Humans are no longer valued for our creativity, says media theorist Douglas Rushkoff — in a world dominated by digital technology, we’re now just valued for our data. In a passionate talk, Rushkoff urges us to stop using technology to optimize people for the market and start using it to build a future centered on our pre-digital values of connection, creativity, and respect. “Join ‘Team Human.’ Find the others,” he says. “Together let’s make the future that we always wanted.”
How to be “Team Human” in the Digital Future
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We are in a period of unprecedented changes, almost all driven or enabled by technology, and mainly by emerging digital technologies. For companies that are willing to try to understand the transformations underway there are unlimited possibilities. Ability to reach new customers and switch to new models, increasing the scope, impact and effectiveness of programs, services, regulations and policies.
But there are also tensions on the use, exchange and integration of data at all levels. In particular, there are tensions around the advantages offered by artificial intelligence and the need to protect yourself from possible algorithmic bias.
Many of the emerging technologies that drive digital transformation within companies are accompanied by concerns that do not exclusively concern technology, but above all its ethical implications. So here we are talking about ethical technology and implications that cannot, and above all, must not be ignored.
Recognizing ethical issues related to digital transformation and allowing ethics to shape the design process is a key challenge, and will be so throughout the next decade.
If the intelligence of machines becomes increasingly pervasive in society, today we must strive to quantify our ethical values. It cannot be assumed that machines are intrinsically capable of behaving morally.
We humans have to teach them what morality is, and how it should be measured and optimized. For artificial intelligence engineers, this may seem like a daunting task. After all, defining moral values is a challenge that humanity has pursued throughout history.