( A ten minute read)
Too often technology is discussed as if it has come from another planet and has just arrived on Earth.
I have dedicated quite a few posts to the need for a New World Organization to vet all Technology, Software, AIs, prior to their release into the world, to ensure that they all complied with our core human values. (see previous posts)
So where do you fit into all of this TECHNOLOGY:
The ways that we as users and consumers experience devices will change greatly; every touch, scroll, pinch, zoom, tap, click and so on will be rich with unique animations and feedback – attention devoted to the most minute of interactions may well create far more engaging experiences for us all but the whole notion of an organized professional ethics is an absurdity when it comes to AI.
This is why it is so vital to think about humanity’s new agenda.
No one is an expert on seeing the full picture. Different fields of technology are now effecting other fields. Artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, big data, genetics, you name it. No one understands the System any more so no one can stop it. Nobody can can absorb all the latest scientific discoveries.
Nobody has the slightest clue where we are heading in such a rush.
Never mind the expense of loosing our identity, or privacy, the world around us is changing – there is no doubt about that – yet the inexorable march of time and technology is at times so profound, so alien, and so overwhelming, that we often retreat to our safe spaces – of comfort and ritual and practice – rather than embracing those changes head-on as they come.
It is becoming abundantly clear that humanity’s relationship both with nature and technology needs to be undertaken by cooperative, collective action at all levels – local, regional, and global.
Our products are becoming increasingly anonymous, autonomous, automated and homogenous, but we’re still to see a push back from the users. The significance of trust in digital products has yet to be fully realized. With growing concerns over security and data we are loosing sight of what Technological AIs are doing to society and the world as a whole.
Dozens if not hundreds of virtual machine brains are making decisions inside AI Algorithms for you, and every other facet of your daily lives.
Artificial General Intelligence is still the stuff of science fiction — but lesser, more practical AI’s, virtual assistants and digital concierges are right at our doorstep — most notably Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Echo, Alexa, Cortana, Google Now, Jibo, M, Clara, Amy and S Voice.
These personal “intelligent” assistants are entering our lives at a staggering pace — everyone that owns a smart phone has access to at least one of these AIs, and the world is coming to terms with the reality that AI is here to stay. As we begin to welcome multiple AIs into our lives, we’re beginning to find that our intelligent helpers aren’t being so “helpful” with one another.
Because these smart helpers are not designed to negotiate any division of labor amongst one another, leading to redundancy, contradiction, and overall dysfunction when their original purpose was to simplify things.
The world of apps and services is becoming increasingly more granular with us the users left in the dark — powerless and confused — caught between seams.
Are we going to be forced to interact with content in a fixed order along a linear path or are going to see the intelligence of the user being given more paths to navigate through, more decisions to make throughout each process, and more divergent ways to complete each touchpoint other than LIKE.
Every time we open Facebook or visit LinkedIn, we are subconsciously engaging in dozens of microinteractions—many invisible, too small to even notice.
We’re moving towards further atomization of microinteractions, where individual interactions are being broken down into even smaller segments within a greater interaction.
Over half the world’s population is now online and the enormous influx of new users will bring about a disproportionate amount of digital-novices, such as the elderly and the Global South. Unfortunately, the people of these nations also bear the brunt of some of the greatest challenges facing the international community in the next millennium: poverty, environmental degradation, human and civil rights abuses, ethnic and regional conflicts, mass displacements of refugees, hunger, and disease.
It won’t be long before we’ll be passively engaging in thousands of micro-mini interactions every time we take out our phones: with conflicting messages exist for us to truly communicate our message and see it implemented in the workforce. Even worse, our message is becoming abstracted, reduced to bullet points and slide shares, our ideas included solely for the benefit of others’ SEOs.
Designers will find new ways to capitalize on newfound user-engagement, both in terms of designing new features around these “interactions within interactions”, as well as devising new interfaces for the abundance of new interactions that the apps of tomorrow will bring!
Where the real paradigm shifting trends of tomorrow lie in wait, is anyone’s guess. It is not enough to look in front of you—you must look ahead to the future.
All of this is giving birth to a new era of mobile friendliness and device agnosticism, and the web as a whole experienced. A shift in consciousness as sites became easier to use, apps became more intuitive to navigate, and services became all the more delightful and engaging to interact with.
You could say that we live in a time of exceptional opportunity, a time of rapid scientific, medical and technological advances.
BUT ARE WE?
LET ME ASK YOU THIS:
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A SINGLE SYSTEM COULD MAKE USE OF COUNTLESS SPECIALIST SYSTEMS IN THE HANDS OF A SINGLE INVESTOR.
THE ANSWERS ARE CATASTROPHIC ON ALL FRONTS.
BACK TO NOW.
