What got you here, will not get you there. This books shows the new way for survival.
From: Amazon Customer | 05. Mar 2018Speaking authoritatively as one of the few 100 original Change Agents, I say that Mr. Leonhard book, Technology vs. Humanity and is the most inspiring, relevant, research based, credible, ethical, future as now and positive book that I ever read. Very importantly, I utilize his wisdom to wake up my clients around the world so they get serious about immediately transforming their entire enterprise to deal with the exponential change that is here. This book, is a great distillation of Gerd'‘s thinking. I believe it’s a must read for anyone interested in job security as well parents who care about preparing their children for the future. As one of the first ethics professors on organization change, Gerd is right. We must have a global dialogue on the ethics of technology and ensuring that humanness is over technology.
Buy it. Read it. Act as you apply it here and now. Time is of the essence!!
Roland Sullivan, Organization Development and change pioneer since 1962.
It's interessing and curious, but I think we won't ...
From: Stanislav | 25. Nov 2017It's interessing and curious, but I think we won't clash with robots or create AI. It's more reasonable to wait for the collapse of civilization.
Technology is making us so engaged that we can't even find time to spend with our loved ones. Are we getting so blindfolded in this ...
From: Amazon Customer | 08. Nov 2017Our world is transforming at a breakneck pace. Change happens to be an eternal law of nature. Change leads to evolution, transformation and can even be disruptive. Most important notion is how human values have undergone change in this technological era. Problems and potentials often go hand in hand; problems can be turned into opportunities.
Society has become more and more dependant on technology, that sometimes we lack the willingness to think before we act. The author Gerd Leonhard also says that ' power comes with consequences- and we have become so busy enjoying the much increased powers of technology that we often fail to act responsibly. He has very well referred to our world as HELLVEN. Heaven and hell is here- we ourselves make a choice according to our behaviour. Technology is not what we seek but HOW we seek, explains everything.
Technology is making us so engaged that we can't even find time to spend with our loved ones. Are we getting so blindfolded in this era of technology that our brain has stopped beholding the essence of right and wrong? The clash of man and machine is upon us. Will we blindly abdicate big chunks of our lives to the global technology or will we take back our autonomy and demand a sustainable balance between technology and humanity?
It's a thumsup to Author Gerd Leonhard for wonderfully explaining the concept and taking us to the world of reality.
Mehak Gupta Grover
Excellent, eloquent and timely
From: Bas | 12. Sep 2017Gerd's work is eloquent, critical and timely. Most tech narratives are either of the Net Optimist kind or critical of digitization wholesale. Technology vs Humanity finds the right balance and proposes all the right arguments for a reframing of digitization - what I prefer to call a New Digital Deal. Arguably Gerd's work is one of the most important and best on the topic this decade. -- Bas Boorsma, author of A New Digital Deal.
From: F. Uhart | 25. Aug 2017Good book, a brief of his thoughts is included in his Change2 video
From: Kimberly | 16. Jul 2017Very interesting read
Menschlichkeit als Maßstab
From: Stefan | 09. Aug 2017Futurist Gerd Leonhard ist digitaler Gestalter und inspiriert mit seinen Gedanken über unsere digitale Zukunft seit Jahren seine Zuhörer in den Chefetagen vieler Unternehmen.
Im Laufe seiner Technologie-Weckrufe sind ihm offensichtlich Zweifel gekommen, dass Technologien zu viel Freiraum erhalten könnten. Diese Gedanken hat er in seinem Buch „Technology vs. Humanity: The coming clash between man and machine (FutureScapes)“ verarbeitet.
Dabei bleibt Gerd Leonhard optimistisch, dass wir Menschen die (digitale) Technik in Zukunft sinnvoll und zum Wohl der Menschen einsetzen können. Dies aber nur, wenn wir (jetzt) andere Regeln aufstellen und umsetzen.
Sein Vergleich heutiger digitaler Gestalter mit Oppenheimer und Einstein, die sich nach dem von ihnen unterstützten Einsatz der Atombomben auf Hiroshima und Nagasaki klar gegen nukleare Kriegsführung positioniert haben, ist schon ziemlich drastisch.
