Cover image for The future of feeling : building empathy in a tech-obsessed world
Title:
The future of feeling : building empathy in a tech-obsessed world
ISBN:
9781542041843
Edition:
First edition.
Physical Description:
189 pages, unnumbered sequence of pages ; 21 cm
Summary:
An insightful exploration of what social media, AI, robot technology, and the digital world are doing to our relationships with each other and with ourselves. There's no doubt that technology has made it easier to communicate. It's also easier to shut someone out when we are confronted with online discourse. Why bother to understand strangers-or even acquaintances-when you can troll them, block them, or just click "Unfriend" and never look back? However briefly satisfying that might be, it's also potentially eroding one of our most human traits: empathy. So what does the future look like when something so vital to a peaceful, healthy, and productive society is fading away? The cautionary, yet hopeful, answer is in this champion for an endangered emotion. In The Future of Feeling, Kaitlin Ugolik Phillips shares her own personal stories as well as those of doctors, entrepreneurs, teachers, journalists, and scientists about moving innovation and technology forward without succumbing to isolation. This book is for anyone interested in how our brains work, how they're subtly being rewired to work differently, and what that ultimately means for us as humans.
Holds:

Available:*

Library
Material Type
Call Number
Item Available
Copies
Status
Searching...
Book 152.4 PHI 1 1
Searching...

On Order

Summary

Summary

An insightful exploration of what social media, AI, robot technology, and the digital world are doing to our relationships with each other and with ourselves.

There's no doubt that technology has made it easier to communicate. It's also easier to shut someone out when we are confronted with online discourse. Why bother to understand strangers--or even acquaintances--when you can troll them, block them, or just click "Unfriend" and never look back? However briefly satisfying that might be, it's also potentially eroding one of our most human traits: empathy.

So what does the future look like when something so vital to a peaceful, healthy, and productive society is fading away? The cautionary, yet hopeful, answer is in this champion for an endangered emotion.

In The Future of Feeling , Kaitlin Ugolik Phillips shares her own personal stories as well as those of doctors, entrepreneurs, teachers, journalists, and scientists about moving innovation and technology forward without succumbing to isolation. This book is for anyone interested in how our brains work, how they're subtly being rewired to work differently, and what that ultimately means for us as humans.


Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

Journalist and debut author Phillips explores the interaction between human feelings and technology in a survey whose ever-shifting scope results in a collection of interesting parts that never coalesce into a satisfying whole. Phillips opens with a Facebook interaction gone wrong, which inspired her "search for hope about the future of empathy." It starts promisingly, with a discussion of empathy's perceived decline, and solutions for addressing this, such as the app Faciloscope, designed to detect indicators that an online conversation is derailing into an unproductive flameout, or an interactive online game, Face the Future, which asks students to imagine a future in which feelings can be transmitted online through ubiquitous smartphone-like devices. As the book progresses, the focus blurs, as a discussion of virtual reality's empathy-building potential shifts into an entire chapter on the technology's use in news reporting. Phillips's tone is optimistic about the devices and programs she covers, but the notion that more technology is actually the best solution for tech-induced empathy gaps is questionable. Readers who reach the end of this fitfully stimulating book may instead feel that, as one interview subject notes, "the best thing you can do is talk to people." Agent: Jill Marsal, Marsal Lyon Literary. (Feb.)


Kirkus Review

How empathy can be cultivated amid an increasingly distracted, indifferent world.In her persuasive debut, journalist and editor Phillips criticizes a culture rampantly prioritizing technology over real human connections, and she questions whether the two can exist synergistically. The tech world relies on detached communication while the roots of human-to-human connection require interactive participation, concern, and amity. To some, writes the author, technology has caused a steady decline in human empathy. Phillips agrees, citing a particularly vicious interaction on social media that was upsetting yet inspired her to delve into the subject matter headfirst. She chronicles her interviews with researchers, psychologists, and tech creators and users who impart their own perspectives, and she describes the efforts of a variety of tech-initiated solutionse.g., Faciloscope and Google's Perspective API, real-time online comment-moderating apps that systematically filter out toxic threads. Also contributing to the cause are virtual reality games like Enter the Room, which enables players to perceive the feelings of other participants, and software geared toward creating connections with kids on the autism spectrum. Phillips provides a helpful discussion of empathy-building training for corporate employees and medical professionals. The author isn't just a journalist with an intense interest in this modern conundrum; she's also "a millennial in my early thirties," so her concerns about the importance of infusing caring and compassion into tech-saturated contemporary life are particularly relevant. However, while the author's concentration holds steady on methods to enable technology to rescue modern-day empathy, a significant question lingers throughout: Can the tech world and its gadgets and gurus reverse the hard-hearted trend it actually induced? Phillips is optimistic as she covers a host of AI-based friendship and psychotherapy alternatives, but a finer focus and tighter narrative arc would have sharpened her message of encouraging and embracing the power of empathic technology.An unevenly presented but beneficial report sure to spark discussion about integrating kindness into modern technology. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Library Journal Review

Journalist Phillips makes a dedicated case for renewing connection between technology and human emotions. Several of the problems Phillips points out are self-evident to us as digital citizens: the potential for isolation caused by reliance on social media and their algorithmic bias, as well as online bullying and its extremes. Phillips is primarily concerned with practicing ways to coexist with technology, and finding ways to communicate and empathize with others when a widespread reliance on technology makes it so easy to shut out differing viewpoints by staying within echo chambers on various social medial platforms. VERDICT Challenging readers to think about what it means to be empathetic in a technology-driven era, this will resonate with those trying to balance a reliance on "always on" technology with humanity and the capacity for empathy.--Jim Hahn, Univ. Lib., Univ. of Illinois, Urbana


Table of Contents

Author's Notep. xi
Introductionp. 1
Chapter 1 Talking to Each Otherp. 19
Chapter 2 Teaching Them Youngp. 41
Chapter 3 VR: The Empathy Machinep. 61
Chapter 4 Feeling the Newsp. 83
Chapter 5 Empathy at Workp. 99
Chapter 6 For Your Healthp. 115
Chapter 7 Best Bot Friendsp. 139
Chapter 8 A More Empathic Valleyp. 163
Epilogue: What's Nextp. 185
Acknowledgmentsp. 191
Bibliographyp. 193
About the Authorp. 219