Sunday, May 12, 2024

Institute for People and Technology’s Ambitious Charting

Michael Best Begins New Role as Executive Director of IPaT

On August 1, Michael Best assumed the position of executive director of the Institute for People and Technology (IPaT) at Georgia Tech. He is the first Interdisciplinary Research Institute executive director with a primary faculty appointment in the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts. Best’s main goal is to build on IPaT’s greatest strength: putting people first in the institute’s name.

A Human-Centered Approach to Technological Innovations

Best recognizes IPaT as the heart and soul of Georgia Tech’s research enterprise, focusing on a human-centered approach to understanding the impact and potential of various technological innovations. The institute brings together experts from diverse fields such as humanities, policy, social sciences, design, architecture, ethics, and engineering. This multidisciplinary collaboration aims to address humanity’s challenges effectively, particularly in areas like responsible and sustainable artificial intelligence.

Addressing Global Challenges

Best believes that a global perspective and fieldwork are essential for IPaT’s future. He intends to expand the institute’s international footprint, drawing on his experience conducting research outside the United States. Best emphasizes the importance of understanding global challenges from a comprehensive perspective, as solving them requires a global outlook.

Retaining Appointments and Engaging Students

As the executive director of IPaT, Best continues to hold appointments as a professor in the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs and the School of Interactive Computing. He directs the Technologies and International Development Lab and actively engages students in field research, community partnerships, and civil society activities.

Broadening IPaT’s Focus

While IPaT has gained recognition for its work in health, assistive technologies, and smart cities, Best envisions expanding the institute’s focus to include human-centered approaches in various technological domains. This expansion may encompass inclusivity, sustainability, entertainment, the arts, and intersections with political and social justice issues. IPaT will collaborate with stakeholders, faculty, and staff to identify new challenges and potential directions in the coming months.

A Living Organization

IPaT has always been an evolving institution, continually reevaluating and adjusting its direction. Best views IPaT as a living organization that embraces new questions and redefines its research challenges to stay at the forefront of innovation. This research community aims to create impactful solutions and proactively address emerging societal issues.

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Alex Chen is a tech blogger based in Silicon Valley. He loves writing about the latest trends in the industry and sharing his insights with his readers. With years of experience in the field, Alex has built a loyal following of tech enthusiasts who appreciate his informative and engaging content. When he's not writing, Alex enjoys experimenting with new tech gadgets and exploring the vibrant tech scene in the Bay Area.

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