The Robotic Moment

David Smith ("Ludens") has a thought-provoking piece on his Preoccupations blog. It’s about Sherry Turkle and her views on what she calls "the Robotic Moment" – how the growing encounters that we humans have with cybernetic devices are changing our worldview.
 
Smith kicks off the piece with an extract from Turkle’s 2006 article for Edge. I remember it well; she has a knack of being able to point to something that is simultaneously simple and profound. I have a copy of Turkle’s book Life on the Screen in my library, and it is stll very good, even though it is now 10 years since it was published. As the blurb says, she explores not only what the computer does for us, but what it does to us. Methinks I should put her new book Evocative Objects onto the wish-list. 
 
While I’m on the subject of human-computer interaction (HCI), I should perhaps just mention an even older book by Brenda Laurel: Computers as Theatre, published in 1991. Laurel introduced the idea that effective HCI design should be like effective theatre and drama, engaging the user directly in an experience involving both thought and emotion. At the time, her ideas seemed way out, but now, technology and HCI design has caught up with her.

About Geoff Coupe

I'm a British citizen, although I have lived and worked in the Netherlands since 1983. I came here on a three year assignment, but fell in love with the country, and one Dutchman in particular, and so have stayed here ever since. On the 13th December 2006 I also became a Dutch citizen.
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