Photo caption and credit: Michael Bugeja discusses machine vs. moral codes at a state convention of women educators. Photo by Diane Bugeja.
The average American spends 70 percent of waking hours looking at screens, including television, running the risk of replacing human values with machine ones, Iowa State Professor Michael Bugeja told members of Delta Kappa Gamma at its state convention Friday in Des Moines.
Delta Kappa Gamma promotes professional and personal growth of women educators and excellence in education. Some 140 current and retired teachers attended the two-day event at the West Des Moines Marriott.
Dr. Bugeja, author of Interpersonal Divide in the Age of the Machine (Oxford Univ. Press, 2018), spoke about common machine values that have replaced humane ones like truth, integrity, responsibility, and empathy.
Machine values include:
- IMPORTANCE OF SELF over others
“The rise of the selfie in the front-facing camera is a symbol of this value,” Bugeja said, noting that corporations data-mine the self so as to sell more products to consumers and their social media friends.
- BOREDOM over attentiveness
“Any free moment, including in cars or at lecture in class, is boring, triggering urge to check smartphone or social media,” he said.
- OVERSHARING over privacy
“What we tell others on Facebook, often mere acquaintances and strangers, we used to share rarely, and only with trusted friends and family.”
Convention Co-chair Sheila Anderson invited Dr. Bugeja after hearing him and Iowa State’s Doug Jacobson speak about privacy and big data on Talk Of Iowa on IPR.
Dr. Bugeja teaches media ethics and technology and social change at ISU’s Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication. Interpersonal Divide in the Age of the Machine is available at $19.95 from Amazon or Oxford University Press.