Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Informatics and the Challenge of Determinism

Version 1 : Received: 22 July 2020 / Approved: 22 July 2020 / Online: 22 July 2020 (14:07:18 CEST)

How to cite: Moore, P.; Pham, H. Informatics and the Challenge of Determinism. Preprints 2020, 2020070530. Moore, P.; Pham, H. Informatics and the Challenge of Determinism. Preprints 2020, 2020070530.


Motivation: there is a paradox at the heart of informatics where practical implementation generally fails to understand the socio-technical impact of novel technologies and disruptive innovation when adopted in `real-world’ systems. This phenomenon, termed technological determinism, is manifested in a time-lag between the adoption of novel technologies and an understanding of the underlying theory which develops following research into their adoption. Methods: we consider informatics theory as it relates to: social informatics and how humans’ function in society, the relationship between society and technology, information systems, information systems design, and human-computer interactions. The challenges posed by novel technologies and disruptive innovation are considered as they relate to information systems and information systems design. Open research questions with directions for future research are discussed with an introduction to and our proposed approach to socio-technical information system design. Significance: we conclude that the adoption of disruptive innovation presents both opportunities and threats for all stakeholders in computerised systems. However, determinism is a topic requiring research to generate a suitable level of understanding and technological determinism remains a significant challenge.


Informatics; Social Informatics; Information Systems; Information System Design; Disruptive Innovation; Technological Determinism; Software Life Cycle


Computer Science and Mathematics, Information Systems

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