Microsoft’s Inspiring Super Bowl Commercial Asks: Is Technology Humanizing?

“How far can we go?” asks a robotic voice on Microsoft’s viral Super Bowl commercial titled “Empowering.” Taking the view that technology improves and advances the quality of modern-day life, Microsoft’s series of touching commercials is resonating with viewers—and going viral on the internet.

The “Empowering” video warmly conveys the human benefits of technology, ironically taking the view that technology is ultimately “humanizing.”

 

Caught-OnMicrosoft-Empowering-TV-SPot-Superbowl-asks-what-can-technology-do-artificial-limbsBlogertize
A scene from Microsoft’s Empowering Super Bowl ad. Microsoft asks “How far can we go?” with technology.

 

“I am very proud to work for Microsoft,” said George Walters (on his Google+ account) after watching the commercial. Other viewers echoed the sentiment. In a comment on YouTube, where the spot earned 3.5 million views, Lauren Griffen wrote, “Love the empowering technology.”

Surbhi Bakshi, another commenter, wrote: “Technology is ubiquitous. It’s much more common than water today.”

 

 

The touching video is bound to earn acclaim, even from the big-corporate naysayers, for its inspirational view of how technology is improving our lives. With glimpses at latest technology in robotic limbs and video-enabled surgery procedures, Microsoft’s view of the world is very rosy. “Technology has the power to unite us,” says Microsoft’s robot voice, an almost satirical contrast to the “technology humanizes” theme.

Imagine the impact of gesture controlled surgery, where a doctor in Boston can consult with a doctor in London. Or a deployed armed forces daddy, being there live via video to share the birth of his child. “It gives voice to the voiceless,” says the narrator as we see a technology-assisted mute person speak for the first time.

 

Connecting classrooms around the world with technology "empowers" us, says Microsoft in aSuper Bowl TV spot.
Connecting classrooms around the world with technology “empowers” us, says Microsoft in a Super Bowl TV spot.

 

“Technology keeps us connected to who and what we love,” said Maureen Campbell, Director of Marketing and Communications at iWatchLife, a technology company who specialize in smart home monitoring. “You no longer have to physically be there to connect with people.” She gives the example of the iWatchLife system’s use of smart-activated and zoned cameras to connect people remotely. “Our users have set up these smart systems to keep an eye on the babysitter,  the home-alone dog or the birthday party they are missing because they are traveling for work. They also use them to virtually drop in on elderly parents who want to maintain their independence.”

Discover why Microsoft’s “empowered” videos challenge the notion that technology is dehumanizing. They make a convincing case for the opposite.

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