Meeting Summary: The last few years have seen researchers take diverse approaches to the study of technology. This work broaches new ideas, emphasizing complementarity over substitutability, propagating effects, network heterogeneity, latent relationships, and diversity of output over quantity. Yet in expanding the scope of inquiry, these efforts, in different ways, are bumping up against an issue central to the study of technology – how does one conceive of and model its structure?
In this workshop, we will bring together experts with different views of the problem. Spurred by new data, an urgency to understand the societal impacts of technology, and a borrowing of methods across disciplines, researchers are exploring new models of technology and advancing earlier ones in new ways. Collectively, these approaches make inroads into what may turn out to be richer theoretical frameworks to describe and understand the structure of technology, with parallels that suggest a deep theory of technology lies ahead. In this workshop we take stock of these new approaches. Participants will present state-of-the-art research, and share perspectives on directions for future efforts. We will consider what is being learned from these new efforts, what questions remain, and what needs researchers will have going forward.