Discuss the dangers and delights of technology at the FuturePlay sessions
- Brian Donaldson
- 11 July 2017
An innovative digital festival isn't just about getting your hands on amazing kit. These sessions prove that sometimes it's good to chat
While it's easy to get excited about the ever-larger strides being made with digital technology, warnings are often raised about potential dangers. In a series of morning talks, showcases and panel discussions with artists, performers and academics, the FuturePlay Sessions will seek to tackle some of the big questions head on.
Is the digitalised universe and an over-reliance on screen time permanently damaging our brains? In both Is Screen Time the Enemy? (5 Aug) and Bad Science: Myths About Digital Technology (6 Aug), award-winning science writer Pete Etchells and Metta Theatre's Poppy Burton-Morgan wonder why the claims are so loud when the evidence seems scant. In Dear AI, Tell Me Who Am I? (8 Aug), the co-writers of Summerhall piece Siri divulge their two-year relationship with Apple's virtual personal assistant and again confront concerns such as data protection and security.
For every upside to our online lives, there appears to be an immediate downside: one obvious negative of wider connectivity is the spread of hate and abuse which web anonymity seems to encourage. In #Unshamed (12 Aug), the makers of mixed-media theatre work Shame explore a campaign which offers solidarity to those at the sharp end of online malice.
Amid some of the doom and gloom that often revolves around the inexorable move away from an analogue world, it's worth remembering that the entertainment industry can actually be improved by technological innovations. Theatre in the Digital Age (20 Aug) asks how life on the stage should embrace such progress while The Value of Gaming (19 Aug) wonders whether humanity is fully ready for a virtual-entertainment future.
FuturePlay Sessions Front Room, Assembly Rooms, George Street, 5–20 Aug (not 13), 11.30am, £4.