Advancing technology: Good or bad?

We are expecting our world will continue with faster changes; what is likely and how should we prepare and respond?

This talk is by Maurice Ward, M.Sc., FRSA. Nobody, including experts, knows what the future will be. The session will investigate four possible scenarios, rather than a prediction, for the effect upon society developed by the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of the Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) and Arup. The reality will probably be a mixture from each. This is more fruitful ground to investigate than a narrow prediction.

The scenarios are: The big tech society – rapid pace of tech take up, society finds difficult to manage The precision society – tech progress moderate but hyper surveillance dominates The exodus society – no funds for deep tech, bad work, people leave cities/lifestyles The empathy society – tech advances responsibly, growth in education, care, entertainment, hospitality

There has been no classification of the types of technology and their different impacts. A classification of four types has been suggested: - automation (robots, CAD for designers, store check outs) - AI and management (recruitment, performance evaluation, employment termination) - brokerage (Ebay, Amazon, Uber) - digitisation (Email, Netflix, iTunes, 3D printing)

We will investigate the upsides and downsides of the social impact of technology on these possible futures. What is our government doing? Research suggests they are worried, but ignorance is resulting in little action. We will look at what our response could or should be. We do not need to passively accept a future of all these progressions being inevitable or uncontrollable. If we think they transgress our values for a good society there are actions we can take, but we need to be vigilant. This is a 2 hour session, with a 15 minute refreshment break.

Lectures will be delivered via Zoom. If you haven't used Zoom before, please go to www.zoom.us and look at the tutorials. An invitation to the lecture will be emailed to you.

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