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We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

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Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

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Today's Big Idea: Humanizing Technology

The Big Idea for Wednesday, April 18, 2012

We have all experienced “dehumanizing” technology – software or hardware that seems to diminish our ability to communicate with others or to function effectively in the world. Technology that creates new boundaries between people rather than erasing old ones. 

With this in mind, Big Think is excited to announce Humanizing Technology, a virtual expo in partnership with Bing. The goal of Humanizing Technology – which will culminate in June, 2012 with a live event and prize ceremony in New York City –  is to identify new technologies that integrate themselves seamlessly into our lives, capitalize on our unique strengths, and amplify the best of human nature.  

In accordance with psychologist Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs, we believe that humanizing technologies are those that meet one of three core human needs: 

-Safety and Security
-Human Relationships
-Personal Growth 

Over the next 10 weeks we will be showcasing the cutting edge companies that are best answering those human needs. We will also be featuring experts from various disciplines to answer the core question of what makes What is Humanizing Technology?

The first expert perspective comes from X Prize Founder Peter Diamandis, who says We're Living as Emperors and Kings Would Have Lived 100 Years Ago. We are also presenting the first five nominees for the Humanizing Technology Prize, in the category of personal growth. Have a look at our nominees and suggest your own here.  

Perspectives

  1. 1 Peter Diamandis: We're Living as Emperors and Kings Would Have Lived 100 Years Ago
    Daniel Honan Humanizing Technology
  2. 2 What Is Humanizing Technology?
    Jason Gots Humanizing Technology
  3. 3 Humanizing Our Virtual Selves
    Jonathan Zittrain
  4. 4 Technology Should Connect, Not Divide Us
    Jason Gots Humanizing Technology
 

Today's Big Idea: Humanizin...

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