Does Technology Help or Hinder Empathy?
Empathy is a muscle we have to exercise. New technologies create more choices, and more choices allow for personal growth and development, including an opportunity to build our empathy. When we connect to each other via technology, we are weaving a tapestry of limitless human connection that until now was never possible.
By Jennifer Lehner and Jackie Acho
This digital bonanza is freaking us out. What kind of humans are we becoming when our faces are smashed into screens? Will technology make us a more or less empathetic society? Can computers feel love? The time for hand wringing or opting out is over. The sooner we realize that we can’t stop this speeding bus -all we can do is try to drive it where it needs to go – the better off we will be.
In this recent NYT column, Tom Friedman argued that: technology will allow Millennials to either do more harm or more good than any generation prior. Absolutely. We believe empathy will make all the difference in their world, so we must design our use of technology with the end in mind.
As much as computers can approximate our cognitive functioning, computers cannot do empathy. In the movie Her…
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