Staying Human in a Machine Age

“I am a technologist. I am not a computer.”
says Kati London, a Senior Researcher at Microsoft

“…My work is weird. It also does not fit neatly into categories — it aims to make the real world more engaging sometimes via technology and often through play.

…I also happen to be a mom, a daughter, a sister, a friend, an aunt, a wife, a human. Ethical issues of emerging technologies weave their way through all aspects of our lives.

Especially today and moving forward we don’t have good understandings of the impacts of the new modes of interaction and data collection that are now a reality.

No factory, no machine or line of code can truly replicate a human — we can fool people; but it is our humanity, emotion, ability to keep promises and to relate on a deep level, to understand the implications with empathy that differentiates us.

But, let’s not get too serious. Much of my work has involved play. Play is great because it’s free, separate from real life and creates order — it provides a magic circle or sandbox. One in which we’re permitted to fail, behave differently than we could in everyday live, collaborate, compete, role play and experience systems from the inside out.”

Quote from the Commencement speech of Kati London to the University of California at Santa Cruz Crown College June 2014.