I'm a PhD candidate writing my dissertation on the work of emergence between society and the autonomous taxi. I spent 18 months in Boston conducting fieldwork gathering all kinds of data. This included interviews, surveys, observations, going to meetings, working out of archives, and gathering media spanning Terms of Service contracts, public policy statements, news coverage, television and film references to better understand the different images, sensibilities, and agendas swirling about public discourse in the name of autonomous technology.
I conceptualize broadly the 'work' of emergence as both a productive and destructive phenomena. I track it throughout history to get a sense of what this work has looked like previously and use that to better understand the trade-offs of emerging technology today. When new technology emerges it both creates a new ways of doing something and displaces or destroys networks, infrastructures, and sources of income bound up in the system that's being replaced. The 'move fast and break things' approach becomes a problem when the things we break are the people, networks, and dependencies we didn't know new technology was replacing. I open up what that transition looks like in all its messyness so we can design technology's emergence more responsibly.