Leonhard versucht, einen konkreten Ansatz und „Pack-An“ zu finden, welche Veränderungen wir angehen sollten, damit wir Menschen nicht auf der Strecke bleiben, sondern technische Möglichkeiten zu unserem Vorteil einsetzen. Es geht ihm darum, das Menschliche zu bewahren und der Technologie nicht alle Felder zu überlassen, die technisch machbar sind. Er rät uns, Grenzen zu setzen und dabei die Menschlichkeit als Maßstab zu verwenden.
Nicht nur am Ende des Buches gibt es strukturierende Einteilungen und Empfehlungen, wie wir dieses Projekt zur Bewahrung der Menschheit konkret angehen können. Man merkt als Leser, dass Gerd Leonhard dieses Buch eine echte Herzensangelegenheit ist und er stellt seine Ideen und Argumente strukturiert dar. Dennoch klingen einige seiner Aspekte aus dem Blickwinkel der immer schneller werdenden Effizienz-Welt manchmal ein wenig banal und ich kann mir vorstellen, dass er dafür kritisiert wird.
Aber auch wenn dieses Buch keine breite Anhängerschaft hinter sich vereinen wird, so ist es doch wichtig, dass es dieses Buch gibt. Denn es kann den Grundstein für eine Veränderung der Randbedingungen schaffen, damit digitale Technologie ein Ermöglicher bleibt und wir Menschen uns mit neuen ethischen Grundsätzen auch digitale Technologien nutzbar machen ohne dabei unsere menschlichen Wesenszüge zu verlieren.
Anmerkung: Ich fand die englische Fassung ist gut zu lesen. Inzwischen ist das Buch auch auf Deutsch erschienen: Technology vs. Humanity: Unsere Zukunft zwischen Mensch und Maschine
the author really did his research and has amazing ideas. MAKE an audio
From: Amazon Customer | 02. Apr 2017must read, the author really did his research and has amazing ideas.
MAKE an audio version
A must read to understand the opportunities and challenges of the future
From: B. Marion | 18. Mar 2017This book is a must read if you want to understand the challenges of the exponential development of technology. Unlike most other futurists Gerd Leonhard starts a conversation about what we should and what we should not do with technology. This book will help shape a global debate on the purpose and ethics of technology—and the ethics of those who invent and provide it.
Gerd Leonhard suggests that we define some basic ground rules for the coming machine age by determining which technologies, if applied, will most likely promote human flourishing and should therefore be pursued, and which technologies will not. He says that we must also ask the “when, why, and who” questions more often, and we also need to think about who would actually control compliance with those rules.
Awesome book, massively important!
From: Yfke | 01. Feb 2017I can't stress enough how immensely important this book is. Gerd represents what he stands for: a human being intending to stay human amidst machines. Using technology as a mere tool to human flourishing, not to become it. Highly recommend this book!
Thoughtful, provocative and urgent work
From: CA Dude | 23. Jan 2017This should be required reading for policymakers and anyone who wants to understand the unprecedented existential shifts humanity is rapidly moving towards. My spouse and high-school children are now reading it so that together we all can discuss the potential patterns and choice points that we all face. Hope over fear.
Technology vs. Humanity provides an excellent overview about the future to come and the stakes at hand.
From: Alexander | 20. Jan 2017Gerd Leonhard's book Technology vs. Humanity provides an excellent overview about the future to come and the stakes at hand.
Team Human is the only option
From: Glenn | 16. Jan 2017The author really opened up my eyes. I am a data scientist and have considered the areas he addresses in terms of nefarious AI and such but not to the degree he covers here. Although I think his timeline is somewhat abbreviated for the possibilities of machine world domination, I think those put forward by Kurzweil are probable. We need to resist technology for the sake of technology and inject ethics and common sense into the equation. Human Happiness must always be the reason for a new technology or product.
A valuable view into the into our deeply provocative future
From: MusicTech | 11. Jan 2017This is an awesome book. I love the tactical near future books (like Kevin Kelly's The Inevitable...) but this is a different kettle of fish. Gerd brings to the front issues that do not get discussed enough - particularly around policy decisions that software is making while we are not paying attention (or pretend that they are just algorithms and not controllable). Technology vs Humanity is an extremely valuable view into the into our deep and deeply provocative future.
From: Vic | 05. Jan 2017AlgoAndroRythms !!!
