EmTech Anthropology CoverAs an anthropologist deeply engaged with the intersection of culture and technology, I’m thrilled to announce the upcoming release of a book I co-edited with my colleague, Lora Koycheva. EmTech Anthropology: Careers at the Frontier will be published by Routledge on August 5th, 2024, as part of their Anthropology and Business series.

The Genesis of EmTech Anthropology

This project emerged from our observation of a growing trend: anthropologists are increasingly playing pivotal roles in shaping emerging technologies (EmTech). We recognized the need for a resource that showcases how our discipline’s unique perspectives can address the complex ethical, social, and cultural implications of innovations in various tech sectors.

To bring this vision to life, we’ve compiled contributions from a diverse group of early and mid-career anthropologists working across various EmTech fields. Their chapters offer firsthand accounts of applying anthropological insights to areas such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, cybersecurity, blockchain, robotics, space technology, genetic engineering, and biotechnology.

Book Structure and Contributors

EmTech Anthropology: Careers at the Frontier is structured to provide a comprehensive overview of anthropology’s role in EmTech. Here’s a look at the chapter lineup:

  1. Introduction by Matt Artz and Lora Koycheva
  2. Everyday Life, Ever-Present AI: Data and Privacy in Voice Assistants and Chatbots by Laura Musgrave
  3. Reimagining Recommender Systems: Towards a More Equitable Model for Creators by Matt Artz
  4. Towards an Anthro-Centric Cybersecurity by Lianne Potter
  5. Cargo Cult or Kula Ring? The Battle for Shared Ethos in Web3 by Melyn McKay
  6. Anthropology is Good to Build With: From Ethnographic Imagination to Anthropological Speculation in Robotics by Lora Koycheva
  7. Latin American NewSpace: Anthropological Collaborations and Critiques by Anne W. Johnson
  8. Good Ethnography for Good Food: Making Genetic Engineering Palatable to the US Market by Mujtaba Hameed
  9. Biotechnology and Anthropology: Bringing Human Experience into Focus by Thomas Scott Hughes
  10. The Space Between: Charting the Past and Future Relationships between Anthropology and Emerging Technologies by Kate Sieck

We’re honored to have Julia Gluesing provide the foreword, reinforcing the critical convergence of anthropology and technology. Additionally, the book includes endorsements from respected colleagues in the field, including Timothy de Waal Malefyt, Elizabeth K. Briody, Jay Hasbrouck, Dan Podjed, Louise Vang Jensen, and Anders Kristian Munk.

Key Themes and Content

Throughout the book, we emphasize anthropology’s role at the forefront of emerging technologies. We explore the opportunities and challenges that arise as anthropologists venture into EmTech territories, often pushing beyond the boundaries of traditional academic approaches and methodologies.

The narratives in this volume demonstrate how anthropological perspectives and skills can be applied to address complex issues in tech development and implementation. We highlight how anthropologists can act as visionaries, innovators, and early adopters in shaping the trajectory of EmTech.

A central theme of the book is the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration. We examine how anthropologists can work effectively with technologists, designers, and other professionals to create more human-centered technologies. The book also emphasizes the need for practical impact and intervention in EmTech contexts, while acknowledging the importance of challenging existing narratives and pushing the boundaries of our own discipline.

Intended Audience

EmTech Anthropology: Careers at the Frontier is designed to serve as a valuable resource for several groups:

  1. Anthropologists looking to expand their work into EmTech fields
  2. Students considering career paths at the intersection of anthropology and technology
  3. Professionals from related disciplines interested in understanding anthropological perspectives on emerging technologies
  4. EmTech industry professionals seeking insights on integrating cultural and social considerations into their work

Our goal is to inspire and guide the next generation of anthropological innovators by showcasing the groundbreaking work being done at the crossroads of anthropology and technology.

Availability and Pre-order Information

EmTech Anthropology: Careers at the Frontier is scheduled for publication on August 5th, 2024. It is currently available for pre-order through Routledge Taylor & Francis Group and other major book retailers.

For those interested in learning more about the book, including accessing a detailed table of contents and author biographies, I encourage you to visit our official website at https://emtechanthropology.com/.

Upcoming Events and Discussions

As we approach the publication date, Lora and I may be participating in various events and discussions related to the book’s themes. These will include webinars, conference presentations, and podcasts interviews. We’re excited to engage with readers and fellow professionals to further explore the ideas presented in the book.

Updates on these activities will be shared regularly on the book’s website and through our professional networks. I invite you to follow along and join the conversation about the evolving relationship between anthropology and emerging technologies.

Conclusion

EmTech Anthropology: Careers at the Frontier represents a collective effort to map out the exciting possibilities that arise when anthropological perspectives are applied to EmTech contexts. We hope this volume will serve as both a practical guide and a source of inspiration for those interested in exploring the frontier where culture meets technology.

As we move forward into an increasingly tech-driven future, the need for anthropological insights in technology development and implementation has never been greater. This book aims to demonstrate how our discipline can contribute to creating more ethical, equitable, and human-centered technological innovations.

I look forward to sharing this work with the broader community and continuing the important conversations it seeks to spark.