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From Bo Burnham to Kurzgesagt. Our top five videos on the impact of technology.

Five best videos on technology impact

We have selected the five best videos on the subject of the impact of technology. It's the videos we find most fun, insightful and inspiring. And best to use to get other people thinking too.

The first video is from Bo Burnham. He sums it up! In the role of classic Disney villain, he welcomes us to the Internet. In 2005 Neil Postman wrote the classic 'Amusing ourselves to death' about the influence of TV. This is the razor-sharp variant in times of the internet. Show it to your students. Sing along. And, ironically, enjoy yourself immensely (4m40s).

In 2013 Koert van Mensvoort wrote a paper about the Pyramid of Technology. A model to describe the various levels at which technology may function in our lives. The pyramid is inspired by Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (Maslow, 1943). Similar to Maslow’s model, technologies can move up and down through various levels of the pyramid, while lower stages need to be fulfilled before the next stage can be attained. Although the Pyramid of Technology will certainly not answer all our technology related questions, it can serve as a tool for scientists, inventors, engineers, designers and entrepreneurs to position themselves in the playing field of technological development and eventually create better technology. Sounds a bit boring? Look at this second video, a TedX Talk by Koert explaining the concept! You will be amazed (16m00s).

The third video is a classic. Humans Need Not Apply is a 2014 internet video by CGP Grey. It focuses on the future of the integration of automation into economics, as well as the impact of this integration to the worldwide workforce.

The video focuses on the topic of robots' rapidly increasing usefulness through human society, discussing how automation will lead to a future where human labour is no longer needed. Early on, an analogy is made describing how humans once displaced horses from their jobs (by creating mechanical muscles such as automobiles), dismissing the argument that humans will always find new work, seeing as horses are not used nearly as much now. This analogy finishes by connecting the creation of mechanical minds, or "brain labor", to robots ousting humans from their occupations.

Of course this one was from 2014. There are even better and more scarier movies on the future of work, but we choose the classic!

In times of exponential technology it becomes more important to think about what it makes to mean to be human. Only when we know what makes us humans special we can create technology that serves us. More and more often technology can do things that we thought were exclusively human. Things like humor or creativity. Maybe that is why it is so important that we know more about consciousness in this fourth video. 

The final video is on the addictive characteristics of some of our apps. If you want to understand the impact of technology it is really important to understand people. After all, criticism of technology is also criticism of people. We humans are (sometimes) weak and technology responds mercilessly to that. A great example of this is the way our apps are designed to be addictive. We are hooked by design. (13m00s)

This list of videos is the result of your suggestions. Do you have a suggestion for an even better video on the impact of technology.  Let us know with the contact form below and also let us know which book should be removed from the list. 

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