From Mashable: The Impending Social Consequences of Augmented Reality
By John Havens (@johnchavens)
“We tend to think about the future as something we don’t have control over. We need to create a future that we want to be a part of,” says Ramona Pringle, a faculty member at Ryerson University in Toronto, as well as host and producer of rdigitaLIFE, an online series that explores the relationships between humans and technology. She predicts that man and machine will inevitably merge on various levels, but insists that we need to discuss the ethics and culture of these advances over and above the technology itself.
While the idea of implanting technology in our bodies or wearing an AR-enabled contact lens tends to make most people uncomfortable, Pringle points out that we’re used to the idea of a nose job, a form of trading in our uniquely human attributes for “brand features” that reflect a specific perception of beauty. Again, these questions are not about technology, but of culture and context.
Within rdigitaLIFE, Pringle also researches artificial intelligence, specifically whether people could fall in love with inanimate objects, or robots. While this may seem far-fetched, ask yourself how much time you stare at your mobile screen, compared to the faces of your loved ones. And as a parent, have you found yourself telling your kids to turn off the TV while you’re sending a text or email? How will that behavior change when the virtual world permeates your vision and surroundings? Will there be a time when you program your preferences to avoid seeing loved ones altogether, if you’re busy or preoccupied?
It’s this cultural paradigm Pringle most wants to address. “It’s the responsibility of every citizen to be a part of this conversation involving technology,” she says. “You can’t wake up in 20 years and say, ‘I didn’t think this would happen.’”