“Mirroring Sherry Turkle: a discussion on authenticity, humanity and technology” presented by Jefferies, Pitsillides, Maragiannis and Velonaki

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Session Title:

  • Mirroring Sherry Turkle: a discussion on authenticity, humanity and technology

Presentation Title:

  • Mirroring Sherry Turkle: a discussion on authenticity, humanity and technology

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Abstract:

  • Key words: alone together, dystopia, speculative futures, authenticity, robotics, electronic textiles and technological based arts, digital  identity; heritage; death, and visual arts

    “We expect more from technology and less from each other… Technology appeals to us most where we are most vulnerable..”   _Sherry Turkle

    This paper expresses a reflective approach to the themes and issues surrounding Sherry Turkle’s new book, Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other. This can be seen as the culmination of a trilogy of books concerned with human and computer relations and its implications for identity and psychology (The Second Self, 1984 and Life On the Screen, 1995). Turkle argues that, having already filtered companionship and relations through machines, we are now facing our own “robotic moment”. Real life interactions with flesh and blood people are becoming onerous and too stressful and untidy. Instead, we prefer to organise them through digital interfaces and ultimately even replace them with technological alternatives. In response to Turkle’s questions, we speculate: are we changing what it means to be human? Have we become over-reliant on technology to mediate human relations? Does social networking encourage us to become narcissistic and to regard others as merely problems to be managed, resources to be exploited? And do we, the creative community, have some responsibility in considering these ethical dilemmas and making technologies that respond to these questions? Juxtaposed with Turkle’s insights is a commentary on the work of the neuroscientist Susan Greenfield. Her research on the neuroscience of identity offers a biological interpretation of how the brain adapts to environment which suggests that Turkle’s question of what it means to be human is complexified further by unprecedented changes to identity itself.

    Full text (PDF) p. 247-250

     

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