From: Tor-Arne | 04. Jan 2017The book helped me reflect upon my own relationship with technology and if it is hindering our human potential flourish or not. I guess time will tell!
From: Paola | 02. Jan 2017Great book, current. A must read for parents if they are concerned about their and their kids' future.
From: David | 12. Dec 2016Relevant today and informative.
A must read books when you want to understand the ...
From: Customer | 17. Nov 2016A must read books when you want to understand the intersection about technology and humanity in the future and how we as human can control the future. Challeging and provoking the way you think about the future as well...
The question no one asks and should
From: Alan | 16. Nov 2016I recently heard a businessman cynically say, "but no one asks that question where I come from". My reflection on this was, but perhaps the question no one asks, is the one, we should in fact all be asking. Gerd, has been asking the important questions for some time now. and as he says, he is a 'nowist' not a futurologist. My recommendation is to read Technology vs. Humanity and consider the one question you are not asking, and perhaps should. It is my own view we need more beauty in this world - beautiful businesses, beautiful technologies, that not only enhances our humanity, but is, transformative to people's everyday lives. Humanity is the interface with technology and not the other way around. Technology should serve us all in a very human way.
An Important and Timely Debate
From: Douglas | 14. Nov 2016As a futurist I can attest to the notion that we, as humans, have a tendency to either anthropomorphize and romanticize technology or to demonize it and point to its ill effects. At once, we are becoming increasingly tethered to technology and the empowerment it provides but at the same time, lamenting that dependence and the negative side effects it has on us and our society. As with most things, the truth about both the promises and perils of technology lies somewhere in between.
It's within this rich ground that Gerd Leonhard has staked out an important debate. Technology vs Humanity is a balanced and urgent examination of exponential and transformative nature of technology while calling out its potential for unintended and far reaching consequences for humanity. Gerd implores us to appreciate what technologies like robotics, artificial intelligence and human augmentation can potentially do for society, but to do so with eyes wide open, recognizing that we must also develop a new social and ethical contract to ensure that it is we who control our relationship with such technologies and not the other way around.
Amazing book (again) - think you know Tech? learn about free-reign AI Tech and what happens if humans don't build its framework
From: Francois | 14. Nov 2016Another amazing book by Gerd Leonhard. Must-read if you THINK you understand what's happening right now in the world of Tech and behind the highly guarded, closed doors of Silicon Valley's Tech labs. Their next move is (truly) awesome and life-changing, but it is also utterly clear that we arevvnot prepared, at all, for what's to come, and most of us have no clue what we're engaging with / committing to.
The strongest argument made, in my view, is the one that all humans, by birth, have a default set of rights granted to them in the Declaration of Human Rights (I know, many countries still dont abide by it, but most do), so killing, stealing, torture, freedom of expression and movement etc are covered and universally endorsed.
Web services are defined and provided by a set of commercial rules (usually defined by a tech founder, not a lawyer or humanist) focused on profit generation and rights to re-use data you create. And now machines are given the keys to all services, yet who's telling them what's right and wrong, what's fair and unfair, what's against the 'universal rights' of us, humans?
Gerd's " new human rights for the Digital Age " will make you think about how, and when, Tech must be abiding by a set of rules that humans value, not what code can do at our own cost.
From: Timo | 09. Nov 2016Ethics, why should we be discussing ethics? There is no substitute for ethics and we need to review and debate the ethics of technology. After all, is what we can gain worth the losses we have to suffer? I say the book tackles the issue convincingly. It prompts readers to participate in the debate. It is in everybody’s interest to do better than to become a tool of our intelligent tools. As the author puts it: “Technology has no ethics, but a society without ethics is doomed.” Eminently
It was a great education with better understanding of the
From: Tomasina | 01. Nov 2016It was a great education with better understanding of the issue
Incredible book... very interesting and very enlightening ...
From: EDUARDO VALENCIA R | 19. Oct 2016Incredible book...very interesting and very enlightening.
This Gives you a Clear Picture of the Future!
From: Fabrizion | 12. Oct 2016This is a great book about the future. This is not only about technology but also about humanity. There is so much technology can and will do for mankind but things like emotions can't be replicated by a robot...or can it?
This is a book every young person and not so young person should read. it gives you a clear idea of the professions of the future.
In a world obsessed with technological progress, we need to consider consequences NOW
From: FuturistA | 11. Oct 2016While 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.
