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How do developments in the digital world affect human communication?

Study guide

No one knows the future. It is difficult to predict the future. In one of the scenes of science-fiction film Blade Runner (Blade Runner), 1982, Deckard, The main character of the film, played by Harrison Ford, is in a club. He calls his friend Rachel to invite him for a drink. The film predicts the future of Los Angeles, full of strange creatures and flying machines. However, the phone that Decard uses to call Rachel is a wired video phone that attaches to the wall. This suggests that in 1982, predicting the advent of cordless telephones in the future was far from certain.

Future technology and communications

When it comes to human communication, predicting the future of communication is not easy. Due to technological innovations, we live in a digital age. Technology is changing the way we interact with each other and how we relate to the world around us, and this change continues unabated. Meanwhile, the impossible dreams that were once reserved for science-fiction films are slowly taking on the color of reality.

Human-computer communication

in the movie Minority Report (Minority Report), a 2002 production by Tom Cruise as John Anderton, wears a smart glove that he uses to communicate with an advanced system. This system is controlled by the user’s hand gestures.

Today, Computers and touch phones are very common. Apple iPads and iPhones pioneered this technology in the first decade of the 21st century. In the field of computer games, the Wii game console in 2006 and later the Microsoft Kinect console used a similar method to interact with game characters and control their movements. These consoles were equipped with motion and sound sensors. Undoubtedly, such tools are a prelude to the emergence of advanced systems in the future.

John Underkoffler, a computer scientist at Umayyad University, predicted in a 2010 speech that the future of human-computer interfaces would be virtual touch computing. He is currently developing a multidimensional human-computer interface that makes the dream of motion-based sensory systems a reality.

One of the most exciting research topics that will change the way humans interact with computers in the long run is the brain and computer interfaces. In the action movie Johnny Nomonic (Johnny Mnemonic), Produced in 1995, Keanu Reeves plays the main character in the film. He has a cybernetic brain chip on his head that can store information. The research that is being done today on brain-computer interfaces stems from a similar idea.

The brain uses electrical signals to transmit and process information. For example, sensory information, such as light and sound received by our eyes and ears, is converted into neural electrical messages that the brain can process.

Research on the brain-computer interface is based on this principle. The basic idea is that the brain works with electrical signals. Assuming that these signals are readable, by transmitting these electrical signals directly from the brain to the outside environment, we can communicate with external devices. For example, as a theory, the signals that the brain uses to move the arm and arm could be used to control a robotic arm; This means that commands such as picking up and moving objects can be sent to the robotic arm using the brain’s electrical signals.

There is a lot of research going on like this. Today, people with disabilities use prosthetic and artificial limbs with the help of computer software. The main purpose of designing these prostheses is to use electrical signals from the brain to control limb movements.

In a study by the US Department of Defense’s Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), people with disabilities were able to perceive the senses in the prosthesis using electrical connections between the brain and the prosthesis. To achieve sensory perception through an artificial organ, microprocessors are implanted in it that complete the neural circuitry of the brain.

Among the most common specialized research in this field, the most widespread application of brain-computer interface technology is the implantation of an artificial cochlear prosthesis in the inner ear. This restores hearing to deaf people. In this case, brain signals communicate with the prosthesis, compensating for the defect in the damaged part of the ear.

In the future, prostheses may be implanted in the brain that allow objects to communicate with and control objects directly through thinking. Ilan Mask’s Neuralink project is a pioneer in this technology. In this project, they intend to place electronic microchips in the human brain.

Interpersonal communication

Regarding interpersonal communication, some predictions such as mobile communication and virtual communication have come true. The handheld device used by Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock in the Star Trek movie series in the 1970s was originally a cordless cell phone equipped with a Bluetooth headset.

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However, today’s cell phones require satellites in orbit to communicate. For this reason, the communication range of these telephones does not include space outside the Earth’s orbit; Therefore, intergalactic communication is not yet possible through today’s mobile phones.

Today, all standard computers and mobile phones are equipped with cameras. In this way, we can take pictures of people while talking through video communication software such as Skype Let’s see.

Perhaps the next step in digital communications is the use of telepresence robots. These robots are mobile devices that have a camera and speaker mounted on them, and the person whose image is projected from the robot’s camera can control the robot remotely. This person can not only see his environment and audience with the camera on the robot, but also as a person in a crowd, he can move around and communicate with his target audience. Online conferences, virtual tours such as online visits to the homes you plan to buy or tours of factories and industrial complexes are examples of remote robot applications. These robots are very expensive today, but over time, their price will decrease and with the advancement of technology, these robots will also be upgraded.

