Research Update

My last research nugget was on an article which offers more of a framework for my research rather than more substance. My hope is that the framework provided will allow me to break down my inquiry into the affect of digital technology on our essential biology. The article we read by Doug Engalbart, “Man-Computer Symbiosis” discusses humans use of tools and ‘artifacts’ using the H-LAM/T system. This breaks down the use of tools as a means to improve and enhance one’s own ability. The article I discussed in my last research nugget provides a framework for digital technology as a tool to enhance our abilities.

My inquiry will be aimed at discussing how digital technologies essentially change who we are by affecting our abilities and extending our capabilities. I plan on research yielding more and more examples to discuss, but I plan on discussing texting, spellcheck, Google, GPS, and more. The idea is that when we are in the presence or have access to a digital tool such as a phone, we are instantly able to converse with anyone on the planet who has the same and even nowadays see them face to face. When thinking about the way that we employ technology, we began to see something like this as an extension of ourselves. Which leaves me with a question, are we the same with technology than without it? The obvious answer is no but try to understand that I am not just merely looking at if there is a difference, but if technology makes us fundamentally different than from who we are without it. Leave me a comment and let me know what you think.

I will be using the idea of the Technological Singularity as context to my inquiry, which is the idea that at some point in time computers will surpass human intelligence and basically become their own being, their own species. It might sound like Science Fiction, which is where the idea comes from, but it is being discussed more and more everyday, not just as a reality, but as an inevitability. I have found this site which is not scholarly but has everything to do with the Singularity. It is a great starting point for any of you who are unfamiliar with the idea. There is also this very light-hearted video which gives a good introduction to the significance surrounding the Singularity, but be warned that this is one side of the spectrum on the issue, the other side of the spectrum is The Terminator…

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