Day 5: Robert Petrausch

Robert Petraeusch, Chair at the Iona College in New York, presented his prospective theory of communication and science fiction through the metaphor of the bionic journalist on the second machine age. As Petraeusch showed, science-fiction and cinema anticipate the reality that we will live in. Neuroscience, even though it seems to be a distant discipline that has nothing to do with journalism, has a lot to do and say concerning the new newsroom routines and communicative practices.

But, even though everything is now digitalized and transformed into 0 and 1 codes, the human being still has something different and unique regarding machines. Humans are better at pattern recognition, complex communication, sensing and mobility, meaning that the human advantage is the strategic guidance and the ability to create. So, as we, the human beings, have some skills that machines do still not own, we must emphasize them and use them as our most valuable features. Ideation, critical thinking, pattern recognition and complex communication are dome of the unique features that human are able to do and represent the new curriculum abilities that we have to emphasize in front of the things a machine can do.

“We cannot let technology become a god, let’s make sure we rely more on telling good stories” said Petraeusch emphasizing these human unique abilities in front if technology and its idealization. “Concentrate on collecting, selecting and analyzing information. Avoid becoming computer-bound monkeys” said again to advice the listeners of the danger that worshiping technology could imply. “Let’s be sincere, there are virus that disable our machine, and these dependency we have on machines could make us lose our personal freedom and privacy” argued finally to enable this relationship, that when it is pulled to an extreme, becomes dangerous.