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Start Essential: 18 Key Ideas to Look to the Future
08 February 2017

Essential: 18 Key Ideas to Look to the Future

Estimated reading time Time 3 to read

Looking to the future can make your head spin, especially when we lack information on some of the disciplines that promise a more radical transformation: genetics, artificial intelligence and robotics are going to redesign our world, and this will take place in the short rather than long term. But what can we expect from the society of the future? Sometimes it’s difficult to think about tomorrow without being drawn into the influence of science fiction stories. Where’s the border? How far have we come with technology?

In this practical book we have selected twenty international experts in some of the leading disciplines to discuss with their help what the technological transformation will be like and what areas of our lives it will affect, including society, ethics, medicine and art. Dare to take the next step and open the door to exponential life with the book “The next step: exponential life”.

  • There will be a “fourth age” (after the third). This means we will increasingly live longer. The borders of old age are moving. So says gerontologist Aubrey De Grey (SENS Research Foundation): it is possible to reverse aging through biotechnology. More information +
  • Be prepared to live with “soft-smart” robots. The new smart materials will make it possible to develop robotics that can more easily interact with human beings. This is the proposal of Professor Jonathan Rossiter (University of Bristol). More information+
  • We will live on a planet with its own electronic nervous system, according to Professor Joseph A. Paradiso (MIT Media Lab). The proliferation of sensors will lead to an omniscient system that will change our perception of the environment. More information +
  • A new definition of intelligence is necessary, now that artificial intelligence is advancing at breakneck speed. Can we distinguish between humans and machines with current tools? Kevin Warwick and Huma Shah (Coventry University) explain a famous experiment with the Turing Test. More information +
  • Could a robot demand copyright of its work? Discover the response of the researcher Ramón López de Mántaras (Institute of Artificial Intelligence Research, IIIA) on “computational creativity” and robots as creative entities in themselves. More information +
  • The arrival of “ubiquitous” media is what is forecasted by Jay David Bolter (Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, USA) and María Engberg (Malmö University): the “re-mediation” of traditional media thanks to new technologies that enable them to become ubiquitous. More information+
  • Augmented reality is also an art, or at least, artists have a lot of clout in the creative process, according to the researcher and artist Helen Papagiannis. More information +
  • Brain emulations or EMS will dominate the world. Robin Hanson (George Mason University) maintains that at some point in the next century artificital intelligence will give rise to the fifth revolution: all areas of your daily life will be radically transformed. More information +

    Portrait of all authors cited in this article. They all participate in the book “The next step: exponential life” by BBVA OpenMind
  • Yes to artificial intelligence, but only if it is to our advantage. This is the argument defended by Professor Stuart Russell (University of California): we need a new approach to analyzing artificial intelligence to control that its development will only seek our benefit and shall not constitute a risk in itself. More information +
  • “Flexisecurity” is what we will need tomorrow to regulate access to rights and benefits that we currently link to work activity. What will we do when robots work for us? Professor Darrell M. West (Brookings Institution) answers that question. More information +
  • Say goodbye to your bank, at least as you know it today. Francisco González (Group Executive Chairman of BBVA) well knows that digital transformation is an unavoidable process for the financial sector. Is banking without banks possible? More information +
  • A world without money: a universal system of credits and debits will be replaced according to Chris Skinner (Financial Services Club) by current systems of monetary and security exchanges. What will we give value to in the society of the future? Will we be able to forget the value of money? More information +
  • Are we prepared for genetic discrimination? Steven Monroe Lipkin (Weill Cornell Medical College) believes that sequencing the genome of an entire country could be very useful for preventing and curing diseases, but this could be a double-edged sword: can I purchase insurance if I have a genetic disease? More information +
  • A new “sustainable” and very tech human species. That is the solution proposed by S. Matthew Liao (New York University) to curb climate change. We can act on our environment (with a number of risks) or on ourselves and improve as a species through technology to become a more sustainable population. More information +
  • Respect my brain! This phrase could become a relevant claim, according to the argument maintained by James Giordano (Georgetown University), if neuroscience continues to move ever faster in the future and we don’t worry about establishing appropriate neuroethicsMore information +
  • The prehistory of the future is us. According to Luciano Floridi (Oxford University) the fourth revolution will change our world so drastically that our grandchildren will be what the last Amazon tribes are to modern society: the last historic generation organized, in this case, in States. More information +
  • The technological future will be safer than the present, or at least, that might be the conclusion from the arguments of Seán Ó hÉigeartaigh (Centre for the Study of Existential Risk, CSER), who maintains that we have been exposed to great risks (nuclear weapons) until now; however, in the future the technology to come will also provide solutions.  More information +
  • A post-human evolution beyond Earth. Martin Rees (Institute of Astronomy) believes that extraterrestrial colonization by a genetically enhanced human species will be possible. Without doubt, in the opinion of the former Chairman of the Royal Society, this century will be the most momentous since our planet has existed. More information +

Dory Gascueña for OpenMind


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