The blurring lines between man and machine

With Alexa, Siri and other voice-controlled ‘virtual assistants’ we are seeing machines take on more and more human attributes. Is this a good thing?

Are we too reliant on technology? We will all likely be familiar with the feeling of mild panic upon realising that you’ve left home without your phone, which nowadays means leaving without your map, your diary, your address book and your notepad, before we even start on all the apps and communication tools within it that we rely on too.

Beyond the practicalities that technology brings, there is also an increasing blurring of the lines between man and machine, as we find ourselves chatting to voice-activated assistants and interacting online with autobots. Below we talk to Dr Chris McGinley, Research Fellow and Leader in the Age and Diversity Space at the Helen Hamlyn Centre of Design about whether our changing relationship with technology is a cause for concern.