Are 23 long years still separating us from the moment of technical singularity? On average, the global experts for technology assessment agreed on the year 2040 by which they expect the development of an artificial superintelligence. This entity which is slipping away from human intelligence faster and faster will trigger a chain reaction of unimaginable technological breakthroughs with the result that man will probably be classified as the new last ape in the evolutionary chain in the second link.
Long years? Then not really – for this would imply… that the pride of creation would eliminate itself within the course of our expected lifetime?
Don’t worry. This will not happen. Because astonishing things still apply even to the constantly networked, fresh and agile digital leader in the year 2017, somewhere between the 25th and 65th year of his life. “Disruption is “an item on the agenda”. “We have always done this and that like this”. This sounds like: “Let’s make disruption great again”?
Disruption – which, by the way, is often used synonymously with “transformation” – from the empiricism of my own practice increasingly seems to me as if…ADHS has become the normal condition of a society that does not think society anymore. Catalogue number 314.01 of the International Classification of Diseases of the World Health Organisation provides the following description: “Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a mental disorder of the neurodevelopmental type. It is characterized by problems paying attention, excessive activity, or difficulty controlling behavior which is not appropriate for a person’s age”. Shamed be he who for example thinks of corporate incubators or accelerators in the year 2017.
Only 144 years ago, the Italian geoscientist Antonio Stoppani incidentally contemplated the term “Anthropocene” for a new, geochronological era on earth for the first time. It is supposed to comprise the period in which man became one of the most influencing factors on the biological, geological and atmospheric process on earth. In 2008, the stratigraphic commission of the Geological Society of London found convincing arguments for the thesis that the interglacial period with stable climatic conditions which is described as Holocene is reaching its end and has entered a stratigraphic interval “without close parallel in the last several million years”. The increase in the production of greenhouse gases, the man-made landscape changes, the extent of which considerably exceeds the natural annual sediment production in the meantime, the acidification of the oceans as well as the continuous destruction of biota play a role here.
Did man need the “digital transformation” with “VR/AR/MR/HR”, “blockchain technology” or “artificial intelligence” for this purpose? No – the mere desire for progress of the own biography to a life in accordance with the layout of western abundance sufficed – supported by technology. The overriding objective is: growth, growth, growth – preferably with a hockey stick. More SUVs for the cities of this world, more package holidays on the beaches of this world – the most important point is to have even more of more because isn’t this how future value arises? This is why it is called: “Exit –asap”?
It is time for something really new. “Let’s start with radical openness – instead of panic; although it would indeed be appropriate. Let’s ask ourselves which actual problems we are solving with our daily work. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations with its 169 subgoals could provide orientation like the hourglass of T-23 years until our own elimination. Is this easier said than done? Yes – and yet, the impulse is necessary. For we are already a digital capital according to ourselves. Off to new shores.
By Christopher P. Peterka