Prag Khanna of the New America Foundation has written a fascinating article regarding the future of humans and technology. Khanna writes, “One 26-year-old says more than half his memories come from his online life. A Japanese man marries a voluptuous digital avatar. A corporate laboratory implants memories in 7-year-olds, convincing them they swam with dolphins. In their minds, they even got wet. Even for our greatest philosopher of the surreal, Sigmund Freud, reality remained rooted in the personal and social. A century on, however, technology is granting us the ability to alter our perception of reality, construct multiple representations of ourselves like avatars, and have relationships with artificial agents like robots. All of these are simultaneously expanding and destabilizing our sense of self.”

Khanna continues, “Technology is a ‘second self,’ as MIT professor Sherry Turkle has explained: a new interface between us and others. Debates over whether social technologies cause ‘detachment’ from reality miss the point that we are entering a new hybrid reality in which assumptions about authenticity are fundamentally challenged: Who is real? What is the line between physical and virtual? Do we each get to live our own version of the truth?”

Read more here.

Image: Courtesy Flickr/ williamcromar