A vital comment was buried today deep within an avalanche of stories relating to humans and robots co-existing in the future workplace. In an article entitled “Rise of the Robotic Workforce”, Harvard Law School professor Benjamin Sachs suggests that “if robots become intelligent enough that we do see a long-term displacement of human labour by technology, we need to rethink a lot of fundamental things about the way to structure work (and) the way we structure the social contract.”
Boom! Changing the way we work would be challenging enough, but re-imagining the social contract is mega: a sea change. But it hasn’t taken the advent of robots to alert us to the unsustainability of our current ordering of things. The stresses on the environment and the global economy are matched by the pressures on the species responsible for creating the mess. We, after all, confected and then corrupted all of our social contracts: with the planet, with other species, and with ourselves.
All the while, “The Robot age is arriving sooner than we thought”, supporting the thesis of the Harvard article with the intriguing thought that robots will advance from a present in which they can now share data over the cloud, to a future in which “every robot’s dreams will improve the performance of all robots”. Against this context, a thoughtful corrective is supplied in a presentation made earlier this summer at Milan Expo, proposing “Five ways that play can save the world”.
Lively Stuff from Planet BAM!
- How emerging brain technologies are already shaping our future
Whatever the “Singularity” means in terms of what and when, it is clear that the integration of technology and biology is well underway already, so much that lines between human and machine may begin to blur. This article looks at how brain technologies are shaping our future, from mind-mapping to diagnostics, and prosthetics to brain/computer interfaces.
- What exactly is neuroscience? Amidst the nonsense dressed as neuro-wotsit, a definition
With an infographic distinguishing six key areas of neuroscientific research, this article quotes approvingly from the mission statement of the Stanford Neurosciences Institute: “to achieve a new synthesis from molecules to mind, from analysis to application, from science to society.”
- Neural microchips to streamline the criminal justice system? Let’s put this on pause . . .
A “transhumanist presidential candidate” (no less) has not boosted his chances with this idea, judging from the continuing rumbles in the weeks since this, the very essence of a brainfart.
- Their economy is still in trouble, but Ethiopia is becoming an AI powerhouse
Will the birthplace of Lucy play a big role in the next explosive leap for Homo Sapiens?