Living in The New Renaissance (EP2)
Today, what is more valuable than money? Data. Some of the biggest companies in the world right now, such as Alibaba, Facebook or Tencent, based their business model on data. As we become more hooked to our screens and perform more activities online, the amount of data created is immense.
When you wake up in the morning and go through your social media feed, the algorithm structures the feed based on what it knows about you and what it thinks you will like. The algorithm is always collecting new information on you, whether it be your interests, location or what you spend money on; this information is then used to tailor what you see.
True, this is convenient for the users, but is it us telling the machines what we think or the machines telling us what we should be thinking about. As Gerd Leonhard, the author of Technology vs Humanity said, “the more we connect, the more we must protect what makes us human”.
Leonhard argued that the biggest danger right now is not machines eliminating us but that we become too much like them.
The more we become like a machine and lose touch of what makes us human, the more susceptible we become to getting replaced by technology. Anything that is routine, for example a plane pilot, could be replaced by robots. However, anything that cannot be fully digitised will become more valuable. This includes things like compassion, empathy and ethics.
Our job in the future is to become more human.
It is not all doom and gloom; new technology will enable new jobs to be created. Dell Report stated that 85% of new jobs in 2030 haven’t even been invented yet. Therefore, what we should do to co-exist and thrive with new technology? Instead of investing everything on science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM), spend equally on subjects like humanity, ethics, creativity and imagination.
We cannot stop technological advancement, but we can prepare ourselves to co-exist and reap the benefits the technology we have worked so hard to create.
That is what it means to be human in this new Renaissance era.