ACM@UIOWA: Tech Talk with Professor Juan Pablo Hourcade- Giving Out Superpowers: A Discussion of Ethics, Cognitive Processes, and the Future of Interactive Technology

Friday, October 22, 2021, 5:00pm to 6:45pm
Seamans Center, 2229
103 South Capitol Street, Iowa City, IA 52240


The use of interactive technologies is changing the way our cognitive processes work: from perception to memory, attention, learning, problem solving, communication, and metacognition. In fact, we may be seeing the beginnings of one of the largest shifts in cognition brought about by technology, perhaps even bigger than the changes brought by handwriting and mathematical notation. The problem is that we have largely been reactive. For the most part, technology designers develop what the market calls for without a holistic view of how all these technologies may affect how we think and how we interact with each other. The good news is that we have choices and we can have visions. What do we want the cognitive future to be like? If we can give people cognitive superpowers through technology, what should those be?

In this talk, Juan Pablo Hourcade will provide an analysis of how current and upcoming changes in interactive technologies are affecting and may further affect cognitive processes. This will be
followed by a discussion of guiding principles to optimally affect cognitive processes.


Juan Pablo Hourcade is an Associate Professor at The University of Iowa's Department of Computer Science and Director of Graduate Studies for the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Informatics. His main area of research is Human-Computer Interaction, with a focus on the design, implementation and evaluation of technologies that support creativity, collaboration, well-being, healthy development, and information access for a variety of users, including children and older adults.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa–sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact Matthieu Biger in advance at 3193350713 or