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A-Z of the Future > Quantification

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The rapid advances within information technology are testament to our power over quantifiable information such as digital data. But such advance and control inspires a desire to make all of reality like this. And indeed, there is a strong cultural turn in that direction.


Conceptualising humanity and nature as algorithms will provide us with incredible new technological powers. Indeed the Internet of Things aims to join up the material world into an interconnected web that can more easily communicate. Through biometric sensors, nanobots, brain-computer interfaces and other innovations we can be part of this ever communicating web of information ourselves.


Already our mobile phones and internet activity provides reams of data on each of us that are analysed by artificial intelligence to provide companies with a better understanding of our desires, and thus greater efficiency in marketing products and services. Now even ideologies are more effectively sold to us through an understanding or our biases, fears and wants.


Increasingly the human sciences conceptualise humans and other natural phenomena as biological algorithms. Humans thus conceived are reducible to their material constituent parts. Perhaps, even the most fundamental material properties of which we are comprised are not even relevant – if a human is thought of as a processor of information, and information is conceived of as a bodiless entity, an essence, then the human being disappears all together.


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