Smart technology grants us unprecedented, immediate access to knowledge and to each other-a ubiquitous and seamless presence in everyday life. But is there a downside to all of this connectivity? It's been said that smart technology creates dependency on devices, narrows our world to echo chambers, and impairs cognitive skills through shortcuts and distraction. Are smart tech devices guiding so much of our decision making that we are losing autonomy without even realizing it? Or are these concerns an overstatement of the negative effects of high-tech consumption?
Genevieve Bell is an Intel Fellow and vice president of the Corporate Strategy Office at Intel Corporation. She leads a team of social scientists, interaction designers, human factors engineers and computer scientists focused on people's needs and desires to help shape new Intel products and technologies. An accomplished anthropologist, researcher, and author, she has been granted a number of patents for consumer electronics innovations. Bell is a highly regarded industry expert and frequent commentator on the intersection of culture and technology, featured in Wired, Forbes, Atlantic, Wall Street Journal and New York Times. She was recognized as one of the “100 Most Creative People in Business” by Fast Company, inducted into the Women in Technology International Hall of Fame, and honored as the 2013 Woman of Vision for Leadership by the Anita Borg Institute. With Paul Dourish, she authored Divining a Digital Future (2011).
Nicholas Carr writes about technology and culture. He is the author of the acclaimed new book The Glass Cage: Automation and Us (2014), which examines the personal and social consequences of our ever growing dependency on computers. His previous work, The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains (2011), was a Pulitzer Prize finalist and a New York Times bestseller. A former columnist for the Guardian, Carr writes the popular blog Rough Type and has written for The Atlantic, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Wired, Nature, MIT Technology Review, and other periodicals. His essays, including “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” and “The Great Forgetting,” have been collected in several anthologies. Previously, Carr was executive editor of the Harvard Business Review, as well as a member of the Encyclopedia Britannica’s editorial board of advisors and the steering board of the World Economic Forum’s cloud computing project.
Andrew Keen is the author of three books: “Cult of the Amateur,” “Digital Vertigo,” and “The Internet Is Not The Answer,” which the London Sunday Times acclaimed as a “powerful, frightening read” and the Washington Post called “an enormously useful primer for those of us concerned that online life isn’t as shiny as our digital avatars would like us to believe.”
David Weinberger is a senior researcher at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard, where he previously served as co-director of the Library Innovation Lab and led its Interoperability Initiative. He is currently a fellow at the Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center for Media, Politics, and Public Policy. His most recent book, Too Big to Know: Rethinking Knowledge Now That the Facts Aren't the Facts, Experts Are Everywhere, and the Smartest Person in the Room Is the Room (2014), won two international Best Book of the Year awards. He has been published by Wired, Harvard Business Review, Scientific American, New York Times, and elsewhere. Additionally, Weinberger advised three U.S. presidential campaigns on Internet issues and was a Franklin Fellow at the U.S. State Department. Called a "marketing guru" by Wall Street Journal, he was previously a high tech marketing VP and strategic marketing consultant, a dot-com entrepreneur, and now serves on the advisory boards of several tech companies.