Elise Belanger 0:05 Hello, I'm Elise Belanger, and I'm from Cohort X. Today I'm talking to Rebecca Gruenberg, who is a junior Computer Science major about her work with Cohort IX's Envision 2040 project, Envision 2040 imagines how the world would look in 20 years with a special focus on diversity, inclusion, technology and human interaction with technology. So, Rebecca, why is Envision 2040 so important?
Rebecca Gruenburg 0:28 Yeah, well, you know, the world is becoming increasingly more technologically focused, you know, at really an exponential pace. But that means that there's going to be a lot more changes and much shorter amount of time. So our Envision 2040 project is really meant to address how you can navigate, you know, these copious amounts of change, and what the future might look like. So we can better prepare ourselves for it. Um, you know, we can't, you know, see the future, we can't tell the future. But we can look at current trends and progressions in order to best understand the direction that we're going, as individuals and as a society in this digital age.
Elise Belanger 1:03 Great. So what insights have you gotten from exploring this topic?
Rebecca Gruenburg 1:09 Yeah, well, I worked on the embracing inclusion lens of our project, which is really just about discovering those demographic changes and trends going towards 2040. Especially, you know, when the United States specifically becomes a much more diverse nation, which means we really need to be creating more engaging and inclusive workplaces. But more specifically, I worked on an article about algorithmic bias, and how it really promotes a lot of prejudice. And stereotypes, I was really surprised about how pervasive that can be, especially within, you know, different search engines, considering that searches are optimized for the user. And that can really be an issue when it comes to those, you know, targeting results, which start to display a lot of bias and discrimination. So really being mindful about, you know, searches in the expected audience. And then those their biases is really important. And it's really an insight that has to be kept in mind as tech gets more and more advanced. And as the world gets more and more diverse.
Elise Belanger 2:06 Great. So what are you doing personally, to prepare for the future?
Rebecca Gruenburg 2:12 Yeah, the key thing that I'm really doing to prepare for the future is working on recognizing you know, key patterns and trends. And then working on mastering or at least trying to stay up to date on you know, all these new forms of technology that can that started, you know, coming out or just becoming more mainstream. The book "Thinking in the Future Tense", by Jennifer James has some really great insights on how to prepare your mind and change your habits, specifically as an individual to get the most out of the present. So I definitely would recommend that book. But ultimately, just really learning to recognize trends in technology, and diversity and the way we interact with one another will really be key and understanding, you know, short term and long term changes. Staying up to date on technology, then, of course, helps me one as a computer science major, you know, understand relevant stuff in my own field and industry, but then also better understand what the future of work and our personal lives look like going forward.
Elise Belanger 3:12 That's great. I think I'm gonna check out that book. So thank you for speaking with us today.
Rebecca Gruenburg 3:13 Yeah, of course. Thank you.