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INTRODUCTION TO
TECHNOLOGY
ASSESSMENT
FUSTM 611 :Technological
Futures, Forecasting and
Assessment
Introduction
The study and evaluation of new technologies
for the policy making process in Government
level
TA as a neutral, factual analysis of technological
effects as an input in the decision-making process
Analysing Technology and its effects and impacts
upon society, the natural environment, and the
organization it is deployed in.
More knowledge is obtained before a decision is
made on the development or deployment of a
technology, the greater the chances that fewer
mistakes will be there
More than common sense knowledge!!!
Definitions
“TA is a scientific, interactive and communicative process,
which aims to contribute to the formation of public and
political opinion on societal aspects of science and
technology" (Decker, 2005)
It is the systematic identification, analysis and
evaluation of the potential secondary impacts of
technology in terms of its effect on social, cultural,
political, economic and environmental systems and
processes
It is an attempt to establish an early warning system to
detect, control, and direct technological changes and
developments so as to maximize the public good while
minimizing the public risk
Changes due to New Technologies
What are the effects of new technologies?
Policy and Technology
New technologies can create new problems e.g.
cloning / privacy issues
People and Technology
Many problems are not foreseen since people use
technologies in unpredictable manners e.g.
hackers
Behavioral Change
  Cultural changes as a result of television 
Impacts of Television
demonstrates how television may have helped to break
down community life.
TA in the United States Congress
“ It is, therefore, imperative that the Congress
equip itself with new and effective means for
securing competent, unbiased information
concerning the effects, physical, economic, social,
and political the applications of technology, and that
such information be utilized whenever appropriate
as one element in the legislative assessment of
matters pending before the Congress.”
(from a ‘Bill to establish an Office of Technology
Assessment’)
OBJECTIVES OF TA
Technical or non-technical Criteria based
assessment
1. Help policy makers to make decisions
2. Point out agreement and controversy
3. Uncover assumption and fears
4. Determine risks of various options
Examples
Java or .Net?
Windows or Linux ?
Mono rail or Metro ?
Future of IoT in automobiles
Policy for Drones in India
Digital Healthcare
Mobile Wallets
Wearable Tech
Nanotechnology , Hydrogen as Fuel
Bring-Your- Own-Device (BYOD)
3D Printers
Machine-to-Machine (M2M)
Internet of Things (IoT) 
SIRI , Driverless cars ,Flying cars........
FEATURES OF TA
• Public Understanding to Public Engagement
 Provide optimum utility, and cause least damage to
society.
 “Impacted party” representation in studies
need to look into the future
TYPES OF TA
Regulatory
Gov to set limits on use of a particular technology
(e.g.food additives) or legislate requirements
(e.g., safety precautions);
TA is to help the state insert control, in a reactive
sense, over actual projected impacts
Promotional
Technological development is guided largely by
market forces; but TA should help formulate
suitable policies to promote technological
innovation in the interest of national
competitiveness or development: DIGITAL INDIA
Constructive.
Try to tune Technology development in response to
social and political priorities; this suggests
proactive state intervention
(e.g., incentives to encourage alternative energy
sources);
‘constructively’ redirect, the process of
technological change
Experimental or Participative.
This extension of the constructive approach
requires active intervention;
a wide spectrum of parties at interest participate
in testing technological alternatives and/or
performing social experiments to improve the
design of the innovation. :Linux ,OS
GENERAL STEPS OF TA
1.Problem definition
2. Context description
3. Societal context forecast
4. Technology description
5. Technology forecast
6. Impact identification
7. Impact analysis
8. Impact evaluation
9. Policy analysis
10. Communication of results
STEPS IN TASTEPS IN TA

