Forever Cyborgs
a long view on physical-digital interaction

Alan Dix

Professorial Fellow, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Wales, UK
Director of the Computational Foundry, Swansea University, Wales, UK

Keynote at the European Conference on Cognitive Ergonomics (ECCE 2022), Kaiserslautern, Germany, 7th Oct 2022.

From prehistory to the internet age, humans have always lived as part of a technologically mediated world. Knapped flints have given way to touch-screens, cuneiform to CSS, but in both rapid hand-eye coordination and long-term social interactions, our experiences and actions in the world are embedded in a physical, mechanical, symbolic and digital nexus. After far too long in the writing, my co-authors and I are delighted that "TouchIT: Understanding Design in a Physical-Digital World" is finally published – symbolic words, recorded in digital media and printed on physical paper. This book covers established and emergent digital technology, but repeatedly the continuity of current and past technology, physical and digital worlds is evident. The fundamental cognitive resources that enable our digital existence in an age of constant flux are the result of aeons of development in a physical world that we remake and reimagine. In this talk I will explore multiple scales of digital interaction from seconds to years, informed by and illuminating what it means to be a fully embodied and richly reflective human.

Alan Dix 29/10/2022