Kevin Kelly: Technology as a teenager

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Developing the ideas he laid out in his 2005 talk at TED — where he asked, “What does technology want?” — Kevin Kelly posts a fascinating essay in the latest edition of He suggests that we can think of technology as another kingdom of life — call it the technium. And that, like all other life, it grows.

He says,

I tend to think of the technium like a child of humanity. Our job will be to train the technium, to imbue it with certain principles because, at a certain level and at a certain age, it will basically become much more autonomous than it is now. It will leave us like a teenager who goes on to live alone: although he or she will continue to interact with us and will always be part of us, we have to let it go.

To succeed in this, though, he warns:

We need to have a deep sense of our values, what we stand for. In a deep irony, the more technology advances, the less sure we are of who we are and what we stand for as a species and as individuals.

Watch Kevin Kelly’s TEDTalk on, where you can download it, rate it, and join a wide-ranging discussion.