Take some time to watch an interesting video, Are We Becoming Bots, presented by tech ethicist David Ryan Polgar. In his video Polgar describes how in today’s digital age, each person is connected to many, many other people. Too many connections can lead individuals to send “botified” responses — meaning that we sometimes behave more like robots and less like people. “Botified” behavior occurs because of the digital world challenges that arise when we try to accommodate way too many online connections. Continue reading
In her presentation Professor Turkle illustrates several of the most compelling issues from her recent book, Alone Together. She points out that technology may give us an illusion of togetherness with others, but she challenges us to understand that digital connectedness is not a substitute for person-to-person interaction.
- Are we hiding from each other even as we are connected?
- With fewer face-to-face conversations with one another are we less able to learn how to have conversations with ourselves?
- Do feelings that no one is really listening to us make us want to spend more time with machines that make us feel like these devices are listening to us?
- Are people increasingly willing to settle for the pretend empathy of devices and robots?
Check out this cool graphic from the Pew Internet and American Life Project.
These graphs (click on the image to go to a larger picture at the Pew site) depict the various ways teens communicate. Notice how low e-mail ranks among the electronic forms of communication that today’s teens use. The data come from a survey of teens age 12 – 17 conducted as a part of the research for Pew’s report, Teens and Mobile Phones.
From the Pew Website
The graphic below shows daily use of a variety of communication technologies – and suggests that while text messaging as a daily activity for teens has grown astronomically over the past three years, other communicative technologies have remained relatively stable or have declined slightly, suggesting that the increase in texting has layered on top of the other modes of communication that teens employ.
Thanks to Pew for reminding me of this research via Twitter (@PewInternet).