Establish
Criteria

In-Depth
Technology &
Barrier
Assessment

Define
Alternative
Actions

Select Priority
Technologies

Compile
Technology &
Market
Information

Define
Priority
Sectors

Select Actions

Prepare Needs
Assessment
Report
Things to Consider in TA
TYPES OF IMPACT ANALYSIS
Type I: Expected & Desired
Type II: Expected & Undesired
Type III: Unexpected & Desired
Type IV: Unexpected & Undesired
TA V/S ENVIRONMENT IMPACT ANALYSIS (EIA)
TA
•Concerns ‘technology’.
•focuses on problems (e.g.,
alternative energy choices) or
policies
•Performance of TA to get at
those risks.
•Less Quantitative
•Not having well established
procedure
•Not compulsory
•Secondary data
EIA
•Concerns the potential effects
of technological developments
•Focuses on Risk assessment .
•Risk assessment in practice
tends to be narrower in focus
than does TA
•More quantitative
•Well established procedure
•Compulsory
•Impact horizon is shorter
•Primary data
Both address the future, in terms of the potential effects, of technological
changes, for the purpose of informing policy making
TA
•Attempts to inform policy
makers -implications of
various technological
options
•Looks at multiple
scenarios, benefit/cost
analysis, forecasts,
environmental impacts,
social impacts, etc
•Is usually performed by a
government agency
• Analysis of alternative
options also included for the
policy options.
Product Testing
•Attempts to improve
product design
•Looks at product
performance /function,
product usability, product
safety, marketing appeal,
etc.
•Is usually performed by a
manufacturer or testing labs
•Typically an experimental
approach.
•Eg: Consumer Preference Tests
for Toothpaste Flavors
SOCIAL IMPACT ANALYSIS
LIMITATIONS OF TA
Unpredictable
• No factual information about the future.
• Insufficient knowledge about impacts of technologies.
• Future impacts are very difficult to proven
• Impacts of new technologies cannot be easily predicted
until the technology is extensively developed and
widely used; on the other hand, control or change of a
technology is difficult as soon as it is widely used
Not Neutral
• Political lobbying and “Media coverage”
• Lack of public involvement
• Lacks of Open Public Debates [based on facts] 
The assessment of how great a risk is, and whether it is
worth taking, must always remain a matter of opinion.
Eg: the issue of the safety of nuclear power plants
Assignment : CASE STUDIES OF
TECHNOLOGY ASSESSMENT
Assignment : CASE STUDIES OF
TECHNOLOGY ASSESSMENT

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Introduction to Technology Assessments As tool for Forecasting and evaluation of Technologies

