Zurich / Switzerland November 14, 2106, Futurist Gerd Leonhard
When was the last time you drove anywhere without the aid of your GPS, Google Maps or Waze? Would you consider the time spent navigating by your wits a waste of consciousness – or vital for remaining human?
Many of us might be increasingly willing to do more important things such as finding our future mate with the help of technology, but what happens when technology gets in the way of our subsequent relationship, as we increasingly build relationships with screens rather than with people?
Will we ultimately prefer interactions with machines and robots over those with other humans, because it’s infinitely more convenient? Will we enjoy augmented and virtual reality simulations so much that ‘plain truth’ actually becomes a let-down? Will software start cheating the world (not just ‘eat it’ as Marc Andreessen famously put it 2011), and once artificial intelligence surpasses human intelligence will we completely outsource our thinking to algorithms? With apps and (soon) intelligent digital assistants (IDAs) for practically everything, what would be the point in maintaining numeracy, literacy, bilingualism, or even hand-writing and driving skills?
In his breakthrough new manifesto ‘Technology vs. Humanity’ (Amazon, direct orders, website) Futurist Gerd Leonhard articulates for the first time the thousand unvoiced doubts and misgivings humanity is feeling as the physical environment around us is becoming ever more knowing, if not yet know-all.
How far away is technology from becoming that ubiquitous global brain? It already knows people that bought this book also bought these and that guy like you usually like this activity or that product, or that these people like these kinds of songs during that time of day. Big Tech and Big Internet is already observing, tracking, remembering and recording us in ways that make many of us feel like a little lifestyle, a jumble of hormones – or fancy code – pretending to be an individual.
Technology vs. Humanity parses the sequence as one from Automation to Abdication to – potentially – Aberration, from magic to manic to toxic. When a cyborg Friday accumulates enough personal code to mimic Robinson Crusoe, who will rule our islands? Without taking a reductionist line or going neo-Luddite, Leonhard outlines the urgent need for a code of Digital Ethics and, finally, some accountability by the Alphabets, the Apples, the Alibaba and all the other triple-A big beasts of the new Jurassic digisphere.
A world-renowned futurist with a unique background in technology as well as in Humanities and the Arts, Gerd Leonhard gathers perspectives and insights from a plethora of cultures, industries, and individuals. These delicious ingredients make Technology vs. Humanity far more than a single monograph. As the Information Age recedes into a sepia-toned photograph album, we may well enter a new historical space where living an organic biological life as a human will become an option rather than a necessity.
Technology vs. Humanity is the biggest conversation on the planet. Consume it as a physical book or virtual experience before the brain you’re using is annexed by a publicly-traded ecosystem.
Contact the author directly here.