Tag Archives: Anne Foerst
Anne Foerst delivers Wednesday’s Interfaith Lecture in the Hall of Philosophy. Photo by Michelle Kanaar.

Foerst: Only physical community fosters empathy, trust

“There is no demarcation of public and private space,” asserted Anne Foerst at her Wednesday 2 p.m. Interfaith Lecture. Her topic was “Social Media and the Church.”

“I went to a conference, and people were constantly texting. They seemed to think it was a waste of time to meet new people,” she said. “That takes away the joy of going to a conference.”

Foerst is associate professor for computer science at St. Bonaventure University, and she has worked in the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

“Have you seen people texting in church or at a funeral?” Foerst asked.

Humans are physical, communal beings, and the universal presence of social media is changing how people interact.

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Foerst explores religious community’s response to technological advances

What’s the difference between being a person and being human?

The terms are often used interchangeably, but theologian and computer science professor Anne Foerst has studied their differences for years as an expert on artificial intelligence. Now, she said, Facebook is influencing some of the core concepts that make humans human — the ideas of friendship, commitment and acceptance of imperfections.

“People keep social hopping; the idea of having a commitment to a group of people and taking them as they are is already loosening,” said Foerst, a professor at St. Bonaventure University. “Facebook reinforces that trend, especially in our young generation. I personally find that deeply disturbing.”

Foerst will discuss social media’s influence on personhood and community — particularly religious community — at 2 p.m. Wednesday in the Hall of Philosophy.

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Week Six explores our digital selves

The morning lectures of Week Six, themed “Digital Identity,” will explore the physiological, cultural and psychological consequences of living digitally and examine how our online presence shapes the concept of self, demands for privacy and the way we relate to one another.

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