IRL neuroscience: technophobia in theory and practice.

Technophobia is defined as “a consistent fear of or anxiety about the effects of advanced technology”.

When I was living in Italy, I encountered technophobia all the time. It was everyday and ubiquitous. I perceived it all around me and carried it within me, blindly repeating sentences I heard from older people who, despite their best intentions of protecting me from the dangers of things they did not understand, ended up restraining my potential for development and self-realisation.

In Sweden, the scenario is surely different. I still recall my bafflement at the sight of one elderly woman navigating the iPad with dexterity I, a teenager at the time, did not possess.

Still, whenever I happen to mention BCI or HMI in a casual conversation, the results are often similar: skepticism, avoidance, unease. Some technologies are just too new to be understood. And therefore discriminated.

Can we learn to Love what we do not understand?

I write here Love and Fear as antipodes, for fear is ultimately the root cause of hate and violence, the choice of perceiving differences before similarities its precursor.

Approached from the rational side, humans react with fear to Brain-Compute-Interface and anything “advanced” is translated to “dangerous”.

A completely opposite reaction occurs when the same subject is approached from the intuitive side.
Wows and excitements are the usual responses to my introduction of the Neurosonic prototype displayed in front of them.

Once disguised as a game, learning about “advanced” tech is exciting!

Bertilla V. Fabris

People love games, they love experiments, they seek awe.
Exposure to technology has proved to diminish fear of technology. But exposure only is not enough, the presentation is just as vital.

I believe the way beyond Technophobia is found through gamification and designing for simplicity.
The menace of misunderstood tech is abstract and vague, crouching in the mist of our near future, making us scared to proceed.
A tangible device making sounds and visuals is easy to understand, easier to approach, intuitively friendly. It is not scary despite being advanced.

The MindLab project mission is to bring misunderstood technologies closer to the public.
We invite people closer to machines, telling of the dangers and of the prospects.
Hopefully we’ll see how confidence within tech transforms our attitude towards life, how we take responsibility over our choices in our online and offline lives alike.

MindLab has designed a safe playground and everyone is invited to join the games.

Published by Bertilla Fabris

Founder and Director of Quantum Thinkers. Eternally stuck in between being a scientist and an artist.

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