Posthumanism – The robot perspective

Last night I enjoyed my first experience of Togethertube with my fellow students. It was fun to have conversations during the films even if it did seem a little odd to begin with.   On initial reflection, I wondered if Togethertube is what the popular reality TV show Gogglebox (Big Brother style observations of families simply watching TV) will mutate into after exposure to large doses of technology.

The clip entitled ‘Address is approximate’ had me considering posthmanism from the perspective of a robot, or perhaps the machine half of the human-machine hybrid as described by Miller (2011). I previously posted about recent technological developments having digital personas (Siri, Cortana and Alexa) and the push for machine to have life like qualities such as personalities, voices, names etc. What if it was possible for the machine to become so advanced, or become so lifelike, that they began to crave the human form in the way that humans crave the digital?

The following clip was taken from the cult sci-fi series ‘Red Dwarf’. Set 3 million years into deep space and long after the extinction of the human race, the crew of Red Dwarf consists of a human, a hologram, a human evolved from a cat and a mechanoid robot who, over time, breaks his original programming to achieve human qualities.

 

It again has me wondering if technology will ever have limits. Will scenes such as the one above become the cultural norm? A hybrid society of humans and machines?


References

Miller, V. (2011). The body and Information Technology. In Understanding digital culture (London, Sage): pp. 207-223.

 

My initial thoughts

Having played around with IFTTT and my WordPress site I once again find myself amazed at the interoperability of technologies and the intertwining of web based services. It is fascinating to think that at some point in time humans had the capacity to invent the computer and microprocessor that nowadays can surpass the physical and cognitive ability of its inventors.

I am working through the core readings for Block 1 of Education and Digital Cultures and have frequently paused to consider a life without technology.  At the ripe old age of 30 I can remember the days when mobile phones were not every day commodities and to get in touch with my friends I had to walk round to their house and knock of their front door. In what seems like such a short space of time it is almost impossible to comprehend how people functioned without the technology that we now take for granted.

It is everywhere.

It is provides entertainment, education and information. It is influencing how we shop, travel, work, think, exercise, bank, communicate, remember, create, and navigate. If electricity was to disappear would it be the end of the world as we know it? I’m not sure that we would know where to start.

It is almost ironic that some of the most recent advancements in technology have shifted away from an input/output methodology towards a digital persona such as Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana or Amazon’s Alexa. Are we looking to push technological advancement to new limits but save face by giving computers names, voices and personalities? This, perhaps, seems like the human race clinging on to the seemingly fading idea that “man is better than machine”.