Author Nicholas Carr in conversation with Google's Peter Norvig.
Introduction by INFORUM President Josh McHugh.
Carr writes: "Once I was a scuba diver in the sea of words. Now I zip along the surface like a guy on a Jet Ski," in his Atlantic Monthly cover story, "Is Google Making Us Stupid?"
He shares his theory on the Internet as the culprit against civilization's progress, making the case that the it has diminished our ability to think deeply.
A former executive editor of the Harvard Business Review, Nicholas Carr writes and speaks on technology, business, and culture. His intriguing 2003 Harvard Business Review article "IT Doesn't Matter," was an instant sensation, setting the stage for the global debate on the strategic value of information technology in business. His 2004 book, Does IT Matter? : Information Technology and the Corrosion of Competitive Advantage, published by Harvard Business School Press, was a bestseller and kept the worldwide business community discussing the role of computers and IT in business. His 2008 book, The Big Switch: Rewiring the World, from Edison to Google, examines the future of computing and its implications for business and society. The Wall Street Journal says The Big Switch is "destined to influence CEOs and the boards and investors that support them as companies grapple with the constant change of the digital age."
A prolific and nimble thought leader, Mr Carr has written more than a dozen articles and interviews for Harvard Business Review and writes regularly for the Financial Times, Strategy & Business and The Guardian. His articles have also appeared in the New York Times, MIT Sloan Management Review, Wired, Business 2.0, Boston Globe, Industry Standard, The Banker, Director, BusinessWeek Online as well as in his popular blog, Rough Type. He also edited The Digital Enterprise, a book of HBR writings on the Internet. Nick's newest book, The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains, examines the intellectual and social consequences of the Internet. It has received unprecedented international acclaim and has been reviewed in all major news publications.
Mr Carr has served as a commentator on CNBC, CNN, and other networks and has been a featured speaker worldwide at industry, educational, and government forums. In Spring 2008 CIO Insight named Carr's Does IT Matter?, one of the all-time "Top 15 Most Groundbreaking Management Books" and Ziff Davis included him as one of only a handful of IT management thought leaders on their "100 Most Influential People in IT" list. In 2007 eWeek named him one of the 100 most influential people in IT and in 2005, Optimize magazine named Carr one of the leading thinkers on information technology. Earlier in his career, Carr was a principal at Mercer Management Consulting. He holds a B.A. from Dartmouth College and an M.A., in English literature, from Harvard University.
Peter Norvig is a Fellow of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence and the Association for Computing Machinery, previously Director of Search Quality at Google.
Nicholas Carr, author of The Shallows, asserts that the kind of intensive, repetitive activity people engage in online encourages a culture of short attention spans and easy distraction. "There's no reward for the more attentive modes of thought," says Carr.
Author Nicholas Carr responds to a question about the broader societal effects of a culture rewired with short attention spans and an inability to think deeply. "We face a culture that is flatter, and not as vibrant," says Carr.
Will the future be void of great works of art and rich culture?