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Technological advances have defined our age. Computers, the internet and mobile devices are ubiquitous and virtually essential day-to-day tools. Some would argue that they have expanded our minds—and in doing so created the so-called ‘extended mind’. Irrespective of whether this is the case, they have at the very least permeated every aspect of our lives—to the point that most of us now rely heavily on technology and would be truly lost without our mobile phone, laptop or electronic calendar; and this is particularly true of younger generations. However, though we often refer to these as recent developments, even these technological advances are not that new. Surprisingly, most of these technologies have now been available for at least two decades or more. So what has changed recently? The key advances in recent years have been the increase in reliability and portability of hardware devices, the connectivity between devices and the individuals using them and the power with which software can meaningfully process and store information. This has meant that information that previously required a powerful desktop computer to process and store can now be miniaturised into the smallest of portable equipment, …
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.
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