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The Future of Feeling: Building Empathy in a Tech-Obsessed World

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3.16  ·  Rating details ·  215 ratings  ·  36 reviews

An insightful exploration of what social media, AI, robot technology, and the digital world are doing to our relationships with each other and with ourselves.

There’s no doubt that technology has made it easier to communicate. It’s also easier to shut someone out when we are confronted with online discourse. Why bother to understand strangers—or even acquaintances—when

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Kindle Edition, 223 pages
Expected publication: February 1st 2020 by Little A
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  • The Future of Feeling by Kaitlin Ugolik Phillips
    The Future of Feeling: Building Empathy in a Tech-Obsessed World
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    Release date: Feb 01, 2020
    An insightful exploration of what social media, AI, robot technology, and the digital world are doing to our relationships with each other and with ...more

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    Giveaway dates: Jan 02 - Jan 31, 2020

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    Dee Arr
    Jan 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: reference
    I felt a kindred spirit as I read through the Author’s Note and Introduction. It seemed that Kaitlin Ugolik Phillips held some of the same views as I did concerning the use of social media and the dwindling use of traditional social skills. As I continued to read, however, the mood and thoughts changed, affecting the way I viewed the book.

    The author begins by examining how empathy can be used in different contexts and how using technology we could increase that empathy. As the book moves on,
    ...more
    Khurram
    Jan 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
    Where are we now

    A good book. The thing that sums up the book for me the quote "what many of us consider science fiction, the technology for is or very soon will be a reality ".

    What is highlighted in this book the state of empathy. How as humans we seem to be losing it, and machines are constantly being built to be more empathetic. However is machine empathy the same thing we feel as a connection to another person, or is it used to further divide/manipulate us by the corporations/people behind
    ...more
    Sarah
    Jan 05, 2020 rated it it was ok
    Shelves: 2020-non-fiction
    Disappointing. The book tried to connect too many ideas (each with one or two experts and rehashing of previously published books or articles) with little critical analysis (with the exception of the last chapter.) I should have skipped to the bibliography and read the source material instead.
    I.J.
    Jan 13, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
    If you have a particular interest in the behavior of those on social media, the future of society and AI and how it is changing how society communicates, this may be for you. However, I had to add this to my #dropped list. Got more than halfway through and saw that much of this book read like a dissertation a tired student needed to finish for a degree. I appreciate the work that went into this and there are some interesting theories. However, if you live on the internet like me but don’t really ...more
    C.A. Gray
    This was a really interesting and engaging book, spoiled by the heavy-handed political examples. The author used them to illustrate her points, but she only chose examples on one side of the political aisle. Makes sense--those are the ones she herself will resonate with. But in so doing, she inherently vilifies everyone who disagrees with her as "non-empathic." Pretty ironic for a book that is supposed to be all about empathy for those who disagree with you.
    Richard Propes
    Jan 08, 2020 rated it liked it
    "The Future of Feeling: Building Empathy in a Tech-Obsessed World" is more a weaving together of technology and empathy than an actual argument for empathy. It may be important to recognize this difference before reading the book as it may very well impact your enjoyment of and appreciation for the book.

    I appreciated Phillips's journey through a variety of areas of technology and the current movement toward utilizing these technologies in a more humanized, empathetic way. For the most part,
    ...more
    Nicole
    Jan 13, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
    DNF - this was just too damn dull.
    Caroline
    Jan 12, 2020 rated it it was ok
    Very data/statistic heavy
    Anomaly
    When I used my Prime First Reads option on this book, I thought I was picking an insightful, conversational piece about how social media and anonymity affect human empathy. I wanted personal insights into cancel culture, online bullying, and ways we might combat such things without having to stop using social media entirely or rely on hypothetical technology with often-horrific ethical implications. More than that, I expected the author to pick a side and stick to it, not provide a teeter-totter ...more
    Joanna Fantozzi
    Don’t judge a book by the title on its cover! What I thought was going to be a thoughtful analysis of the psychological and sociological effects of the age of social media on our emotions turned out to be a list of empathy-based VR apps and a regurgitation of other peoples’ research. While I appreciated the author’s clear earnestness, the book was dull, did not say much and was not what I was looking for.
    Ray
    Jan 17, 2020 rated it it was ok
    Blah

