Public lecture "Do Smart Devices Make Us Less Smart?"

Together with Rijksmuseum Boerhaave, the Lorentz Center organizes a public lecture about the long-term impact of technological advances on human cognitive abilities.

Sunday 25 June 2023, 16.30 - 17.30 hrs

at Rijksmuseum Boerhaave


What is the long-term impact of technological advances on human cognitive abilities? Cultural narratives and recent scientific investigations have painted a mostly negative picture.


However, the versatility and accessibility of digital technologies means that they shape the interplay between technology and human cognition in multiple ways.


In our lecture, we highlight the need to attend to issues like temporary versus long-term impact, cognitive versus motivational influence, and how we think about cognition. As strictly internal processes or as the dynamic interplay between internal processes and external tools?


We show implications of this for both research and society, reinforcing the importance of users’ self-control and raising questions about what should be assessed in educational testing.

(This work is a collaboration with Lorenzo Cecutti and Spike W.S. Lee.)




Anthony Chemero is Distinguished Research Professor of Philosophy and Psychology at the University of Cincinnati, and a primary member of both the Center for Cognition, Action, and Perception and the Strange Tools Research Lab. 

His research is both philosophical and empirical; typically, it tries to be both at the same time. His research is focused on questions related to nonlinear dynamical modeling, ecological psychology, complex systems, phenomenology, and artificial life.

He is the author of more than 100 articles and the books 'Radical Embodied Cognitive Science' (2009, MIT Press) and, with Stephan Käufer, 'Phenomenology' (2015, Polity Press; second edition, 2021).

He is currently writing a book tentatively titled 'Intertwinings: The embodied cognitive science of self and other' (Columbia University Press).


You can register at the website of Rijksmuseum Boerhaave: Register


This lecture was originally part of the Lorentz Center workshop Enacting Chance: Ignorance, Insight and Intuition, that was organized from 23-27 August 2021. It was postponed due to the Covid-19 lockdown.

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