Advancing the Value of Ethnography

Breaking the Language Barrier: India, The Digital Revolution and Human Agency


Cite this article:

2019 EPIC Proceedings, ISSN 1559-8918,

PechaKucha Presentation

India is pioneering the future of low and illiterate populations and as a result changing the course of AI, human agency and how we empower the next connected billion+. In a country with such a complex linguistic and demographic landscape the challenges are mammoth. However, with the sudden cheap and easy access to the internet, mobile technology is proving to be the vehicle for human agency. It is proving to be the catalyst and throwing up new tools especially for those poorly equipped to adopt. As an ethnographer I’m always struck with how the user behaves, adapts and changes to magical new tools. We go from a sense of wonder to a new form of tech literacy that will quickly surpass what they were ever able to do before. The questions posed are: How can technology reframe intention for lower literate populations? What new tools can be made available for the vernacular language users to help them express? Will these new emerging tools impact on how we interact in the future as well.