As part of our series of posts exploring a “question-centered” teaching approach, we asked Luciano Floridi, author of Information: A Very Short Introduction, to give us his thoughts on the above question, featured in the new course Q Skills for Success.
I am a philosopher of information, and I spend most of my time studying Information and Communications Technology (ICT).
I think people like to get their news “lessly”. First, effortlessly. We like to be informed, but there is a trade-off between what we are willing to do to get our news and their value. The less effort it takes the better.
Second, seamlessly. We like to move between different informational spaces without noticing any gap or barrier. I enjoy reading a magazine online at home and then keep listening to it while driving to my office.
Luckily, ICTs are good at “lessly” applications. They are lowering the barriers between us and the news we are interested in. This is user-friendliness. And they are lowering the barriers between different information formats and media.
This synchronisation between our information sources is increasingly transparent. Currently, such effortless and seamless access to news is causing a problem: too much information.
We would prefer to get our news painlessly. This third “lessly” is not here yet, but our future technologies will be smart enough to provide only what it is relevant to us and we care about – anytime, anywhere. That will be how people will prefer to get their news tomorrow.
Find out how you can use questions like “How do people prefer to get the news today?” in class.
Luciano Floridi is Research Chair in Philosophy of Information and UNESCO Chair of Information and Computer Ethics at the University of Hertfordshire, UK. He is also a fellow of St Cross College, University of Oxford UK and the author of Information: A Very Short Introduction (OUP).
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