One of the most important issues we faced in our conversation is the idea of something that’s artificial being “non-genuine” and vice-versa, where we argued if anything genuine can be artificial and man-made; in this case, not only the idea of a friend on our phone that we sit down and talk to (Replica) but also the idea that technology can be of use to help severely disabled citizens around the world to, in a certain sense, re-integrate themselves into society; to work jobs, raise families, and life a fulfilling life, as seen in this video. It certainly highlights the paradigm shift that society has undergone regarding technology, as, in the audio recording, Justin astutely points out how, a century ago, books and newspaper were seen through a similar lens as we view technology; as antisocial trivialities that keep us from having wholesome, social interaction. However, he also brings up the very valid point of how artificial activities can still be healthy and wholesome (e.g a conversation with a therapist), and how, in 100 years, perhaps we’ll also view computers as educational, as we view books today. On the whole, we arrived the consensus that the idea of technology as a means to explore ourselves is a very complex issue that spans multiple different topics; be it something as seemingly trivial and small as the idea of a self-adapting and relatively aware software we can install on our phone and have a conversation with (Replika) or helping people with major disabilities lead a happy life (as seen in the video). This is, of course, not even getting into the idea of the ethics of such technology being put into the hands of everyday people seems far away and strange, all things considered.
I took a single, very important quote from the video:
“I became fascinated with the idea of using technology to help the severely disabled around the world.”
To end this, I would like to leave you with a question:
How can you see technology as helping you understand yourself?