We are constantly inundated with new technological products and services, as well as the often hidden dangers and misapplications of technology. Just the sheer pace of innovation can be daunting. Between balancing our priorities at home, roles at the office, and responsibilities to our churches and friends, it is far too easy for us to outsource discernment to other people and just accept what they tell us about the role technology plays in our lives.
The most common questions I receive when speaking or writing about technology is “where do I start learning about these issues” or “what does all of this mean for me right now?” While this reading list is by no means exhaustive, I hope to provide you with some solid first steps as you think about these pressing issues and how to navigate them with your family.
Below are six books for you to start preparing yourself to think wisely about technology and the impact it has on our daily lives. Many of these books do not come from a biblical worldview so keep that in mind as you read. I hope these books challenge and stretch you as you dive into them.
Side note: I love audiobooks and listen one almost everyday on my morning commute into the office. Feel free to grab a highlighter, your Airpods, or tablet as you digest the resources listed here.
“Garry Kasparov’s 1997 chess match against the IBM supercomputer Deep Blue was a watershed moment in the history of technology. It was the dawn of a new era in artificial intelligence: a machine capable of beating the reigning human champion at this most cerebral game.”
12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You – Tony Reinke
“Drawing from the insights of numerous thinkers, published studies, and his own research, writer Tony Reinke identifies twelve potent ways our smartphones have changed us—for good and bad. Reinke calls us to cultivate wise thinking and healthy habits in the digital age, encouraging us to maximize the many blessings, to avoid the various pitfalls, and to wisely wield the most powerful gadget of human connection ever unleashed.”
“Believers and unbelievers alike are saturated with technology, yet most give it little if any thought. Consumers buy and upgrade as fast as they can, largely unaware of technology’s subtle yet powerful influence. In a world where technology changes almost daily, many are left to wonder: Should Christians embrace all that is happening? Are there some technologies that we need to avoid? Does the Bible give us any guidance on how to use digital tools and social media?”
“We’re constantly invited to think about the future of technology as a progressive improvement of tools: our gadgets will continue to evolve, but we humans will stay basically the same. In the future, perhaps even alien species and intelligent robots will coexist alongside humans, who will grapple with challenges and emerge as the heroes. But the truth is that radical technological change has the power to radically shape humans as well. We must be well informed and thoughtful about the steps we’re already taking toward a transhuman or even posthuman future.”
“Ray Kurzweil offers a framework for envisioning the twenty-first century–an age in which the marriage of human sensitivity and artificial intelligence fundamentally alters and improves the way we live.”
Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are – Seth Stephens-Davidowitz
“Drawing on studies and experiments on how we really live and think, he demonstrates in fascinating and often funny ways the extent to which all the world is indeed a lab. With conclusions ranging from strange-but-true to thought-provoking to disturbing, he explores the power of this digital truth serum and its deeper potential—revealing biases deeply embedded within us, information we can use to change our culture, and the questions we’re afraid to ask that might be essential to our health—both emotional and physical.”