Gear effect

Rapid changes in technology based on the effect of gears are justifiable. Culture is a complex network of shared knowledge, behaviors, and systems. When one is born into a community with a specific culture, one does not need education to learn the common knowledge of that community. According to Isaac Newton, we stand on the shoulders of previous generations to advance knowledge and advancement in technology. Each generation has the achievements of the previous generation and strives to develop and improve it. In this way, a new generation of sophisticated technologies is born quickly and in a short time.

Suffice it to look at the technological advances of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The twentieth century began with the invention of airplanes, cars, and radio, and culminated in 1997 with the advent of rockets and space stations, computers, cell phones, and the advent of Wi-Fi.

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The beginning of the 21st century coincided with the launch of the mobile Internet. Third-generation or 3G mobile communications have given way to fourth- and fifth-generation Internet today, and Internet access has become almost ubiquitous.

Speed ​​and accessibility: The evolving nature of digital communications

Access to Communication - What will be the future of communication in the digital world?

Undoubtedly, the digital age has changed the nature of human communication. The high speed and accessibility of digital communications in today’s world is the most obvious example of this claim. The speed of communication has increased dramatically in the digital age. Social networks and e-mails allow instant communication.

Before the advent of digital communication technology, a business trip for face-to-face meetings or correspondence via traditional mail was the only way to communicate with those who were far away from us. It takes one to two days for a letter to reach a person living in a neighboring town; But today we can communicate with those who live all over the world in the shortest time.

In terms of communication availability, just consider the three social networks Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. The number of people we can connect with through Facebook friends, Twitter followers and LinkedIn connections is an unprecedented number.

The concept of access has become more prominent due to the changes that digital communications have brought to the nature of social networks. In analog communications, the range of social networks is limited to the “Danbar number”, ie about 150 people. This number was first proposed by Robin Dunbar and represents the maximum number of people with whom one can establish a lasting social relationship. Robin Dunbar is the one who showed the correlation between mammalian brain size and the average size of their social group.

Unlike analog communications, in digital communications, the only limiting factor to the size of our social network is the number of people who have access to the Internet; This means that anyone with access to the Internet can be on our social network. Today, the number of people who have access to the Internet is about 3.2 billion. Undoubtedly, this figure is increasing every day; For example, on Twitter, about 100 million people see each of Barack Obama’s tweets.

New communication system: emoji

Emojis - What will the future of communications be like in the digital world?

In addition to changing the nature of access to communications, innovations in the digital age have also transformed the form and communication system. Although the basic principles of communication are fixed and have not changed, the way of communication is changing. For example, in the early years of the 21st century, we saw the emergence of emojis.

Technology does not change the basic principles and rules of communication, but creates new opportunities and resources and provides new ways of communication; Of course, at first, these communication methods may be weak in some respects.

Face-to-face conversations are multifaceted. In these conversations, the parties to the conversation use their language, movements, postures, and emotions. The direction of the eyes, the way they look and the tone of speech complement the words we speak and affect the audience’s perception of what we are saying.

In contrast, in short text conversations, the audience is unaware of other aspects of face-to-face conversation such as tone of voice, emotion, and body language of the speaker. This is considered a weakness of text conversations and is the main reason for inventing emojis. Emojis add some non-verbal cues to face-to-face conversations to digital communications.

Emojis are not a revolutionary change in communication. They are a solution that solves only one of the shortcomings of the modern method of communication, namely digital communication. Without emojis, text messaging is incomplete and lacks anything. Because text messages are a form of visual representation, the use of visual cues to express body language and emotions in these messages is inevitable.

Emojis are the starting point for providing a multifaceted communication system in the digital age. It may be possible to predict how and to what extent emojis will evolve. In the short term, animated emojis may be used to increase readability, emotion, and body language in text. Our body movements and facial expressions play an undeniable role in understanding the audience and should not be ignored in digital text messages.

No matter what the future holds for emojis and other emerging digital communication systems, it is collective intelligence that is the main driver of human power in communication. Emojis only increase the impact of digital communication in the 21st century.




How do developments in the digital world affect human communication?

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