Technology can provide new opportunities for older people and people with disabilities to participate in activities at home and in society, says Malmö University professor Anders Kottorp.

Although it has promising potential, he also notes that the role of technology may also create obstacles to participation, especially when it becomes the only solution for engagement.

On December 11, Kottorp will be discussing the topic of machine consciousness in everyday life along with Computer Science PhD student Lars Holmberg.

“I hope that the discussion will challenge me to see bigger and better linkages and patterns that go beyond my own research, and also provide a critical discussion that can drive our shared knowledge even further.”

Kottorp is especially interested in technology use among older people. His research focusses on the experiences of people with different illnesses or disabilities, looking at how they can utilise technology in their everyday lives, and what limitations and possibilities this entails.

“The role of technology when it comes to health is crucial, both in relation to accessibility to healthcare, but also in relation to self-management of health,” he says.

Holmberg’s research also concentrates on the interaction between humans and technology, but from a computer engineering and interaction design perspective.

The two will present their topics at ‘An Academic Quarter’, the University’s popular lecture series where researchers get 15 minutes to present their work in a short and understandable way. The conversation will be mediated by Carljohan Orre, lecturer and researcher at the Department of Computer Science and Media Technology. 

“I think that having this kind of ongoing dialogue with society is important to validate the research being conducted at Malmö University. Making knowledge accessible is crucial for a university that matters,” says Kottorp. 

Text: Maya Acharya