Genevieve Bell, Intel’s Director of Interaction and Experience Research, studies how people use technology through an anthropological lens. Through her work, Dr. Bell not only assists Intel’s Product Development Department, but helps Intel in its goal for growth beyond chip production.
Q. Why did Intel need an anthropologist, and an anthropologist need Intel?
A. I left a tenure track job at Stanford 16 years ago because I thought the digital revolution would change things like almost nothing before in history; I didn’t want it to be all decided by engineers.
Q. Aren’t engineers what it’s all about?
A. Tech companies, in their many guises, always tell stories about the future of the world. You can see this 150 years ago, with state-sponsored events like the Crystal Palace Exhibition. One-third of the population of England went to see the Crystal Palace. They wanted to see what it meant to be English, a citizen of the Commonwealth and a citizen of the future.
Q. So when things change, people start looking for clues about themselves?
A. That’s right. By the time you get to the Columbian Exhibition they are talking about the nation, but they talk about efficiency, and the home of the future.
Read the full interview or this article to learn more about Genevieve Bell. To hear Dr. Bell discuss her work and our relations as humans with technology, click play below.
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