TECHNOLOGY VS. HUMANITY
The coming clash between man and machine
In the tradition of wake-up calls such as Brave New World and Nineteen Eighty-Four, Technology vs. Humanity fills a gap in our bookshelves that addresses the widening gap between technological agendas and our inherent value systems as Homo sapiens. As digital transformation rolls across all sectors of society, humanist Gerd Leonhard starts up a last-minute conversation about the essence of humanity—and the limits of technocracy. This is the opening shot in a new type of conversation for the world—one about the purpose rather than the power of Big Tech.
In fact, digital transformation is just one of the Megashifts rushing to redefine life on earth in the next few years—these are exponential evolutions that will be impossible to unthink or undo. Now is the time to wake up as a human individual and a business professional, and to start asking the right questions. When is the last time you heard a cogent ethical argument from a leading technology brand? Who is tackling the imminent tsunami of digital obesity altering ordinary lives? How will we live in a world dominated by robots and cyborgs? By setting a new series of Socratic challenges to the reader, Gerd Leonhard incites a key discussion for the twenty-first century.
Technology is simply the ‘how', and must never become the 'what' in human life—yet in many areas of our public and private lives, that is exactly what is now happening. Technology vs. Humanity is the first work which articulates this coming clash in detail, offering numerous models and concepts to restore the moral equilibrium and re-think our social contracts. In an environment where actors are all too easily painted as converts or conservatives, Gerd Leonhard demonstrates a third way of thinking—beyond the confines of existing cliches. Yes, it is possible to use the latest technology and put it in its place. Yes, it is practical to develop the kinds of ethical framework we will need in an exponentially digitized world.
When the real changes arrive, the new machine era will create the greatest watershed in human life on earth. Technology vs. Humanity is one of the last moral maps we’ll get as humanity enters this Jurassic Park of Big Tech.
What moral values are you prepared to stand up for—before being human alters its meaning forever?
Praise for TECHNOLOGY VS. HUMANITY
"A brave manifesto for a more human world."
- Andrew Keen , author of The Internet is not the Answer
"Gerd Leonhard is most definitely a member of Team Human. Here's his convincing and heartfelt call for the reinstatement of people and purpose into the technology program."
- Douglas Rushkoff, author of Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus and host of the TeamHuman podcast
"Gerd Leonhard provides a fascinating look at the impact of exponential technologies and the dilemmas we will face in adapting to—or being adapted by—these. His book really makes you worry—and think."
- Videk Wadhwa, academic, researcher, entrepreneur, and author of Innovating Women: The Changing Face of Technology
"Gerd Leonhard zeroes in on some of the most vexing worries about our coming age of mechanically-enhanced thought. Are there "win-win" ways to gain the advantages without sacrificing our humanity? Can we bio-minds teach the newer kind ethics? Or love?"
- David Brin, award-wining author of Earth and Existence
"Our world is transforming at breakneck pace. Gerd is raising the central most important question of the century: what will our ethics be? His book can help us choose the path of a beautiful and rich future and avoid the path where that future—by virtue of billions of unconscious non-decisions—has impoverished our lives beyond repair."
- Albhy Galuten, futurist, strategic technologist, Grammy Award-winning record producer, inventor
About GERD LEONHARD
Fusing humanism with futurism, Gerd Leonhard is a leading global thinker, challenger of outdated paradigms, and inspiring keynote speaker. Since 2004 he has conducted over 1,500 engagements in more than 50 countries for a combined audience of over 1 million people. He focuses on near-future, ‘nowist’ observations and actionable foresights in the sectors of humanity, society, business and commerce, media, technology, and communications.
Gerd is an influential author, a sought-after executive future trainer, and a trusted strategic advisor. He co-authored the best-selling book The Future of Music and authored four other books prior to Technology vs. Humanity (2016). Gerd hosts the web TV series The Future Show and is the CEO of The Futures Agency, a global network of over 30 leading futurists.
In 2006, The Wall Street Journal named him “one of the leading Media Futurists in the World,” and in 2015, Wired Magazine ranked Gerd among top 100 influencers in Europe. Gerd's keynotes, speeches and presentations are renowned for their hard-hitting, provocative, inspiring, and often humorous motivational style. He is highly regarded as a global influencer and advises business leaders and government officials worldwide. His diverse client list of over 300 companies includes UBS, MasterCard, Unilever, Lloyds Bank, WWF, Nokia, The Guardian, Google, Sony, Telkom Indonesia, Siemens, RTL, ITV, BBC, France Telecom, Orange, Deutsche Telekom, MTN, The Financial Times, DDB, Ogilvy, Omnicom, IPG, The European Commission, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, and VISA.
Gerd is a fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts (London) and a member of the World Future Society. A native German, he resides in Zurich, Switzerland, and maintains an office in San Francisco.