Monthly Archives: March 2015

The Glass Cage

Nicholas Carr’s book The Glass Cage is an excellent analysis and cautionary tale about the rise of automation over the last two centuries. Carr describes how technological advances such as autopilot, self-driving cars, and (some day) robotic soldiers introduce critical moral dilemmas about automation’s role in our society. In addition, Carr proposes practical design features such as haptic feedback and elimination of superfluous system alerts. In combination with increased automation, these features ensure that human operators can intervene in situations requiring judgement, improvisation, and experience – all functions and characteristics that computers cannot (currently) replicate. A quote on the back jacket sums up the book well: “The Glass Cage should be required reading for everyone with a phone.”