Drawing upon the findings and experiences of my team’s Research-through-Design practice, I propose that we as a scholarly community pull together (harder) to steer future technological developments toward putting attention on the experiential space between people, deploying computation toward augmenting physical copresence and collective action. Despite long-standing research efforts in HCI and Ubicomp aimed at reorienting the ship, particularly in recent years, vast commercial internet and mobile-based services have rightfully been critiqued for encouraging some pretty isolating behavior patterns. In the spirit of Suchman’s reframing of our understanding of the human machine interface in her classic text, Human-Machine Reconfigurations: Plans and Situated Actions, and drawing upon the style of and some key ideas from Donna Haraway’s past and recent work, I put forward a manifesto that calls for a future of technology that enables the ‘suprahuman’—a productive reweaving of the social fabric between us in ways that include our bodies and the material world, and that privilege bolstering connection and shared action. I respectfully put forward this call to action as fodder for discussion at the Halfway to the Future event.
Katherine Isbister. 2019. Toward ‘Suprahuman’ Technology: A Manifesto in Support of Computational Augmentation of Mutual Physical Presence and Collective Action. In Proceedings of the Halfway to the Future Symposium 2019 (HTTF 2019), November 19–20, 2019, Nottingham, United Kingdom. ACM, New York, NY, USA, 4 pages. https://doi.org/10.1145/3363384.3363468