Staying Human in a High-Tech World
The smartphones we carry are more powerful than NASA’s entire computer system when it landed man on the moon. So it’s no surprise that we’re facing technology’s 24/7 pull on our attention and our very humanity. It’s easier to look down, than up; easier to fire off online comments than converse eye-to-eye; easier to let data drive our decisions than engage in deep thinking. Algorithms determine a wide array of information and how we use it, from what we see in our Facebook feeds to life-saving cancer treatment protocols to predicting the recidivism rates of criminals. Yet algorithms are written by programmers, so how do we keep in check the biases they inherently carry from their human authors? We’ll ponder the challenging boundaries between humanity and machines, as well as the gray areas we don’t yet fully understand. And along the way, we’ll celebrate the unexpected and sometimes enchanting ways technology improves our lives.