Towards Responsible Research and Innovation: An Exploration of Well-being and Technology

April 21, 2022  • Kristine Gloria & Aspen Digital

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Social media platforms, virtual assistants, and other digital technologies affect human connection, emotion, agency, and identity. Some scientific evidence suggests there are correlations between social media usage and negative subjective well-being; other research shows that positive effects are also possible. But there are big questions that remain unanswered, including: 1) the degree to which digital technologies impact well-being; 2) the scale (or volume) of the impact; and 3) the populations most vulnerable to it.

To address this evolving landscape, Aspen Digital hosted a series of workshops that brought together experts from various disciplines and domains with representatives from across the tech industry to critically examine responsible research and innovation in the context of well-being. The resulting report is a synthesis of these workshops, landscape research, and one-on-one discussions. It highlights the challenges and opportunities for various stakeholders, especially the tech sector, in pursuing responsible research and innovation centered on achieving a better understanding of the influence technology has on our well-being.