    Felt at times the writer made this about her and wrote with a bias to support her own preexisting bias. If she focused more on the tech developments and less on her own experiences and ideologies, it may have been an enjoyable and informative read.
    Melissa Loucks
    Jan 12, 2020 rated it did not like it
    I read this for my 2020 Reading Challenge and the prompt was a book involving social media. I have no idea how I even managed to finish this book. It was also my Amazon prime first read for January.
    Scott Grusky
    Jan 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    A significant first step in an incredibly important conversation. The Future of Feeling helps lay the foundation for a framework to discuss how technological innovations should build and encourage empathy. Most of the early chapters merely summarize existing research and don't add original thinking to the topic or speculate much on the future, as it is a very slippery and complex area, but the last two chapters do raise some extremely important questions--questions that far too few people are ...more
    Kirk
    Jan 06, 2020 rated it liked it
    A decent book, calling for greater thoughtfulness in a world increasingly dependent on technology. There was nothing that I found particularly earth-shattering, but I did appreciate Phillips' observation that adults bear responsibility with how we interact with technology because our children observe and learn from us. Honestly, I would have liked to read more on that. Phillips also noted that since technology is a tool, problems are inherently human. I'm inclined to think that I would ...more
    Jacqueline
    Jan 07, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
    Very difficult to get into and maybe it’s over my head but I found the entire book boring and repetitive . Annoyed I wasted my time with Amazon’s free specials. Guess there is a reason it is free.
    Bari Dzomba
    Jan 04, 2020 rated it did not like it
    Stopped at 50%. This book is filled with generalizations and a very poor strategy of trying to link empathy with technology.
    Whistlers Mom
    Jan 06, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    How about a VR group hug?

    Don’t avoid this book because you’re worried that it will be dull because the author has a Phd. Non-medical doctors are people, too, and some of them are witty and entertaining. And what we call “technology” is simply another wrinkle in the on-going development of the human race. It isn’t inherently good or evil and many of the “new” problems it presents are actually age-old and were being hashed out by philosophers centuries ago.

    I think it’s a lively read because the
    ...more
    Richard
    Jan 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
    This book is about an extremely important topic - how is technology effecting our social relationships and feelings? Does this new technology make us more or less empathic? Is being able to post your thoughts and feelings online, so that anyone in the world can see them, as important to your social/emotional development as a one-to-one conversation with the person sitting next to you? Is a conversation with a robot with Artificial Intelligence programmed to emulate empathy helpful or is it ...more
    Jamie Brydone-Jack
    Jan 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: 2020, nonfiction
    While the title of this book may be alliterative and snappy, the subtitle more aptly describes what this book is about. Each chapter looks at our interactions with technology through the lens of empathy. With all the tech and social media that we have at our fingertips, are they enhancing our human relationships and ability to empathize or detracting from it? Spoiler alert: if you hadn't guessed, empathy is seemingly imperiled by our tech-obsessed ways. The author offers her own opinions about a ...more
    Steven Herod
    Jan 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
    An interesting read. This was not exactly what I expected from the description, but still interesting insights. The beginning of the book focuses on impacts of our digital world (screens, social media, etc( and our relationship with the outside world; this is followed up with a fairly lengthy dip into Virtual Reality (VR) and its potential application and implication for future; lastly topped off with a discussion on AI in our world today. The book dips into where we’ve come from and how we ...more
    Jo Osborne
    Jan 18, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    I’ve always had a strong interest in technology, but have grown concerned about how we currently use it; Speaking to others about this usually reveals strong opinions on either side, either failing to address any concerns or adding to the fears. The Future of Feeling offers a more balanced exploration of the subject. It doesn’t shy away from acknowledging some of the issues arising from technology, but it also considers how technology could be used improve our lives and enhance empathy. You’ll ...more
    Brianne
    Sep 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Kaitlin's debut book's topic is not a new one, however the way she addresses her subject matter is very relatable. At various points in the book, especially when discussing Facebook, I found myself looking back to very similar situations like she described, and upon finishing the book I took some time to reflect on how I could have handled certain conversations differently. Her writing also made me redefine what I thought empathy to mean and how to apply it in social and cultural situations. The ...more
    Dan
    Jan 12, 2020 rated it liked it
    The book reads like a series of tech magazine articles on how tech influences our social milieu in a good way or the other. The author shares interviews and researches related to social media, AI, robots, virtual reality, and how we use them.

