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Wondrium Insights: Promises and Perils of Technology

Have we allowed technology to hijack our humanity? Join a panel of experts who may change the way you look at our technological progress.
Wondrium Insights: Promises and Perils of Technology is rated 4.0 out of 5 by 6.
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Rated 1 out of 5 by from HIGHLY OVER-RATED! I learned nothing about the promises and perils of technology. This course is not about technology. It is about the lives of people who USE technology. Each guest blathered on about their own lives and how technology was good for them. And the interviewer allowed them to go on and on and on. And the guests were not even people known for their expertise. I learned nothing about the PERILS of technology and what might be done to remedy the situation. WHAT A JOKE!
Date published: 2022-09-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Idea This new format of interviewn is a very good idea. Regarding this particular course I missed a more deeper chapter or lesson about the ethical perils of technology. In general terms, it was a superficial approach. Cristal has a very natural and good performance.
Date published: 2022-09-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very "Watchable!" Some frank and thought provoking content from, in my mind, surprising sources. This series has broadened my "field of vision" and left me with better off.
Date published: 2022-09-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Intelligent and Insightful Discussion This Wondrium presentation is not a typical dissertation on its subject matter like those featured in most Great Courses series. Instead, five highly intelligent and accomplished individuals give a realistic assessment of the benefits and liabilities of emerging technology, based on their own experiences. In some cases, they do a little crystal ball gazing into the future of some of these technologies too. They discuss the subject in a rational and realistic fashion, devoid of any dystopian fantasies in which AI takes over the world. Instead they explore the subject with a view towards how these technologies can improve our life, while not ignoring the potential problems, most of which are man-made. The facilitator is especially good, asking thoughtful questions, while respecting those she is interviewing and giving them ample opportunity to be heard, rather than making herself the center of attention. More than once, the five interview subjects respond to one of her questions by stating "that's an excellent question" and it always is. But she also offers her own insightful comments and observations without being overbearing. Caution, not all interviewed subjects are created equal. Some answer with platitudes and technospeak. Others want to talk more about themselves than their subject. But I'll just say that I found three of the five to be excellent to listen to. If you only watch this course for the interview with Taryn Southern, whose combination of brilliance and humility stand out among the five interviews, this series will be well worth it. The term "thought-provoking" is sometimes used too loosely, but this adjective aptly fits this series and especially Southern's interview. If intelligent discussion of complex subjects that affect our futures is something that excites you, then I highly recommend this series.
Date published: 2022-08-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Straight up explanation about technology Clear discussions about the power and good of technology as well as a balance of understanding on the dark, downside of the technological tools embedded in our everyday lives.
Date published: 2022-08-03
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Overview

In Promises and Perils of Technology, five technology experts explain why they have tremendous optimism for the future. This is not blind idealism, as they also know and explain the perils of living in the “technic”—a world so awash in technology that we are as oblivious to its presence as fish are to water. The five accomplished individuals who host this series include technology entrepreneur Caterina Fake, journalist David Kushner, biomedical scientist Dr. Knatokie Ford, retired NASA astronaut Leland Melvin, digital strategist Taryn Southern, and neuroscientist Dr. Crystal Dilworth. They go beyond the generalizations to reveal what we can all do to make sure the future of technology is the future we want.

About

Crystal Dilworth

The worst thing in the world is to have an inquisitive mind or to have questions and to not know the right people or have the right resources to get them answered.

Crystal Dilworth is a neuroscientist and science communicator. She earned her PhD in Chemistry from the California Institute of Technology. Known for hosting Voice of America’s VOA TEK and appearing as Dr. Brain on CBS’s Mission Unstoppable, she is passionate about highlighting the human aspects of science and technology. She has been named an AAAS IF/THEN Ambassador for women in STEM. Throughout her career, she has interviewed scientific explorers, from high school students to Nobel laureates, sharing their processes of discovery and illustrating the diversity of people who contribute to advancing scientific understanding.

By This Expert

Wondrium Insights: Achieve Your Potential
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Wondrium Insights: Promises and Perils of Technology
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Wondrium Insights: Promises and Perils of Technology

Trailer

Caterina Fake: Keeping Humanity in Our Technology

01: Caterina Fake: Keeping Humanity in Our Technology

Would you prepare for a life in technology by studying literature in college? That’s exactly the path taken by Caterina Fake, technology developer (founder of Flickr) and venture capitalist. Fake believes the humanities—e.g., ethics, philosophy—must be a crucial part of technology going forward. Learn what can go wrong when developers are educated only in coding and explore the benefits of having a wider base of knowledge before making the next technological leap. Instead of technology making us less human, it can be developed to nurture human society.

44 min
David Kushner: Chronicling the Evolution of Digital Culture

02: David Kushner: Chronicling the Evolution of Digital Culture

Journalist David Kushner reminds us that the story of technology is the fascinating story of the coders’ creativity, ambition, and irrepressible desire to overcome obstacles. Yes, we are now living in a world of block-chain gaming, nonfungible tokens, augmented reality, and additional nomenclature that can be off-putting to some. But you’ll see why Kushner’s fascinating experiences reporting on digital culture since its birth lead him to challenge us to “just jump in.” How else can we discover the promises and perils of technology in our personal worlds?

37 min
Dr. Knatokie Ford: Bringing Diversity to STEM Education

03: Dr. Knatokie Ford: Bringing Diversity to STEM Education

Who looks like a scientist? Dr. Knatokie Ford says we all do. Biomedical scientist Ford will take you deep into the policies and plans that are needed to ensure that every child can imagine himself or herself as a scientist. Discover why it is crucial to foster inclusion in the technology space, and the significant difference between equality and equity. Studies have proven that team diversity increases innovation in problem-solving. But even for students who are not going into STEM jobs, learn why Ford pushes hard for them to have a STEM education, too.

39 min
Leland Melvin: Exploring Our Future in Space

04: Leland Melvin: Exploring Our Future in Space

If you had the opportunity to work on the International Space Station, it’s easy to imagine that you would be fascinated and enthralled by the science. That was certainly the case for retired NASA astronaut, materials science engineer, and former NFL player Leland Melvin. But beyond the science and technology, Melvin’s biggest takeaway from space was about people. Explore what he felt he could accomplish in space that had eluded humanity on Earth—and why the answer is always about the people, never about the technology alone.

35 min
Taryn Southern: Hacking Our Bodies and Minds

05: Taryn Southern: Hacking Our Bodies and Minds

Since adapting technology as her “window to the outside world” at a very young age, digital strategist Taryn Southern has never lost her boundary-pushing passion to see what’s just over that next hill. Bringing cutting-edge technology into her award-winning work in art, music, filmmaking, virtual reality, and more, she is absolutely optimistic about the future of technology. Discover her fascinating personal and professional stories about biohacking, and why she firmly believes technology can help all of us live our best lives.

41 min