Derrick De Kerckhove

Derrick De Kerckhove

After his studies with Marshall McLuhan, Derrick de Kerckhove undertook an in-depth research on the ability of the media to influence human perceptual and cognitive experience, starting from the assumption that the mass media can be defined as psychotechnologies, i.e. technologies that affect and modify ways of thinking and feeling. He elaborated the concepts of web hypertinence, in relation to the degree of relevance that specific connections establish with the contents summoned by a query, of webness, i.e. a specific cognitive dimension, a form of connective intelligence constituted by users connected to the internet, of digital unconscious, i.e. everything that is known about you that you do not know, that is stored in Big Data and accessible by Data Analytics, of limbic social system, a theory that emphasizes the viral and global impact of emotions on Social Media, etc… Recalling Pierre Lévy's theory of Collective Intelligence, de Kerckhove has updated and adapted it to the technological context and affordances of networks, aiming at the connection of intelligences as a synergistic approach and meeting of individual subjects to achieve a goal. This connectivity goes hand in hand with and at the same time completes the idea of collectivity proposed by Lévy, adding to it the specification of participants and of their role in the network. Not only, therefore, the communicability of the single elements as a fundamental characteristic of the new medium, but the possibility offered for the action/creation of a multimedia production, or a cognitive artifact. De Kerckhove has organised connected intelligence seminars in his classes and in various concerns around the world to commercial companies, governments and universities to help small groups think together in a disciplined and effective way while using digital technologies. As a media consultant, for his cultural and educational interests, and for related policies, de Kerckhove has initiated Urban Happiness projects to involve citizens in improving their sense of belonging and of community in their place of residence. Presently a visiting professor at the Polytechnic Institute of Milan, and scientific Director of Media Duemila and the Osservatorio TuttiMedia, he is at work on the epistemology of Artificial Intelligence and the crisis created by the encounter of the Digital Transformation with the millenary alphabetic and literate establishment.

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