Technology vs. Humanity FutureScapes

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TECHNOLOGY VS. HUMANITY

The coming clash between man and machine

Futurist Gerd Leonhard breaks new ground again by bringing together mankind’s urge to upgrade and automate everything-down to human biology itself-with our timeless quest for freedom and happiness.

Before it’s too late, we must stop and ask the big questions: How do we embrace technology without becoming it? When it happens-gradually, then suddenly-the 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 the Jurassic Park of Big Tech.

Artificial intelligence. Cognitive computing. The Singularity. Digital obesity. Printed food. The Internet of Things. The death of privacy. The end of work-as-we-know-it, and radical longevity: the imminent clash between technology and humanity is already rushing towards us. What moral values are you prepared to stand up for – before being human alters its meaning forever?

Gerd Leonhard is a new kind of futurist schooled in the humanities as much as in technology. In his most provocative book to date, he explores the exponential changes swamping our societies, providing rich insights and deep wisdom for business leaders, professionals and anyone with decisions to make in this new era.

If you take being human for granted, press Reset now with this passionately argued call to create a genuinely braver new world.

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

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Additional information

Weight 0.33 kg
Dimensions 23.5 x 15.5 x 1.3 cm
Format

Paperback, PDF, ePub, mobi

Reviews

  1. (verified owner)

    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.

  2. (verified owner)

    A brave manifesto for a more human world.

  3. (verified owner)

    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.

  4. (verified owner)

    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?

  5. (verified owner)

    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.

  6. (verified owner)

    It’s time to really think about the future we are building. This manifesto is highly engaging and ask the right questions. Brilliant read not to be missed.

  7. (verified owner)

    Technology vs. Humanity is a lovely response to the puffed up declarations from Silicon Valley executives that their businesses aren’t just delivering products that people enjoy, but are bringing salvation itself to humanity. Author Gerd Leonhard has done the startup thing. He knows the culture, including its vanities, but he doesn’t respond to the digital fundamentalism of Singularity believers with a luddite fundamentalism of his own. Leonhard gives digital technology it’s due – it can help people to make some important social improvements. All that Leonhard is calling for is a balanced approach to the consideration of new technologies, with equal consideration of the value of human experience alongside the value of computational efficiency.

    This book is a solid first stab at a response to the irresponsibly disruptive culture of get rich quick silicon schemes, but it’s not without flaws. For one thing, the author’s compelling central argument is weakened by the book’s inflated sense of urgency. Leonhard exaggerates the degree to which digital devices have already become integrated into our society, describing a degree of algorithmic infiltration that aptly describes the aspirations of tech executives and enthusiasts but sounds silly to people who keep their feet planted outside the rarified bubbles in certain parts of San Francisco and Seattle.

    “As far as man-machine convergence is concerned, we’re not quite in a land where we stay at home while our cyborg doubles live out our lives for us,” Leonhard writes. Actually, we’re not at all close to this mythical land. There’s a big difference between the theory of how new technologies could transform our society and what’s actually taking place.

    Another vulnerability of the book is that, although it delivers a rallying cry for the reassertion of humanity against the growing power of technology, it fails to pay adequate attention to the human side of the struggle. Almost all of the book is devoted to the description of the nature of technological change that Leonhard believes is likely in the near future. The character of a successful human response is only hinted at with general terms such as “creativity” and “emotion” and “embodied”. The details of these uniquely human strengths never materialize in this book.

    Leonhard may believe that the human side of the balance is self-evident, but the culture of Silicon Valley, and of business in general, has disparaged the validity of the full human perspective for so long that the qualitative experience has become esoteric, and needs to be explained in detail. We like to think that we can understand the softer side of being human intuitively, but actually, there’s a great deal of complexity in culture and psychology. We can’t just remember to cherish the feeling empathy, and be done with it. The human side requires a great deal of qualitative development before it can stand as an equal partner to the quantitative juggernaut our society has crafted.

    These shortcomings aren’t anything close to deal breakers. Leonhard’s accomplishment in articulating the core of an authentic human response to the disconcertingly rapid acceleration of technological change is a notable accomplishment. The incomplete nature of Technology vs. Humanity should be viewed as consequence of the novelty of a humanist conversation with the superficially more tangible world of data.

  8. (verified owner)

    Gerd Leonhard is very successfully bringing humanity into the centre of the exponential technology development that we are right in the middle of. He brilliantly discuss some of the polarities and dilemmas that are right in front of us as citizens, politicians, entrepreneurs, business leaders, parents. Everyone that is concerned with how we bring humanity forward in the age of robotics, automation, internet of things, big data, etc. can benefit from the deep insights that Gerd Leonhard so richly is sharing in his 2016 book Technology vs. Humanity. Closely connected to the sound development and transformation of global business leadership myself I give Technology vs. Humanity my warmest recommendations.

  9. (verified owner)

    As we head at speed into a new, exponential, smart machine enabled and exciting future we do need to ponder critically the big new questions that this new era for humans raises! Gerd Leonhard artfully takes us on a journey of discovery of our new challenges, new risks and new frameworks to derisk life and business against the excitement of its exponential opportunities! This book is a must read for any leader… In any leadership position, anywhere!

