This chapter explains that “smart” technology incorporates artificial intelligence and performs tasks for people, instead of facilitating their performance of tasks. The archetype of smart ambient technology is the smart home or the smart office. The chapter explains what each is. It demonstrates how smart, environmentally embedded technology changes our relationship with technology. It notes the related phenomenon of embedding technology in ourselves to create cyborgs. Futurists believe this will be an aspect of our not-too-distant future. The chapter explains that the analysis in the remaining chapters concentrates only on environmental, smart technologies for two reasons: One is that the cyborg phenomenon will not become significant for many years; the other is that the approach outlined in Chapters 7 and 8 can accommodate cyborg misuse of technology.
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