Has technology rewired our brains, making us less human as a result? Tom Chatfield is a leading thinker on digital culture, is an enthusiastic downloader of the latest apps, and an early adopter of anything small and shiny that promises to smooth his path through life. But Tom can’t help feeling a little anxious about the hold that new technology has on his life.
Plato felt much the same, concerned that the new-fangled concept of writing might destroy the ability of the Ancient Greeks to memorise vast swathes of human knowledge. Do car sat-navs destroy our innate sense of direction? Do search engines displace our store of general knowledge?
With the help of the Economist’s Digital Editor, Tom Standage and cybernetics expert, Kevin Warwick, Tom looks toward a future when the communication and computing power of our smartphones is inserted directly into our nervous systems. With superfast thought processes and a battery of new senses will we feel upgraded or out of control, superhuman or inhuman?
Click here to listen to their musings. It will be followed up by a long essay on technology, anxiety and what tech means for the mind next week- watch this space.
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Dr Tom Chatfield is a British author of six bestselling books, broadcaster and tech philosopher. He has advised many of the world’s leading technology firms, and is currently a Visiting Associate at the Oxford Internet Institute. The latest edition of his book “Netymology: a linguistic celebration of the digital world” was published by Quercus US on 2nd August 2016.
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