This post is inspired by this article, which is a reflection on the STEM’s need to embrace human nature, hence develop a closer partnership with creative practices. How this can work is indeed the centre of discussion and revolves around the concept of collaboration. Collaboration would help foster skills that make people more keen to listen, dialogue and, generally, being more emphatic with each other. This is important in particular if we look at a future where humans’ duties and tasks at work will be redefined; which is the human role in a technological advanced working environment?
At the moment collaboration looks the solution identified by different sectors. What that means is still something to work on if, in particular, humans developed a relationship with technology which doesn’t hint towards collaboration but rather the opposite. The amount of time any human being spends on interacting with mobile devices drastically increased in the last years. To tackle this aspect Apple IOS12 will be introducing “Screen Time” , which should be limiting the time people spend on their screens via behaviour. However what is left in the physical reality to encourage an offline life is a question that has not been addressed (yet), in particular if human behaviour adapted daily routines and habits to digital content. This heavily affects the way people live the physical space; for instance to keep doing any sort of business with the screen people developed a 7th sense which looks after the physical environment to avoid collisions. For the quality of being mobile the phone encouraged the behaviour of watching movies, reading articles, chatting with friends, etc while walking, running, etc. This increased the human presence in the digital and drastically decreased the social quality of the physical. People are in their own customised social world, which is, physically speaking, isolating the person. This affects human skills like empathy or observation.
How can then a collaborative (engaged, empathic, etc) working environment could be fostered if the daily familiar behaviour is more keen to avoid any sort of contact with human beings? How can technology support humans to collaborate if humans lack of empathy? What is this technology?
I guess the point I am trying to address with these questions is the scale and role advanced technology can have in our society to support human skills; this transcends from categorisation, ie work, leisure or daily tasks, but designs an integrated system that develops a collaborative culture across people. In other words the partnership between STEM and Art could be on defining a culture which ethical and civil values are foundation of human-(technology)-human interactions. This collaboration gives people agency through social technological infrastructures which overarching values support interaction between people that actually collaborate with each other.