We are all Cyborgs Now: Speaking at TED

In December 2010, I flew out to Washington D.C. to give a short talk at TED. Here is the result of that journey. Thanks to everyone who helped with the speech and gave feedback. It was an honor to be able to share the stage with so many amazing people.

If you’d like a longer introduction to the topic, see the more detailed O’Reilly Webcast on Cyborg Anthropology. If you’d like to read more, visit http://cyborganthropology.com.

About this talk
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.

About Amber Case
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.

6 thoughts on We are all Cyborgs Now: Speaking at TED

  1. I loved the TEDtalk and I’m looking for more materials on a side note made toward the end of the talk; it had to do with the quiet time needed to develop a sense of self. I’m pedagogical consultant working with high school teachers and widening gulf between older teachers 45+ and teenagers not something analogous to previous “generation gaps”. I would like to investigate the idea of “turning off” to connect with a sense of self. Can you point me in the direction of further reading?

  2. One of the areas we are exploring with our app is the difference between communicating/selfexpression via TALKING vs. via TYPING.

    Being limited to a keyboard, words behave totally differently as when you talk them out. And voice recognition software, the bleeding border between the two forms of words, lets you see this unnaturalness.

    Freeing humanity from the tyranny of typing everything… beyond that, giving eternal digital life to spoken content that would have otherwise whipped away in the wind.

    A peculiar type of creativity and wordcraft emerges in conversation. This is why the “interview” format is a perennial in magazines and online. We wanted to make a tool to let people record themselves talking, and we are amazed at the difference. It has made us feel so LEASHED when we are constrained to typing… it’s just totally different.

  3. Okay, from Inverge: the interactive convergence conference, to the MIT Futures of Entertainment Conference to TED. Nice progression!


  4. Just wanted to say something about this video I just saw.
    I liked very much, the final idea that was given, even cried (must be depression or something). LOL.
    The idea of us all, being one big organic being, not just in philosophical term, as in one movie I once saw, but as a scientific deduction. Or at least that was what I understood.
    Note: It also reminds me of BORG’s sociology and “society”. LOL
    Anyways, very cool, and TY 😀

  5. Great session, Amber. Really thought-provoking. I’m impressed how you are able to crystalize this new and evolving area in a way that makes so much sense. Your section on the two adolescent stages that kids have to go through nowadays reminded me of a post I did on children’s use of Facebook and the fact that what they’re doing now is forging a digital resume that they can’t erase in the future. Here’s the post:

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