Technology vs Humanity – The Future is already here

By Frank Diana | 19 May 2017
Reimagining the Future

In a recently released video, Futurist Gerd Leonhard delivers his key messages in a powerful and passionate plea for balance between technology and humanity. This five minute video is a must see. Some of his key messages are:

Sector after sector, industry after industry, we are waking up to the fact that the future is already here. My note: after struggling to drive a level of urgency regarding the speed at which the future is approaching, leaders are now beginning to embrace a future-back mentality.

If your profession is built on routine, it will be automated. Before you choose a career, make sure it has a shelf life. Fifty percent of our jobs will be automated within the next 10 to 15 years. The vast majority of new jobs haven’t been invented yet. Human-only work is our future.

If you are spending more time communicating with screens than human beings – maybe now is the time to check back into team human. The most important things in life cannot be expressed in zeros and ones. Gerd focuses on what he calls androrithms: those things that make us human: compassion, mystery, morals, ethics, and values.

Within a decade, we will reach the so-called singularity – the point in time when machines will equal and then surpass human brain power. By the time that happens, it may be too late to retain what actually made us human. My Note: there are varying opinions regarding the timeline for the singularity – with many targeting 2040.

We may be the last unaltered humans to inhabit this planet. Is it possible to remain human the way we currently define it? What will it mean for humanity to cohabit with an intelligence far greater than ours? How can we cope with our new found irrelevance?

Silicon Valley has spent the last decade building platforms whose end game is digital addiction and utter dependency. Maybe now is a good time to have a discussion about digital ethics – or should we wait until luxuries like mystery, free will and unrecorded thoughts are a distant memory? Technology is a useful servant, but can also be a terrible master.

How much of your humanness are you willing to surrender in order to tap into the convenience of those magical machines? The more we robotize our world, the less we govern ourselves. Are we destined to merge with technology, to become one with the machines?

My favorite line in this video is this: Never in human history has the present been so temporary. Humanity will change more in the next 20 years than in the previous 300. The future is much too important to be left to algorithms and intelligent machines.

Let’s decide our own future – before it gets decided by mission control.

Reprinted with permission from the author.

Frank DianaFrank Diana is a recognized futurist, thought leader and frequent keynote speaker. He has served in various executive roles throughout his career and has over 30 years of leadership experience. At Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), he is a thought leader and advisor in the context of business, societal and economic evolution. He blends a futurist perspective with a pragmatic, actionable approach – leveraging horizon scanning and story telling to see possible futures. His leadership experience obtained through various executive roles connects practical realities with the need to focus on an emerging future filled with complexity and change.

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Presentation Content – Reimagining the Future

Technology vs Humanity – The Future is already here. A film by Futurist Gerd Leonhard

Our Emerging Future – Frank Diana

Digital Expert Interviews: Futurist Frank Diana

Reimagining The Future: A Journey Through The Looking Glass

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