do we really want and need to be smart?

public talk @ Human Entities – Culture in the Age of Semi-Autonomous Machines

Lecture Series organised by CADA in partnership with the Architecture Triennale Lisbon

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Emergent information and communication technologies (ICT), such as the so-called Internet of Things (IoT), constantly redefine the texture of our culture, society and lifestyle, raising a number of fundamental epistemic, normative and ethical issues, in a constant co-evolution. These technologies are constructed, named, offered, and ultimately regulated, according to and through specific techno-scientific imaginaries, here defined as collections of visual and verbal metaphors that are created and communicated both in the specialized literature and in the mass media for the public at large.

Wonder, power, control and urgency can be defined as standard imaginaries of techno-scientific innovation: the fundamental axes defining an ideal space in which the multifaceted vision of the IoT can be projected and analyzed, in terms of what we want (wonder), we can (power and control) and we need (urgency) to be smart. Within this ideal space, we will examine together a variety media available on the web and produced by some of the key actors of the IoT revolution.

This exploration leads to an open-ended reflection on the underlying aims and contradictions of the ICT enhancement, in relation to the possible decline of some of the fundamental attributes of our integrity and agency.

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