Astro Teller, Head of Moonshots at Google[X], spoke about how seamless technology should be in our lives at TechCrunch Disrupt New York this morning.
Right now, there’s a feeling that being connected to the Internet all the time and clinging to our phones makes us less aware of our surroundings.
But Teller doesn’t think being always connected is the problem or even that it’s rude. Instead, he feels the annoyance with technology is a sign our current hardware isn’t good enough. He gave the example of anti-lock brakes, and how seamlessly your car comes to a stop when you lightly tap on your car’s pedal. You barely realise you’re doing it, you’re still focused on driving, and the car still knows to stop.
“When technology reaches that level of invisibility in our lives, its highest and best purpose, it vanishes into our lives. It meets us 100% of the way over on our side of the fence. You don’t have to do the work, it will do the work,” Teller says of the brake scenario.
“We know in our hearts that technology at its best should make us feel even more human than we currently feel. Sometimes it makes us feel less human. There’s this thinking that that’s inherently the case, that by being always connected, it prevents us from being present. I don’t think I buy that. There’s no law of physics that says just because we’re connected, there has to be a schism between our physical and our digital lives. That’s just a phenomenon created by tech in its current state. In the bigger picture, technology should be like anti-lock breaks.”
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