “Technology developments are deliberately starting to interfere with human nature by design”, including AI, Biotechnology and Transhumanism, highlighting the specific ethical nature of such interventions and the ethnological source and tacit knowledge influencing such predispositions.
My research will contribute to the knowledge and ethics surrounding the use of such technologies, their anthropomorphic effects and to help develop the industry in a positive way. My aim is to inform fellow designers, the public and clients about the of the effects of such technologies and how transparent deployments are better than subversive implementations for all concerned.