The Digital Scholar: Philosopher's Lab

Volume 2, Issue 1, 2019

Vladimir V. Sliusarev
Pages 22-32

The philosophy of the “Black Mirror”
A revolution in the minds up and down

The article considers the prospects for the evolving information and communication technologies basing on the British science fiction TV series “Black Mirror”. The contemporary development of the technologies and the global level of their distribution allow us to talk about revolutionary changes in the structure of society. The Internet, mobile communications, the ability to accumulate and analyze large amounts of information (Big Data), the integration of consumption into web-resources, and the development of AI-like systems make a combination of factors that encourages a number of scholars to speak about the formation of the Sixth technological paradigm. Along with it, the question of such technologies mostly turns out “overboard” from humanitarian expertise, since economic benefits prevail over considerations of humanness. Obvious that the socio-cultural implications of technology implementation have a long-term perspective, and it is practically impossible to predict how the society will change. The “Black Mirror” attempts to envisage not so much the technological changes but the influence of ICT on society in the long term. Proceeding from the current trends in robotics, technologies of virtual and augmented realities (VR and AR), medical functional diagnostics and psychophysiology, the creators of this TV series anticipate some trends in the development of technology. A global projection of one or more of these trends represents an agenda for a possible future. Along with it, the authors focus on a certain techno-paranoia that exists in contemporary mass culture. In this way not technical and technological aspects but rather some projective ethics of the future and future generations appears “on the surface” first of all. Such issues seem quite relevant given the rapid evolution and implementation of technologies. An attempt to critically evaluate their impact suggests that they merely manifest human sociality. Nevertheless, the author emphasizes the importance of assessing the social and humanitarian consequences of technology development, since modern ICTs are no less a threat than atomic physics or pharmacology.