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The contradictions of digital modernity

The contradictions of digital modernity
The contradictions of digital modernity
This paper explores the concept of digital modernity, the extension of narratives of modernity with the special affordances of digital networked technology. Digital modernity produces a new narrative which can be taken in many ways: to be descriptive of reality; a teleological account of an inexorable process; or a normative account of an ideal sociotechnical state. However it is understood, narratives of digital modernity help shape reality via commercial and political decision-makers, and examples are given from the politics and society of the United Kingdom. The paper argues that digital modernity has two dimensions, of progression through time and progression through space, and these two dimensions can be in contradiction. Contradictions can also be found between ideas of digital modernity and modernity itself, and also between digital modernity and some of the basic pre-modern concepts that underlie the whole technology industry. Digital modernity may not therefore be a sustainable goal for technology development.
Digital modernity, Modernity, modernisation, Data, Innovation, disruption
0951-5666
1-12
O'Hara, Kieron
0a64a4b1-efb5-45d1-a4c2-77783f18f0c4
O'Hara, Kieron
0a64a4b1-efb5-45d1-a4c2-77783f18f0c4

O'Hara, Kieron (2018) The contradictions of digital modernity. AI & Society, 1-12. (doi:10.1007/s00146-018-0843-7).

Record type: Article

Abstract

This paper explores the concept of digital modernity, the extension of narratives of modernity with the special affordances of digital networked technology. Digital modernity produces a new narrative which can be taken in many ways: to be descriptive of reality; a teleological account of an inexorable process; or a normative account of an ideal sociotechnical state. However it is understood, narratives of digital modernity help shape reality via commercial and political decision-makers, and examples are given from the politics and society of the United Kingdom. The paper argues that digital modernity has two dimensions, of progression through time and progression through space, and these two dimensions can be in contradiction. Contradictions can also be found between ideas of digital modernity and modernity itself, and also between digital modernity and some of the basic pre-modern concepts that underlie the whole technology industry. Digital modernity may not therefore be a sustainable goal for technology development.

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ohara ai-soc accepted version 18.4.18 - Accepted Manuscript
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10.1007%2Fs00146-018-0843-7 - Version of Record
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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 18 April 2018
e-pub ahead of print date: 25 April 2018
Published date: 2018
Keywords: Digital modernity, Modernity, modernisation, Data, Innovation, disruption

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 420006
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/420006
ISSN: 0951-5666
PURE UUID: 0b3651f8-75b2-4900-956e-0829a656df1b
ORCID for Kieron O'Hara: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-9051-4456

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 25 Apr 2018 16:30
Last modified: 20 Jul 2019 04:22

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Author: Kieron O'Hara ORCID iD

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