  • 1. INTRODUCTION TO TECHNOLOGY ASSESSMENT FUSTM 611 :Technological Futures, Forecasting and Assessment
  • 2. Introduction The study and evaluation of new technologies for the policy making process in Government level TA as a neutral, factual analysis of technological effects as an input in the decision-making process Analysing Technology and its effects and impacts upon society, the natural environment, and the organization it is deployed in. More knowledge is obtained before a decision is made on the development or deployment of a technology, the greater the chances that fewer mistakes will be there More than common sense knowledge!!!
  • 3. Definitions “TA is a scientific, interactive and communicative process, which aims to contribute to the formation of public and political opinion on societal aspects of science and technology" (Decker, 2005) It is the systematic identification, analysis and evaluation of the potential secondary impacts of technology in terms of its effect on social, cultural, political, economic and environmental systems and processes It is an attempt to establish an early warning system to detect, control, and direct technological changes and developments so as to maximize the public good while minimizing the public risk
  • 4. Changes due to New Technologies What are the effects of new technologies? Policy and Technology New technologies can create new problems e.g. cloning / privacy issues People and Technology Many problems are not foreseen since people use technologies in unpredictable manners e.g. hackers Behavioral Change   Cultural changes as a result of television 
  • 5. Impacts of Television demonstrates how television may have helped to break down community life.
  • 6. TA in the United States Congress “ It is, therefore, imperative that the Congress equip itself with new and effective means for securing competent, unbiased information concerning the effects, physical, economic, social, and political the applications of technology, and that such information be utilized whenever appropriate as one element in the legislative assessment of matters pending before the Congress.” (from a ‘Bill to establish an Office of Technology Assessment’)
  • 7. OBJECTIVES OF TA Technical or non-technical Criteria based assessment 1. Help policy makers to make decisions 2. Point out agreement and controversy 3. Uncover assumption and fears 4. Determine risks of various options
  • 8. Examples Java or .Net? Windows or Linux ? Mono rail or Metro ? Future of IoT in automobiles Policy for Drones in India Digital Healthcare Mobile Wallets Wearable Tech Nanotechnology , Hydrogen as Fuel Bring-Your- Own-Device (BYOD) 3D Printers Machine-to-Machine (M2M) Internet of Things (IoT)  SIRI , Driverless cars ,Flying cars........
  • 9. FEATURES OF TA • Public Understanding to Public Engagement  Provide optimum utility, and cause least damage to society.  “Impacted party” representation in studies need to look into the future
  • 10. TYPES OF TA Regulatory Gov to set limits on use of a particular technology (e.g.food additives) or legislate requirements (e.g., safety precautions); TA is to help the state insert control, in a reactive sense, over actual projected impacts Promotional Technological development is guided largely by market forces; but TA should help formulate suitable policies to promote technological innovation in the interest of national competitiveness or development: DIGITAL INDIA
  • 11. Constructive. Try to tune Technology development in response to social and political priorities; this suggests proactive state intervention (e.g., incentives to encourage alternative energy sources); ‘constructively’ redirect, the process of technological change Experimental or Participative. This extension of the constructive approach requires active intervention; a wide spectrum of parties at interest participate in testing technological alternatives and/or performing social experiments to improve the design of the innovation. :Linux ,OS
  • 12. GENERAL STEPS OF TA 1.Problem definition 2. Context description 3. Societal context forecast 4. Technology description 5. Technology forecast 6. Impact identification 7. Impact analysis 8. Impact evaluation 9. Policy analysis 10. Communication of results
  • 13. STEPS IN TASTEPS IN TA  Establish Criteria  In-Depth Technology & Barrier Assessment  Define Alternative Actions  Select Priority Technologies  Compile Technology & Market Information  Define Priority Sectors  Select Actions  Prepare Needs Assessment Report
  • 15. TYPES OF IMPACT ANALYSIS Type I: Expected & Desired Type II: Expected & Undesired Type III: Unexpected & Desired Type IV: Unexpected & Undesired
  • 16. TA V/S ENVIRONMENT IMPACT ANALYSIS (EIA) TA •Concerns ‘technology’. •focuses on problems (e.g., alternative energy choices) or policies •Performance of TA to get at those risks. •Less Quantitative •Not having well established procedure •Not compulsory •Secondary data EIA •Concerns the potential effects of technological developments •Focuses on Risk assessment . •Risk assessment in practice tends to be narrower in focus than does TA •More quantitative •Well established procedure •Compulsory •Impact horizon is shorter •Primary data Both address the future, in terms of the potential effects, of technological changes, for the purpose of informing policy making
  • 17. TA •Attempts to inform policy makers -implications of various technological options •Looks at multiple scenarios, benefit/cost analysis, forecasts, environmental impacts, social impacts, etc •Is usually performed by a government agency • Analysis of alternative options also included for the policy options. Product Testing •Attempts to improve product design •Looks at product performance /function, product usability, product safety, marketing appeal, etc. •Is usually performed by a manufacturer or testing labs •Typically an experimental approach. •Eg: Consumer Preference Tests for Toothpaste Flavors
  • 19. LIMITATIONS OF TA Unpredictable • No factual information about the future. • Insufficient knowledge about impacts of technologies. • Future impacts are very difficult to proven • Impacts of new technologies cannot be easily predicted until the technology is extensively developed and widely used; on the other hand, control or change of a technology is difficult as soon as it is widely used Not Neutral • Political lobbying and “Media coverage” • Lack of public involvement • Lacks of Open Public Debates [based on facts]  The assessment of how great a risk is, and whether it is worth taking, must always remain a matter of opinion. Eg: the issue of the safety of nuclear power plants
  • 20. Assignment : CASE STUDIES OF TECHNOLOGY ASSESSMENT Assignment : CASE STUDIES OF TECHNOLOGY ASSESSMENT