Encoding Empathy in Technology

By Sachin Malhan

So when do we start holding this incredible power, and those who wield it, accountable for the preservation of our most cherished human values such as respect, equality and empathy? This is not a new question. It has been the muse of many an artist, writer, scientist and philosopher.

We brought together a group of technologists, teachers, social entrepreneurs and business entrepreneurs at the Ashoka Future Forum to explore the role of empathy in technology.

Though technology itself can do much to increase societal empathy (virtual reality to understand the lives of others, storytelling, and more) we were careful not to lose ourselves in the popular “technology will solve all of our problems” narrative, and miss an opportunity to explore deeper issues such as the very intent, purposes and design of technology.