How will augmented reality change our relationship to machines?

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IMG_9868With the new augmented reality game Pokemon Go bringing AR into the mainstream in ways it never has before, Tom Chatfield argues that the divide between humans and machines might just be disappearing. But Chatfield doesn’t view AR as something negative and also argues that questions concerning how we interact with technology are nothing new. He cites Norbert Wiener’s 1963 book God and Golem in which Wiener, the founder of the cybernetics movement, presented a thought experiment about whether a prosthetic hand could replace a real hand. Chatfield does not seem to be concerned with the social implications of this sort of technological development, but how us as humans can relate to the machines that are playing an increasingly larger role in our daily lives. He sees AR as being unique because unlike more immersive experiences, it keeps part of the real world intact, only altered. In this, Chatfield sees endless potential. He writes, “…augmentation trumps enhancement because it is unconstrained by the actual – because there is no limit to how far my experience of the world can be supplemented or supplanted.”


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