That social media is mobilizing citizens to take political action while technological advances are driving down the price of solar power and creating new market opportunities THAT WILL DEVASTATE DEVELOPING COUNTRIES.
Reality is that Extreme global poverty persists, with 702 million people (9.6 percent of the world’s population) estimated to be living on less than US$1.90 a day.
Of the world’s poor, 72 percent (960 million) live in middle-income countries, where they do not experience the benefits of growth and lack access to opportunities and resources, including education, health care, financial services and formal employment—all of which limits socio-economic mobility.
Inequality is fueling violent conflict and political instability. Today’s conflicts are increasingly complex and harder to resolve, and they have a disproportionate impact on civilians.
Current patterns of economic growth are unsustainable and contribute to the acceleration of climate change, posing huge risks for the planet, including its people and their prosperity.
It is increasingly likely that the combined effects of rapid population growth in high-risk areas, environmental degradation and the impacts of climate change will increase the frequency and scale of environmental migration and displacement.
Worldwide, one in every 122 persons is now either a refugee, internally displaced or seeking asylum.
This is a staggering statistic.
In Jordan, for example, one in every 13 people is a Syrian refugee. In Lebanon, one in five persons are refugees.
For millions of people in developing countries, the effects of climate change, such as changing weather patterns and rising sea levels, directly jeopardize their livelihoods, health and security.
The United Nations’ global humanitarian appeal has almost quadrupled in the last 10 years, rising from US$5.9 billion to US$20.1 billion.
We will soon HAVE TO LOOK at the world in a whole new—and much more accurate—way. A future born of new ideas as to how we create a world that is peaceful, prosperous, just and inclusive—a world where human rights are protected for all. We must urgently address climate change and support inclusive clean growth, including through support for clean energy and sustainable agriculture.
We must protect human rights, including for women and refugees, while promoting accountable governance, peaceful pluralism and respect for diversity.
We must generate new opportunities for youth, so that their despair does not become a risk for global stability and security. And we must continue to respond to human suffering and instability brought on by crisis and disaster, including the hardships facing refugees and displaced populations.
The challenges are clear.
Our collective challenge lies in giving practical expression to this fundamental understanding. For better or worse, weather is an integral part of our world. It impacts our every experience, however subtle, and is thus an omnipresent variable in the way we experience everything else in our lives – including the apps on our phones.
Unsustainable consumption coupled with a record human population and the uses of inappropriate technologies are causally linked with the destruction of the world’s sustainability and resilience. Widening inequalities of wealth and income.
The world-wide disruption of the physical climate system and the loss of millions of species that sustain life are the grossest manifestations of unsustainability.
We must find ways to protect and conserve as large as possible a fraction of the tens of millions of plants, animals, fungi and microorganisms that make up the living fabric of the world.
We depend on them for the maintenance of the sustainable properties of the earth and for virtually every facet of our existence, and yet we have recognized only a very small fraction of them up to the present date.
If we don’t save them now, we clearly will not be able to save them later.
Up to now we’ve had a very fixed view of ourselves but globalization has expanded a country’s presence beyond its physical borders. No developing country has been able to reduce poverty without sustainable economic growth.
AI for Profit is going to ensure that they remain so.
This is where we fit into technology by developing an algorithm that can translate information culled from depth maps of virtual surfaces into dynamic tactile experiences. Another words real-time maps on our flat screen that show the state of the world.
The dramatic climate shifts of the near-future will bring about extreme environmental conditions that necessitate the need for ever more vigilant weather tracking maps.
In view of the persistence of poverty, the widening of economic and social inequalities, and the continued destruction of the environment is it not sensible that we get a handle on Technology before it condemns us all to slavery.
The evidence is that technology is destroying jobs and indeed creating new and better ones but also fewer ones.
Only through the empowerment and education of women and children throughout the world will we be able to attain a world that is both just and sustainable. We have a clear moral obligation to do this, and will benefit greatly by succeeding in this goal.
This will not be achieved by AI or technology.
So I leave you with these two further questions:
Who Will Own the Robots?
If the rewards of new technologies go largely to the very richest, as
has been the trend in recent decades, then dystopian visions could
become reality. The rapid advances in automation and digital
technology provoke social upheaval by eliminating the livelihoods of
many people, even as they produce great wealth for others?
How can we get better at sharing the wealth that technology creates?
No one knows the answer.
As Algorithms become more intelligent and more powerful it is not only the the financial industry that will require safeguards against exploitation and risk, we all will.
But the machines are tools, and if their ownership is more widely shared, the majority of people could use them to boost their productivity and increase both their earnings and their leisure. If that happens, an increasingly wealthy society could restore the middle-class dream that has long driven technological ambition and economic growth.
If you want to get your head around any of this I would recommend that you read: Homo Deus by Yuval Noah Harari ISBN 9781910701874.
All comments appreciated. All like click chucked in the Bin