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If your body contains technology it might help you to hear better, it may reduce seizures or prevent heart attacks – but does it make you more human? What if the technology in your body was a computer? Does the integration of computer with the human body spell a threat to our humanity, or will it enable us to return to being more fully ourselves?
Join us for a provocative discussion as host Robert Bloomfield welcomes Michael Chorost to Metanomics on December 6, 2010. Attend the show live at the Metanomics Studio in Second Life, at one of our Event Partners or watch live on this page as we broadcast to the Web.
Michael Chorost will share his personal experiences in transforming the classroom with technology, and will share his insights on transforming himself as he explores the implications of a future in which our bodies are increasingly augmented with technology, and those technologies are widely integrated with external systems.
“Dr. Michael Chorost (pronounced “kor-ist”) was born with a severe hearing loss due to an epidemic of rubella. He didn’t learn to talk until he got hearing aids at age 3½. Those enabled him to grow up speaking English more or less normally, and he got a B.A. in English from Brown and a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin. His dissertation was on how online environments are transforming classroom teaching. As a basis for his research, he created an online “collaboratory” in ColdFusion and used it in his English classes for four years. In 1998, this application won First Prize in the university’s annual contest for innovative educational software.
On July 7, 2001, he lost the remaining hearing in his one usable ear and got a cochlear implant shortly afterward. This experience was chronicled in his book, Rebuilt: How Becoming Part Computer Made Me More Human (Houghton Mifflin, 2005). It has garnered over 20 strong reviews from publications such as the L.A. Times, the Times of London, the Village Voice, the Chronicle for Higher Education, and Business Week. It was named as an Editor’s Choice in Reader’s Digest’s August 2005 issue. It won the PEN/USA Book Award for Creative Nonfiction in 2006, and has been optioned for the screen. It has also been published in the UK and translated into Japanese.
Since his book came out he has written for The Washington Post, Wired, The Futurist, The Scientist, Technology Review, Sky, the Stanford Medical Report, and The Best American Science Writing 2006. He screenwrote a TV special on brain implants titled The 22nd Century, which aired on PBS in January 2007.
Along with Chris DiGiano of SRI International (now at Google) and Shelley Goldman of Stanford, he co-edited the book Educating Learning Technology Designers: Guiding and Inspiring Creators of Innovative Educational Tools, which was published by Routledge in November 2008.
In July 2008, he contracted with The Free Press (Simon & Schuster) to write his second book, “World Wide Mind: The Coming Integration of Humans and Machines.” This is forthcoming in February 2011.”
You can learn more about Dr Chorost on his Web site or by joining us live for this provocative discussion as Metanomics explores the boundaries of what it means to be human in the age of the machine.
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