University of Florida engineers are researching how technology is impacting marginalized communities

University of Florida engineers are researching how technology is impacting marginalized communities
Published: Aug. 2, 2022 at 6:30 AM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - University engineers received a received a 7.5 million dollar grant from the National Science Federation.

University of Florida engineers plan to use the money to make technology more inclusive in a 5 year project.

Researchers say groups like the poor, elderly, disabled and children are all marginalized by current technology including the use of smart phones and video conferencing.

For example, one of the issues they saw, was the move to virtual courtrooms during the pandemic.

Kevin Butler is the principal investigator on the project and a professor at UF.

He said even though the move was meant to be convenient, people without access to zoom and those that could only call in to the courtroom, lost their cases.

To find a fix, Butler said they will look at the experiences of students with diverse backgrounds and knowledge.

“Our students will form the basis of this new generation of computing professionals who have these design principles in mind and are able to think about how to design beyond the default persona when they develop systems of their own” said Butler.

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