IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2019 - 84

Last Word
Christine Perakslis

rust is often understood to be a mental
state, or a complex
attitude, constructe d of a t r ipa r t ite
relationship involving trustor(s),
trustee(s), and actions/behaviors,
with each relevant for the result of a
goal. In this issue of T&S Magazine,
our community explored well technologies set against the backdrop
of the contextual nature of trust, as
well as the impact of technologies on
trust construction and trust violation.
Taking into account trust in the
environment and in the infrastructure (e.g., the sociotechnical architectures), our community delved
into a variety of trust realms [1], [3].
We acknowledged tensions when
actors confront high-stakes events
w ithin adverse cond itions. We
wrestled, once again, with the situational complexities around weaponized technologies that terminate
hostile targets. We explored how
human and non-human actors could
strengthen trustworthy decisionmaking taking into account levels
of certainty. We also looked to antifragility systems; we learned how
microgrids can be used to rescue
victims in life-threating environs, so
that trustees can marvelously expedite disaster relief efforts.
Our community examined well
how technologies increasingly impact
the construction of trust. We looked

T

Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/MTS.2019.2948445
Date of current version: 2 December 2019

84

To Trust or
Not to Trust?
The Complexities of
Sociotechnical Architectures
w h o) i s , a nd w ill be, wor thy of
trust - and at what levels. Thus,
we perceive: trust emergence [1],
[3] becomes far more complex.
Because such social constructs as
trust remain essential for a robust
society, our community must remain committed to exploring such
consequences of technology.

to artificial swarm robots to improve
the modulation of idea f low for
prosocial behavior in social networks. We considered time scarcity;
we must sometimes forgo the iterated interactions that so often build
trust; swift trust [2] can become obligatory. We also exposed technologies utilized for nefarious purposes.
Social trust is violated when surveillance technologies fuel clandestine
campaigns to construct oppressive
systems used to control (and punish) members of society. Social trust
can also be eroded when trustabusing actors manipulate reality
with deepfake videos, or if we carelessly relinquish human aspects of
caring, thinking, feeling, and dying
to non-human actors. We pondered:
How will these affect our decisions
to trust?
A s t r ustor s, we a re t raver s ing minef ields to a scer t a in the
tr ustworthiness of human and
nonhuman trustees. We work to
define the actions/behaviors in rapidly emerging technological spheres
in order to a scer t a in wha t (a nd

IEEE TECHNOLOGY AND SOCIETY MAGAZINE

Author Information
Christine Perakslis is Associate Professor in the MBA Program, College
of Management, Johnson & Wales
University, Providence, RI. Email:
christine.perakslis@jwu.edu.

References
[1] J. Lewis and A. Wiegert, " Trust as a
social reality," Social Forces, vol. 63, no. 4,
pp. 967-985, 1985; https://doi.org/10.1093/
sf/63.4.967.
[2] D. Meyerson, K. Weick, and R. Kramer,
Swift Trust and Temporary Groups.
Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 1996.
[3] D. Rousseau, S. Sitkin, R. Burt, and
C. Camerer, "Not so different after all:
A cross-discipline view of trust," Academy of Management Rev., vol. 23, no. 3,
pp. 394-404, 1998; https://doi.org/10.5465/
amr.1998.926617.

∕

DECEMBER 2019


https://doi.org/10.1093/sf/63.4.967 https://doi.org/10.1093/sf/63.4.967 https://journals.aom.org/doi/10.5465/amr.1998.926617 https://journals.aom.org/doi/10.5465/amr.1998.926617

IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2019

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