Radio 4: has technology rewired our brains?

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 2015, Tom wrote and presented this programme on technology and the mind

Is technology making us less human? Dr Tom Chatfield is an enthusiastic downloader of the latest apps, an early adopter of anything small and shiny that promises to smooth his path through life. But Tom can’t help feeling a little anxious about the hold that new technology has on his life.

Plato felt much the same, concerned that the new- fangled concept of writing might destroy the ability of the Ancient Greeks to memorise vast swathes of human knowledge. Do car sat-navs destroy our innate sense of direction? Do search engines displace our store of general knowledge?

With the help of the Economist’s Digital Editor, Tom Standage and cybernetics expert, Kevin Warwick, Tom looks toward a future when the communication and computing power of our smartphones is inserted directly into our nervous systems. With superfast thought processes and a battery of new senses will we feel upgraded or out of control, superhuman or inhuman?