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Self-improvement : technologies of the soul in the age of artificial intelligence / Mark Coeckelbergh.

By: Material type: TextTextSeries: No limits (New York, N.Y.)Publisher: New York : Columbia University Press, [2022]Description: 1 online resource (144 pages)Content type:
  • text
Media type:
  • computer
Carrier type:
  • online resource
ISBN:
  • 9780231556538
  • 0231556535
Subject(s): Additional physical formats: Print version: Self-improvementDDC classification:
  • 158.1 23/eng/20220127
LOC classification:
  • BL65.S84 C64 2022
Online resources:
Contents:
Frontmatter -- No Limits -- Contents -- 1 The Phenomenon: The Self- Improvement Imperative -- 2 The History: Ancient Philosophers, Priests, and Humanists in Search of Self- Knowledge and Perfection -- 3 The Society: Modern Self- Obsession from Rousseau to Hipster Existentialism -- 4 The Political Economy: Self- Taming and Exploitation Under Wellness Capitalism -- 5 The Technology: Categorized, Measured, Quantified, and Enhanced, or Why AI Knows Us Better Than Ourselves -- 6 The Solution (Part I) Relational Self and Social Change -- 7 The Solution (Part II) Technologies That Tell Different Stories About Us -- Notes -- Index
Summary: "We are obsessed with self-improvement; it's a billion-dollar industry. But apps, workshops, speakers, retreats, and life hacks have not made us happier. Obsessed with the endless task of perfecting ourselves, we have become restless, anxious, and desperate. We are improving ourselves to death. The culture of self-improvement stems from philosophical classics, perfectionist religions, and a ruthless strain of capitalism-but today, new technologies shape what it means to improve the self. The old humanist culture has given way to artificial intelligence, social media, and big data: powerful tools that do not only inform us but also measure, compare, and perhaps change us forever. This book shows how self-improvement culture became so toxic-and why we need both a new concept of the self and a mission of social change in order to escape it. Mark Coeckelbergh delves into the history of the ideas that shaped this culture, critically analyzes the role of technology, and explores surprising paths out of the self-improvement trap. Digital detox is no longer a viable option and advice based on ancient wisdom sounds like yet more self-help memes: The only way out is to transform our social and technological environment. Coeckelbergh advocates new "narrative technologies" that help us tell different and better stories about ourselves. However, he cautions, there is no shortcut that avoids the ancient philosophical quest to know yourself, or the obligation to cultivate the good life and the good society"-- Provided by publisher
List(s) this item appears in: Artificial intelligence and Theology (sorted by Call Number)
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Includes bibliographical references and index

Frontmatter -- No Limits -- Contents -- 1 The Phenomenon: The Self- Improvement Imperative -- 2 The History: Ancient Philosophers, Priests, and Humanists in Search of Self- Knowledge and Perfection -- 3 The Society: Modern Self- Obsession from Rousseau to Hipster Existentialism -- 4 The Political Economy: Self- Taming and Exploitation Under Wellness Capitalism -- 5 The Technology: Categorized, Measured, Quantified, and Enhanced, or Why AI Knows Us Better Than Ourselves -- 6 The Solution (Part I) Relational Self and Social Change -- 7 The Solution (Part II) Technologies That Tell Different Stories About Us -- Notes -- Index

"We are obsessed with self-improvement; it's a billion-dollar industry. But apps, workshops, speakers, retreats, and life hacks have not made us happier. Obsessed with the endless task of perfecting ourselves, we have become restless, anxious, and desperate. We are improving ourselves to death. The culture of self-improvement stems from philosophical classics, perfectionist religions, and a ruthless strain of capitalism-but today, new technologies shape what it means to improve the self. The old humanist culture has given way to artificial intelligence, social media, and big data: powerful tools that do not only inform us but also measure, compare, and perhaps change us forever. This book shows how self-improvement culture became so toxic-and why we need both a new concept of the self and a mission of social change in order to escape it. Mark Coeckelbergh delves into the history of the ideas that shaped this culture, critically analyzes the role of technology, and explores surprising paths out of the self-improvement trap. Digital detox is no longer a viable option and advice based on ancient wisdom sounds like yet more self-help memes: The only way out is to transform our social and technological environment. Coeckelbergh advocates new "narrative technologies" that help us tell different and better stories about ourselves. However, he cautions, there is no shortcut that avoids the ancient philosophical quest to know yourself, or the obligation to cultivate the good life and the good society"-- Provided by publisher

Description based on online resource; title from digital title page (viewed on October 10, 2022).

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