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Jonathan Bartlett: The spiritual side of a digital society

Jonathan Bartlett

The more that software encompasses the whole of life, the more it needs to take into account the whole of the person using it:

In the early days of computing, software developers could completely ignore the spiritual needs of users. Computers were a tool—usually a business tool, used for brief periods to accomplish a task. They were not the backdrop of our lives.

Today, however, users are practically attached to their computers—sometimes day and night. More and more human interaction takes place digitally. As the percentage of time that users spend with computers increases, the amount of humanity that software developers need to take into consideration increases as well.

In short, because humans are spiritual beings, software needs to start taking into account the spiritual needs of its users.

A few software developers are starting to recognize this need in small ways: The popular business-directed messaging software Slack starts up with a stream of encouraging words. While the spiritual life amounts to much more than feeling better about the day ahead, it is good that software developers are at least recognizing the problem. More.

See also: I, Robot, am gathering dust in the sales room … Why do robotics experts think that customers will warm to robots because they look like people? The underlying assumption is surely incorrect. Robots like the Roomba succeed in part because they don’t look or act like people, let alone threaten people. They just do jobs people would prefer not to do or maybe can’t.



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