Howard Zinn said, “The future is an infinite succession of presents.” 100 years from now, much will become a reality that we’re barely glimpsing and projecting toward today, with examples like LIGO, the Falcon Heavy, CRISPR, Sophia and more. Artificial intelligence will reach greater capabilities and we will begin to design and augment our lives with increasingly complex, capable technology. The reality of the future will involve new dynamics, weaving human with AI in an interconnected web, placing a spotlight on the essence of our intentionality, free will, ethics, empathy, consciousness, and the capacity to love.
In thinking about the future, the theme of choice is certainly ripe for debate (just watch an episode of HBO’s West World). Do we have a choice in each moment about how to be, how to live and how to design? If yes, how will our constructs of choice, ethics and decision-making involve AI?
We will continue to have a choice in each moment about how to be, how to live. Concepts involving intelligence and presence have always been important, yet they are starting to become prime priorities — critical in every aspect of society. From home to school to work, distraction is everywhere, seemingly attempting to sabotage us, preventing us from enjoying the moments we’re experiencing. And, life doesn’t have the visible delineations it did in the past. If Madonna coined “living in a material world” for the 1980’s, we’re now living in an “immaterial world” — a world of potentials in the cloud, where we keep our focus everywhere — and, nowhere — all at once. We have a scrolling list of the latest fads, which we drop like shibboleths in the wind. They shift by the minute. What effect does this multi-dimensional, constantly augmented experience have on our awareness, sense of self, connection, well-being, stress level, and overall happiness? What about experience design?
Our human capacity and relationship with technology is something that demands our consideration, in the here and now. It’s an imperative that we pay attention to how we pay attention, what we are tuning into, and why we do so in the first place. We must plumb the depths of our human mind, cracking the code for more than what we think or how we think — looking into the why of our intelligence.