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Glued to Our Phones

Earlier this week, Apple spent a significant part of the opening speech in the Worldwide Developers Conference addressing on how to reduce the usage of iPhone. It, therefore, introduced features that would enable users to take control of time spent interacting with their devices. The features allow users to read-out the time spent doing various things on their phones and offer ways of rationing it. With the rationing, it is possible to limit the usage of platforms such as Twitter to say, one hour a day.

The new tools also enable parents to have more control over what their children do with their phones. For some people, the message relayed by the company seems ironical because the same company is promoting some reality apps that keep users glued to their phones.

Prof Matt Jones who is a computer scientist and conducting a research on people’s relationship with their devices argues that Apple’s message is not cynical because other companies have been relaying the same message to their customers. He also adds that when big firms such as Apple, Facebook, and Google begin to speak about these issues publicly, then that is an indication that they acknowledge the strong signals in the market and that the issue is a debate that people want to discuss. In line with his research, Prof Jones also held an event titled, “The Trouble with Mobile Phones” at Cheltenham.

Concerning addiction to phones, Jones asserts that people are getting disconnected to each other socially. It is rare to hold a conversation with a colleague with getting distracted by a digital device.  However, some people view Apple’s message like the moral panic that came up in the 1960s concerning whether kids were watching too much television.

In this week’s program at Cheltenham, there will be a discussion on whether there is a point in playing chess compared to the Chinese game of Go considering the fact that computers have now mastered them. Matthew Sadler, a Chess grandmaster says that he gave up chess a couple of years ago after a defeat by IBM’s Deep Blue in 1997.

Sadler thought that he had just reached an end of professional chess but all that changed when he saw how computers act as collaborators. Natasha Regan who plays Chess and Go thinks that there is a future for both games because there is still an opportunity for humans to play against humans. However, the computer version of the game has introduced new moves that people can implement in their games.