25th Anniversary Volume A Faustian Exchange: What is to be human in the era of Ubiquitous Technology?


, Volume 28, Issue 3, pp 277-287

First online:

Toward mutual dependency between empathy and technology

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Technology explosion induced by information explosion will eventually change artifacts into intelligent autonomous agents consisting of surrogates and mediators from which humans can receive services without special training. Four potential problems might arise as a result of the paradigm shift: technology abuse, responsibility flaw, moral in crisis, and overdependence on artifacts. Although the first and second might be resolved in principle by introduction of public mediators, the rest seems beyond technical solution. Under the circumstances, a reasonable goal might be to create a mutual dependency between empathy and technology: Using technology to help people cultivate empathy among people, so empathy in the society may allow people to help each other to recover from disasters beyond the scope of the assumption underlying the society of mediators. I highlight an immersive collaborative interaction environment for helping people share first-person view and its application to building empathic agents.


Technology abuse Responsibility flaw Moral in crisis Overdependence on artifacts Empathy Sharing hypothesis Empathic agents Teaching by indwelling Learning by mimicking