    Empathy is a terminology used in the book to define what a good thing is or what we are trying to achieve. It is NOT a book that provides an insight into the emotion itself. I would have had a better expectation if the title was "How social media, AI,
    ...more
    Miriam Zuo
    Jan 08, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: 2020
    Having just read a book against empathy, I was interested to see what arguments Phillips would make in favor of empathy. Turns out that this is not that kind of book. She includes a chapter on the importance of empathy and how it's been affected by technology; but rather than arguing the benefits of empathy, she discusses how technology can be used as a tool. Phillips reviews a number of new tech devices - such as VR films, AI, and chatbots - but most of them are still on the fringes or ...more
    Reid
    Nov 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    A thorough and thoughtful look at the current climate of technology and its role in our lives, specifically how we are affected emotionally. Each chapter focuses on a specific field of technology and contains interviews with professionals, innovators and scientists on their thoughts regarding where we are, and where we could be going. I learned a lot reading this and although some of the points may be slightly grim, it does end leaving me feeling hopeful and concludes on a point I was not ...more
    Carina
    Jan 20, 2020 rated it it was ok
    This book became more about using virtual reality to build empathy rather than what I expected, which was a book about understanding and building empathy through the technologies we use every day. The 2016 election came up far too often, as did a politically-fueled Facebook exchange the author had with a former high school classmate. The writing was dull and I found my mind wandering, often having to read an entire page over once I’d realized I was not processing the information I was reading. I ...more
    Colin
    Jan 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
    A fascinating look at the nature of empathy and how technology can affect it

    So, this book starts off with a lot about empathy - its nature, its origins, its apparent decline, etc. - then about the negative effects of modern technology, especially social media, on human empathy. But then, much of the rest of the book is surprisingly optimistic and positive - mostly about ideas to use technology to *build* empathy rather than degrade it. I'm not sure I share the optimism, but it was interesting,
    ...more
    Jasmine
    Jan 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
    Well researched and thought provoking

    The author's journalism serves us well and her personal engagement with tech is an interesting lens. Thought-provoking, how pervasive tech is and how advanced without most of us realizing. I'm not sure her definition of empathy was nuanced enough, and there seems to be complex answers to whether tech is, or can be, empathetic. Good conversation starter!
    evan crim
    Sep 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    I was fortunate to receive an advance copy of this book. I thoroughly enjoyed the author’s thoughts on the current state of empathy in technology and the ways technology could help improve empathy in the future.

    The author seamlessly weaves between discussion of the impact our increasing immersion in technology has on people with ways technology can be used to improve empathy in society. The result is a sense of hope that we have not lost our collective empathy and we can potentially use
    ...more
    Victor Alan Reeves
    Jan 19, 2020 rated it it was ok
    Shelves: non-fiction
    As a Gen Xer, I found this book quite depressing. It's written by a whippersnapper, ie a Gen Yer, and it lists tech people's attempts to achieve empathy through VR, AI etc. Call me a Luddite, but I would imagine that empathy is best gained by interacting with actual human beings and not PCs, tablets, bots, laptops and mobile phones.

    Best part of book: The analogy of current society's tech and social media use with past society's fervour for smoking.

    Worst part of book: The rest.
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