Normative Affordances Through and By Technology: Technological Mediation and Human Enhancement
Human activity is fundamentally embedded in and constituted by technology. In this regard, technology influences not only how people experience the world, but also which possibilities for action offered by the environment (affordances) can be perceived and ultimately acted upon. As having socio-cultural and normative aspects, affordances are deeply relational to the technological human form of life. Postphenomenology describes several human-technology relations and their perception and action mediating effects. Therefore, it provides a suitable framework to examine how technology mediates the perception of affordances and leads to different behavioral outcomes. Technology can reveal hitherto hidden affordances but can also result in the manipulation and concealment of action possibilities. Both aspects can be deliberately controlled by using a particular technology and/or interfering with the technological hermeneutic process. Technological mal-functions, limitations, purposeful corruption, or human error can disrupt the hermeneutic qualities of technology and may lead to false conclusions about affordances and respective maladaptive behavioral outcomes. Technology can also be applied to humans to form “better” versions of them. One consequence of these so-called Human Enhancement technologies is the emergence of different affordances for the enhanced individual and the possible establishment of new affordances inside a form of life. Manipulating the perception and emergence of affordances through technological mediation or Human Enhancement can have severe political and ethical consequences. It is necessary to engage in an open debate about the perception and action mediating power of technology and the human reliance on them in our current and future form of life.
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International Journal of Interactive Multimedia and Artificial Intelligence
Special Issue on New Trends in Disruptive Technologies, Tech Ethics and Artificial Intelligence
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