Monday March 31, 2014

Classic 'fear of the machine' giving way to love stories

Have we gone from horror stories to love stories about technology? (herthemovie.com)

Have we gone from horror stories to love stories about technology? (herthemovie.com)

Listen 14:46

The story usually told about technology is that it's getting better all the time -- and that, at some point, it will gettoo good ... and take over. But over the years it seems we've changed our relationship status with technology -- and these days, it's complicated. 

Guest host Brent Bambury speaks with Genevieve Bell, an anthropologist and the head of Intel's Interaction and Experience Research lab. Her team is tasked with studying such complexities as they play out in stories told all over the world.

From fears to fuzzy feelings

The most fascinating shift, says Bell, is from classic "fear of the machine" narratives to human-technology love stories, like the one featured in Spike Jones's Her. 

"It's not that the technology takes over, it's that, in some ways, we fall in love with the technology and it breaks our heart, which is a very difference anxiety," she says. 

"It's an anxiety not of an overthrow, but of a dependence."