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Digital technology and human abilities: complemetarity or disfunctions?

When the abilities of the digital brain increase, its humanity man decreases: this is the thesis of Miguel Benasayag, a Franco-Argentine psychoanalyst and philosopher, host of the seventh edition of the Internet Festival in Pisa held between 5 and 8 October 2017. His speech at the meeting “Philosophy and Technology: the two faces of knowledge” underlined the conflicting relationship between the spread of ever-evolving technology. with a slower emancipation of the body. He suggested the necessity of developing an ethical interdependence between technology and man, taking into account both the physical pace and the impossibility of independance from digital devices.

In his book (Erikson, 2016), Benasayag had already highlighted the dangerous relationship between man and the digital. Smartphones, computers, and other digital devices have given rise to a delegation of some brain functions, completely disabling the user to run them autonomously. The rapidity of diffusion and the exponential increase in the efficiency of digital instruments did not, however, allow a natural biological recycling of the functions delegated to the machine, in other words man has not yet been able to reuse its functions in other activities.

Most of the population was illiterate or semi-illiterate before the digital revolution and remained in spite of technological and digital upraisal. The fascination and rapidity of diffusion has therefore changed the relationship with everyday life, people no longer count, no longer make the difference between a book and quick information coming from the network.

Benasayag is therefore required to find an ethics capable of channeling digital or technological potential in such a way as to improve biological, but above all, cultural aspects. Therefore, set a limit because the two opposing poles, biology and technology, are able to respect and integrate each other.

Miguel Benasayag at the Internet Festival in Pisa. In Italian.

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