Technology plays a crucial role in Saving Our Society. Although especially social media has given it a bad rap, technology is needed to (help) address the global challenges as well as to enable the re-education of the population.
Also, technology is needed to facilitate innovation itself (coordination, integration and tooling) and for the personalization of learning, living and working.
With respect to tooling, Web3 is a necessary development as it is based upon decentralization.
Most people cannot keep up with pace of technology. For example, I spoke with a nurse who had no clue about music subscriptions and WIFI speakers, with someone who still uses the same password for all sites, and a personal trainer who doesn’t care about home fitness technology like Tonal.
Re-education needs to train people about both the basics of technology as well as Emerging Technologies (emTech). An important point to teach is convergence. A lot of innovation happens at the intersection of multiple (emerging) technologies.
Technology is already having an impact on the world of work; this trend will increase a lot. Much standardized work will be automated and people will have to be re-trained or lose their jobs. This connects with the need to reconsider the work-income paradigm.
2/3 of the employees are disengaged. Therefor we need to re-design work itself. The solution is to let the boring work be done by A.I. and robots so that people can have a more exciting and creative life.
At the same time, we need to prepare ourselves for the Singularity.
What is singularity? From Ray Kurzweil: thousands of years of gradually accelerating progress is leading toward a point in time when a computer can provide greater overall intelligence than a human (who is not herself enhanced by AI). I have consistently put that threshold at 2029.
In the 2030s we will merge our neocortex (the outer layer of the brain where we do our thinking) with AI in the Cloud (computation available through wireless communication) thus increasing our intelligence. According to my calculations, we will then multiply our intelligence a billion-fold by 2045, a prospect so transformative that we have borrowed a metaphor from physics and call it the Singularity. The metaphor is to compare this future historical event to the event horizon of a physics singularity (that is, a black hole) where it is difficult to see beyond the event horizon. The Singularity will profoundly transform every aspect of civilization—and we are among the lucky five percent of humans who ever lived who will have this happen within our lifetimes. It will, in turn, vastly increase our life spans.
We could even say that we are also nearing environmental singularity (climate change, see IPCC 2021 report), economic singularity (both middle class and lower class not being able to provide for their cost of living) as well as social singularity (inequality, racism, migration).
We are close to those tipping points, and need to act now, otherwise we are too late. Technology can help us.
We can learn to work with technology, to cooperate with technology. More work will be done by humans and robots, by humans and A.I. We need to accept that technology is better at doing some tasks than humans. The earlier mentioned convergence of changes is an area where the silo-focus of humans is not very helpful. A.I. can easily work on for example different scenarios for different options of change.
We can build a nature-positive society for all by facilitating man-machine cooperation.
To solve the global challenges in society, we need
- Bottom up contribution from citizens AND
- Smart systems AND
- Process for cooperation
The cooperation between man and machine could look like this.
Kasparov’s Law emphasizes the need for a clear process of cooperation: weak human + machine + better process was superior to a strong computer alone and, more remarkably, superior to a strong human + machine + inferior process.
Synergy between Man (citizens, communities, institutions, companies, government) + Machine (systems, AI) + Nature will lead to working solutions for the global challenges.