Maurice Conti is the Chief Innovation Officer at Alpha focused on what he calls the Augmented Age. He talks about it this way: We’re heading for a future where our natural human capabilities are going to be radically augmented in three ways: Computational systems will help us think. Robotic systems will help us make. And a digital nervous system will connect us to the world far beyond what our natural nervous system can offer.
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.
I saw a glimpse into a possible future in a book titled Homo Deus, written by Yuval Noah Harari in 2016. Before his journey forward, the author explores the past. His conclusions challenged my core belief system in a very uncomfortable way. His arguments were logical and thoughtful (whether I agree with them or not), and based on a foundation of life science, algorithms, and biotechnology. This look forward once again raises the question of Ethics. The author himself makes this point when he says:
“The rise of AI and biotechnology will certainly transform the world, but it does not mandate a single deterministic outcome. All the scenarios outlined in this book should be understood as possibilities rather than prophecies. If you don’t like some of these possibilities you are welcome to think and behave in new ways that will prevent these particular possibilities from materializing.”
I’ve given the main themes of this possible future a label and provide a quick look using excerpts directly from the book. You decide for yourself if this future represents an enhanced or diminished humanity.