Technology is increasingly being used to change people’s behavior. Such persuasive technologies can be understood as a cybernetic loop: data about the individual is collected and analyzed and, via feedback mechanisms, the technology exerts influence on the behavior of the individual. In practice, we see persuasive technology in various applications. This article discusses how persuasive technology can be responsibly implemented in a collective context, on the basis of two emerging practices: smart energy meters and fitness tracking. The cases reveal the tensions between corporate, commercial and individual interests. Due to datafication, a strong reduction is taking place in terms of what the smart meter defines as sustainable behavior and the fitness trackers understand to be healthy behavior. Each step in the process of technological persuasion (collecting, analyzing, providing feedback) presents its own challenges, which urges policy makers to reflect on preconditions for responsible persuasion.
|Translated title of the contribution||A technical nudge, but it what direction?|
|Publication status||Published - Oct 2016|