Time to Make Cyberspace with a Human Face
Time to Make Cyberspace with a Human Face
  • Ewha Voice
  • 승인 2006.09.01 00:00
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▲ [Photo provided by Professor Yoh Myung-sook] Professor Yoh Myung-sook

   A new keyword ?igilog?has emerged as the digital world has created a problem in the current society. Then what is the problem and why is it important to fix it? Ewha Voice asked those basic questions to Professor Yoh Myeung-sook, KAIST Virtual Reality Research Center Ph.D. Researcher, currently teaching Cyber Culture and Philosophy at Ewha, on what is happening in cyberspace and what is the philosophical answer to the problem we are facing.

   E.V.: Before jumping into the issue, what is the characteristics of cyberspace and its culture?

   Yoh: Cyberspace is the space created by digital technology, and cyber culture is a series of actions and events happening inside it. But today, there is no barrier whether the person I? talking to is a person or a machine. Moreover, everything is becoming digitalized, such as a ?mart house?which functions by itself, and creating an ubiquitous surrounding. In digital space, a person is also able to disperse his or her own ego in more than one place. If there is no principle barrier, there is no way but to go straight forward to the world of ?yberization.?So, the question is how can we find a way to coexist with machines?

   E.V.: Then what is the problem caused by the digital technology?

   Yoh: The digital divide will pose a problem between those who have technology and those who don?. The result of this is the alienation of human beings, but it can be solved by policies that give fair access to everyone. However, digital divide between human and artificial intelligence is the real problem. Like in the movie Matrix, agent Smith is an artificial intelligence existing in the software. However, rather than helping to improve the condition of human life, Smith continuously attacks humans. It is unpredictable whether those days will come, but today? artificial intelligence is all around us, so we are already living in the day of human alienation.

   E.V.: Why should we think of philosophy in the digitalized world?

   Yoh: The more we get to know the nature of cyberspace, the more we ask philosophical questions to ourselves. Suppose I have my own family with kids, and met someone online and got cybermarried, am I immoral? Or suppose I bought an item of the online game Lineage for one million won and someone stole it from me, whose fault is it? Philosophy is no more a highbrow discussion, but an original question closely related to our daily lives. In the grand stream of digitalization, drawing a line between what we should digitalize and what we shouldn? is the hardest project.

   E.V.: Does Liberal Arts hold the key to the future?

   Yoh: Literature boosts imagination. The combination of emotion and logic can be realized into fiction. And, digital technology is putting more value on expression, fun, and the individual. Therefore, CEOs or mechanics who can imagine more can be the think tank of the future world.



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