Schmidt, C.T.A. AI & Soc (2011) 26: 371. doi:10.1007/s00146-011-0320-z
Many have bowed before the recently acquired powers of ‘new technologies’. However, in the shift from tekhnē to tekhnologia, it seems we have lost human values. These values are communicative in nature as technological progress has placed barriers like distance, web pages and ‘miscellaneous extras’ between individuals. Certain values, like the interpersonal pleasures of rendering service, have been lost as their domain of predilection has for many become fully commercially oriented, dominated by the cadence of profitability. Though the popular cultures of the artificial have surged forth to deliver us from the twentieth century, they have enabled some very superfluous dreaming—Man has succumbed to the Godly role of simulating himself and creating other beings. Communication is replaced by machines, services are rendered via many automated devices, procreation has entered the public sphere, robots and entertainment agents educate our youth and mesmerising screen-integrating ‘forms of intelligence’ even think for us. As such, this so-called culture threatens the very values Man constructed in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries to guide himself into the future. But what if the phenomena mentioned just reflect our new values? The author presents an investigation into this cultural shift, its impact on human practices with regards the mind and the body and evokes some pros and cons of generally accepting the ‘Culture of the Artificial’.