Technology is evolving us, says Amber Case, as we become a screen-staring, button-clicking new version of homo sapiens. We now rely on “external brains” (cell phones and computers) to communicate, remember, even live out secondary lives. But will these machines ultimately connect or conquer us? Case offers surprising insight into our cyborg selves.
Amber Case studies the symbiotic interactions between humans and machines — and considers how our values and culture are being shaped by living lives increasingly mediated by high technology.
Amber Case is a cyborg anthropologist, examining the way humans and technology interact and evolve together. Like all anthropologists, Case watches people, but her fieldwork involves observing how they participate in digital networks, analyzing the various ways we project our personalities, communicate, work, play, share ideas and even form values. Case founded Geoloqi.com, a private location-sharing application, out of a frustration with existing social protocols around text messaging and wayfinding.
Case, who predicts that intensification of the human-technology interface will quickly reduce the distance between individual and community, believes that the convergence of technologies will bring about unprecedented rapid learning and communication. Dubbed a digital philosopher, Case applies her findings to such fields as information architecture, usability and online productivity. She’s currently working on a book about using anthropological techniques to understand industry ecosystems.