  10. (verified owner)

    MUST READ book for every business owner, executive, politician, engineer, scientist, doctor, designer, architect, producer, artist, or anyone who cares for our humanity and who believes we can create a better world using technology, and not be used by it. Gerd writes about the dramatic changes technology has brought to us and the exponential trends coming to us the next 2-3 decades. He documents in detail about the impact of technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, the Internet of Things, Robotics, Genetics, Digital Transformation, the Automation of Everything and Virtual Reality will have on us. Most important, Gerd invites us to think and take action about the ethical challenges we face as humans in the coming clash between man and machine.This book is right on time, Gerd hands us the topics we all need to think about in order to act responsibly in the future using technology to become more human.

  11. (verified owner)

    Finally, someone calls for balance. Gerd does a great job of focusing on the unintended consequences of our exponential rise, while at the same time remaining mindful of the positive impact on society that this rise can have.His call for dialog is both refreshing and timely. He does not just point to the issues, but he primes the pump of dialog with his own thoughts and conversation starters. Well done sir.

  12. (verified owner)

    While everyone else is gung ho about technology and its potential to enhance humans and society, this book is a bit like the voice of reason telling us to slow down and really consider what we’re doing before the exponential nature of technological change overwhelms us. It’s an essential guidebook on what we must do now in order to maintain our humanity and not become the machine in the coming years.

  13. (verified owner)

    With his unique and varied experience researching and talking about technology the world over, futurist Gerd Leonhard shares his insights with us and what we can expect of the future. His prognosis is neither doomsday nor euphoric, but rather he implores us to take the future into our own hands. While most authors either warn us of the impending dangers or preach salvation, Leonhard reminds us that we have a voice, a choice and can act in our own best interests. He is urging us to save humanity from becoming completely digitised and taken over by processors.

    Ultimately, he is asking us to define what it means to be human, what are our best human qualities, and how can we develop ourselves along with technology rather than becoming pawns or slaves to those who control technology be it human or machine?

  14. (verified owner)

    WOW, one of the best books I have read! This was/is such a thought provoking topic that I started seeing all the other news articles about AI, robotics, etc. everywhere I turned. This entire segment of the world fascinates me and I really want to get deeper into these topics.

    I feel some of these changes are coming even faster than what is in the book. Self driving 18 wheelers are already being test in the field. a consortium of companies has come to together to try and think thru so many topics this book calls out are in desperate need before or technology jump the curve and we can no longer control it. I really love the hashtag #hellven (blend of hell/heaven).

    There are so many topics in this book that are all interconnected, but Gerd does a tremendous job of not burying anything with techno jargon and his use of Oppenheimer, Greek terms and quotes from other authors/scientists, etc. really drives his points home. It is sometimes overwhelming how fast technology continues to advance, but Gerd does a tremendous job of calling out topics that REALLY need to start being discussed.

    LOVE these items:
    – Precaution vs. Proaction
    – 5 new human rights for the Digital Age
    – Nine suggested principles
    – seven essential questions to ask

    This books has definitely made me re-think some decisions, like Google’s new AI Allo, I downloaded it last week and then I started seeing articles about it and before I even used it once, I deleted it. I am excited to continue to follow this space and Gerd to see how well we can shape or future for the better.

  15. (verified owner)

    Many books wrap people in discussions and arguments about the future of humanity as technology becomes pervasive. Gerd does a really great job of framing the challenges and considerations in the world and pushes us towards ways we can retain our humanity. An essential read!

  16. (verified owner)

    Great summary about where we are heading due to the technological tsunami coming towards us. It focuses a lot on ethical questions and how society could react to disruptive technologies.

  17. (verified owner)

    Thought provoking read about how technology will shape our world and lives. We will abdicate to technology or will we control our destiny by holding those human virtues as our guiding light. Highly recommended to any technologist or futurist who wants a glimpse into our potential future.

  18. (verified owner)

    Everyone should read this book and really think hard about how digital one wishes to become. Do NOT order this as an eBook, or you’ve admitted you’ve already gone to the dark side. Great stuff, Gerd.

  19. (verified owner)

    I’ve known and worked closely with Gerd Leonhard over many years. As ever, Gerd offers fresh thinking and informed insights regarding his views on what we need to be aware of as humanity and technology edge ever closer together. Technology moves at a very rapid pace, and it’s important to pause and reflect on the implications of our capabilities relative to choices that humans may be better equipped to make vs machines. Gerd’s observations are thought-provoking and controversial, but whether you agree with them or not, they’re important to consider. Definitely worth a read.

  20. (verified owner)

    This was an excellent read! Gerd tackles our future in technology with a mindfulness and respect that sets a good example for humanity as a whole. Many concepts are covered in this read, including (but not limited to) the Singularity, #HellVen (read more to find out!), and how we are at the pivot point of an explosion in technological advancements. He reminds the reader that just because we can do something, does not mean that we should. I highly recommend this book to all humans, and perhaps we should input his ideas into our machines so we retain some essence of what it is to be human.

  21. (verified owner)

    We are living an amazing disruptive and digital transformation time, plenty of challlanges and benefits ahead, so it is essential to identify the digital ethics and the future of business! Leonhard book is clear, practical, useful, entertain and very helpful to persue thoughts and a dialogue for those issues. Humans are the most important element to shape the digital economy

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