Technology is more than an abstract concept.
is the essence of the world. When technology and humanity cross reflection, what is it?
The definition of this concept is a question we are asked often, by people who have little or no technical background. This is perhaps because:
• It’s a new concept that has not yet been clearly defined in our culture, language or social interactions;
• It seems so abstract that we don’t know where to start, but it’s hard to imagine how we could possibly understand it all without help from others, who may have had more time to study and learn about it than we have;
• We all benefit from examining everything in detail and learning about it from many different perspectives (for example, I could have never fully appreciated the importance of Ford’s Model T until I went to a museum and saw them for myself).
But this doesn’t mean there aren’t some important concepts at play here. The first is that when technology and humanity cross reflection, what does this mean? Who do you talk about when you talk about this? And why do we talk about this? Could you explain what you mean by “humans” here? Do you mean just humans as such (meaning just humans as individuals), or do you also include organizations such as governments and corporations too (and even the non-human)? What does “humanity” actually mean? And why do we need to define it so carefully – especially in relation to “technology” – given that technology itself is a very vague term and can be understood in different ways by different people? Why can’t one person say they were using “technology X & Y” while another person says they were using an “experienced human & technology Y & Z.” And where exactly did everyone start talking about technology/humanity crossing reflection in the first place? If we want to talk about what it means when humans cross reflections with technology then we need to define these concepts better.
A second concept related to this one is “crossing reflections with technology,” which tends to be misunderstood because it implies something more concrete than simply two separate systems interacting with each other. But once again: what exactly does one person think can be done if two systems interact with each other? Are governments/corporations/media going to integrate themselves into every single thing that goes on within every single system across
Technology shapes the way societies and people behave.
The topic of this first post is the relationship between technology and humanity, and how it is changing their lives. The answer to that question can be found in a few words: technology doesn’t replace people, it helps build people; people don’t replace technology, they are made by it.
A few years ago, there was a bit of an uproar when a group of start-ups started developing a new kind of humanoid robot. It was called “Baxter” and promised to help disabled people by enabling them to do their daily chores more easily, without having to be physically moved around the house; but one thing was missing: it couldn’t say anything. I asked some members of my team to think about how Baxter might sound in an interview situation; and the answer was pretty obvious: “I love you” — which is not exactly what you want from an intelligent conversation piece.
A similar thing happened last week when we were at Semantic Web Istanbul. The theme was “Technology as Ideology” and we ran into another problem: the barriers between different worlds seem insurmountable for most people using our technologies (and in fact there are many who don’t use them at all). We had a lot of great discussions about what makes each world tick — but the most frequent response from attendees was the same: “I don’t understand any of this stuff; I just use my phone!”
It turns out that until recently, this wasn’t true at all. In 1997, computers could only store text documents on floppy disks (that came with 75 MB or so). Even then they could only read those text files into hard disks (that came with 25 MB or so). And with CDs still being the norm for music sales, humans need software that can play back audio recordings…
The point is that we can see technologies like these as abstract concepts associated with advanced tools and systems used by businesses and end-users for convenience and automation of complex tasks — but they also shape the way societies and people behave, grow, evolve, and develop both within their own lives and in their relationshi
Technology can be a force for good or bad.
When technology and humanity cross reflection is a term used to describe the process of how society (or in this case, individuals) adapts to and changes technology. The idea of this concept is that to understand how humans adapt to technology, we need to understand how people themselves develop and use it. In order for us as a society, businesses and individuals, to change and evolve with technological advancements, we need to be able to understand ourselves better.
In the book “The Future of the Mind” by Thomas Kurzweil (or simply Kurzweil), he has written about his vision for the future: a world where machines will have artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities and humans will have human intelligence capabilities. He writes:
“The future will be a world where humans can think like machines, but where machines are not human-like in all respects.”
This is an incredibly exciting angle that goes beyond the simple argument that AI will replace us as they will become more intelligent than us— because they very well could be more intelligent than us! I think which humanity we are talking about here is less important than what they mean by “humans”— especially if they mean intelligent life on other planets or even in space. It is quite likely that intelligent life could evolve on such worlds much faster than what we can do here on Earth.
How technology affects humanity is complex.
A key question in the evolution of social systems is when technology and humanity cross reflection. The answer to this is not easy, but it is a necessary part of human evolution:
“The most obvious reason that our ancestors must have been able to cross-fertilize was that they were alive, and in touch with the world around them. They could see each other; they could talk to each other; and they had access to things we take for granted now: tools, weapons, fire, food and shelter.” (David Sloan Wilson)
Humans are not simply machines. They embody many different behaviors and skills that allow them to adapt and thrive in their environment. This includes the ability to understand what others are doing, making quick judgments about whether something is a good idea or bad, determining appropriate strategies for accomplishing tasks in a certain context, knowing when it’s time for sleep or eating or resting, feeling comfortable in new situations… But there are also complex mental processes at work which make humans unique among other species.
There are many ways technology and humanity cross paths.
As technology becomes more and more pervasive in our daily lives, it has become increasingly clear that technology is not just a tool to be used but also a tool to be used by people. A tool is useful when it provides some benefit to the user, or at least a way of getting some benefit from the use of a particular technology. Technology can be used for both positive and negative purposes:
But there is another side to this coin, equally important but less well-known. When technology and humanity cross reflection means that we change our behavior and interactions with one another because of new technologies (in particular digital technologies). This happens when we rely on digital technologies as part of everyday life, instead of taking them for granted. The result is that we become dependent on them, which means they can influence us in ways that bypass our conscious control.
This was the focus of Clifford Nass’s TED talk from 2015. He explained how his son had fallen in love with playing online games and how he had watched his son lose his mind after playing for hours at a time. It was this type of behavior that led Nass to conclude that “digital devices are fundamentally unsafe” as they replace human interaction with machines (the latter being something he particularly warned against).
Nass also warned about how children could become addicted to these games. This is why Nass pushes parents to monitor their children’s use of technology – even if they are not interested in gaming themselves – so they won’t have an unhealthy relationship with computers and the internet:
“I don’t want my son addicted to video games,” Nass says in the video above, speaking about a young man who asked him if he could take over his computer so he could play Fortnite, “because that’s what I did.” “I want my son not to get addicted.”
Conclusion: Technology is an integral part of humanity and will continue to be so.
It is always a pleasure to see such a well-written and thought-provoking post from everyone at Workato.com, and this one by Stephen Petronio certainly deserves the attention it has received. It is about the way technology might change our relationship with each other —
with each other.
The first thing that should be said is that I’m not going to try to tell you how it should go (though I must say I’m rather interested in reading some of your thoughts on how it might go). What I will say is that I think we are entering into an era where there may be no longer any real boundaries between people, and where what basically amounts to a medium between two people (at least when it comes down to communication) will be more than just a technology: it will be humanity itself.
So, what happens when technology meets humans? What happens when these two species meet? How does that affect us as individuals? And how does it affect them? In this post, Petronio takes a look at the way we used to talk about this sort of thing in the past, and then he moves on to discuss some recent developments in communication technology as well as trends that are likely heading our way over the next few years.