The hypothesis of the University of Warwick’s Being Human Research Network notes that, “Human life is increasingly driven and mediated by technology and technological change with profound implications for human identity and behaviour.” Indeed, the way in which we express ‘what it means to be human’ occurs in close relationship to the technology of our age. As actors in this phenomenon we find ourselves constantly redefining who we are through the way in which we both use and understand the metaphors associated with latest technological advancements.
The symposium brought together researchers from law, sociology, philosophy, psychology, medicine and history from across Warwick campus interested in the question of robotics and digital culture and how this shapes our contemporary and future lives as human beings. What are the implications for human identity and behaviour? Indeed, one can argue that the way in which “being human” is now understood is closely related to the rapidly developing technologies of our age. As actors in this phenomenon we find ourselves constantly re-defining who we are through the way in which we engage with latest technological advancement. Social interactions have been deeply changed by the always-on instantaneous hyper connectivity afforded by cyberspace. Are we becoming caught in pixels? At the same time new and increasingly complex human-computer modalities are challenging traditional understandings of the relationship between human and non-human agents. These considerations provide a serious challenge to what we think it means to be human.
Buzzo, D. (2012, March). On the digital afterlife: Being human in the digital age. Presented at Being Human in the Information Age