Are you afraid of technology? The technology advancement is so forward that new technology allows us to capture our life in every detail, intertwining the real and the virtual world. Not only do we now sustain a technology addiction, it looks like we are becoming more machine than human beings. We already see "technology zombies" but what will happen when wearable technology will be the norm?
Google Glass is the new smartphone with camera on the retina, that listens to spoken commands and adds a permanent, visual layer to reality. This technology evolution is only the tip of the iceberg. A new generation of omnipresent cameras is creeping into everyday life and gnaws at our perception of reality.
What is the influence of this technology of the future on the human experience, on feelings and memories, or on our mutual relationships? What is the limit when the future technology will be wearable on your own body at all times? Will intelligent technology take over more and more of our tasks? Or will we ourselves become machines?
New technologies give us the possibility to record every second of our lives and to store it for eternity.
The new generation of computer-controlled mini-cameras is now wearable on our bodies, taking automatically a picture every 3 seconds, and cannot be switched off. The techno-optimists call this form of archiving their existence: ‘Lifelogging’, and we can expect the technology business to evolve even further, possibly merging with our bodies. The perfect visual memory lies at hand’s reach and is even delivered with a search button. Is it a possibility that the image of reality will slowly become more real than the reality itself? Or is it already pointless to still make this distinction?
The technology history already showed us that the technology evolution goes so fast, now trends become obsolete in a matter of months.
The digital video storage is getting cheaper and legislation always lags behind the development of new technology.
And while new medicines have to go through endless testing before being put on the market, the technology outside the body has no limit and we can only find out the consequences it will have on us along the way.
Backlight explores, looks ahead through the eyes of the camera at reality and virtuality, and investigates how man and machine gradually become intertwined. Should we be scared of technology? How far is technology changing our life? Is technology ruining the society?
Featuring: Gordon Bell, author of Total Recall, internet pioneer, Microsoft senior researcher and investor, Nick Bostrom, philosopher and mathematician, founder of The Future of Humanity Institute at Oxford University, and Ben Hammersley, editor-in-chief of Wired UK; Daphne Horn, Google Glass Explorer and photographer, Vili Lehdonvirta, sociologist, Oxford Internet Institute and Jim Gemmell, software developer, co-author Total Recall.
Originally broadcasted by VPRO in 2013.
© VPRO Backlight October 2013
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Director: Bregtje van der Haak
Research: Chris Vijn
Producer: Marie Schutgens
Editor: Frank Wiering, Henneke Hagen
Original title: The Tech Man
English, French and Spanish subtitles: Ericsson.
French and Spanish subtitles are co-funded by European Union.