Fantastic overview of our future with technology
From: Amazon Customer | 06. Oct 2016I just got the book and had to read it nearly all in one evening. It is so well structured and written that you get a perfect overview of all subjects concerning future of technology and us. I think thats a fantastic book for everybody who is interested in these matters....who isn't? Greg. President Tertsa GmbH
From: Peter Vander Auwera (Co-Founder Innotribe) | 05. Oct 2016We had Gerd with the world premiere of The Future Show Live. It was an amazing unique multimedia immersive experience and Gerd was a super engaging futurist speaking in tweetable quotes every two minutes. The imagery was stunning and created an almost cinematographic experience. The concept of keynote re-invented. Highly recommended.
Think for yourself
From: Tim | 05. Oct 2016Beware: the Singularity is near! Singularity being defined, in the words of the legendary computer scientist John von Neumann, as “the moment beyond which "technological progress will become incomprehensively rapid and complicated."
And the pace is picking up. Never mind Moore’s law and its often predicted “end”, at least as far as silicon chips go. In fact, we are now experiencing exponential growth in many other parts of our lives, too.. “Deep learning”, neural networking and cognitive computing are rewriting the rules in the game between mankind and machine. 20 years ago IBM’s Deep Blue first managed to beat the human chess master Gary Kasparov. In 2016, Google’s DeepMind beat Lee Se-dol, the world champion at the Chinese game of Go. Go is hugely more complex than chess. In fact it’s said to be the hardest game in the world, with some 2.08 times 10^170 possible moves; that’s a number with 171 digits; more possible moves than there are atoms in the universe.
Google’s DeepMind managed to do this without being programmed: it essentially taught itself the game. A great example when we consider how ‘humanly sustainable’ these technologies will or won’t be in the future. Or, as Gerd Leonhard writes: “Self-learning computers are not very likely to tolerate human inefficiencies just because we are used to them...
Great stuff, Gerd
From: Steve | 03. Oct 2016Everyone 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.
Thought provoking read! Highly recommended
From: Grant | 02. Oct 2016Thought 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.
Great summary about the future
From: Bertalan | 01. Oct 2016Great 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.
A Welcome Rebuttal Of The Hype From The Singularity Crowd
From: Jonathan | 12. Sep 2016Technology 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...
On Team Human
From: John | 25. Sep 2016WOW, 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.
MUST READ book about the future of technology and humanity
From: Rudy | 12. Sep 2016MUST 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.
Essential perspectives on how humanity, ethics, values and people can...
From: Jens | 10. Sep 2016Essential perspectives on how humanity, ethics, values and people can remain centre stage in a future of technology dominance. 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.
Critical Questions for Future Leaders
From: Anton | 10. Sep 2016As 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!
Thought provoking and challenging critical thinking.
From: Customer | 29. Sep 2016Many 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!
A provocative lens through which to look at the future
From: Kelli | 24. Sep 2016I'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.
Think and act exponential with digital ethic
From: Customer | 23. Sep 2016We 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
Excellent book! A must-read for all humans.
From: Michael | 21. Sep 2016This 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.
Scary, thought-provoking and essential
From: Julian | 05. Jan 2018This is a sobering look at the unbreakable, unstoppable symbiosis between human beings and technology. Nobody can stop technology and few are asking what its long term effects will be on our species. Gerd Leonhard opens the closet and rattles some scary skeletons. Even if they turn out not to be the future, the questions must be asked - and sadly few tech evangelists are doing so, while the rest of us guzzle the next gadget unquestioningly. I've long said that we'll be communicating with intelligent digital assistants (IDAs) using our voices not our eyes and fingers; AI is upon us now and this will be happening within five years. Sounds great, but there are so many possible challenges of the coming AI era, from etiquette and ethics to the very survival of our species (How will you know if you're talking to a person or a machine? Just how much decision-making will we delegate to potentially superior intelligences? What will they think of us when they transcend us?). Somewhere we need an Asimov-style code for AI, which makes this book very important. A must read for anyone with children.
How can we develop ourselves along with technology rather than becoming pawns or slaves?
From: John C. | 14. Sep 2016With 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?
A Very Informative Read
From: Richard | 12. Nov 2017Leonhard is very knowledgeable on past and current trends in technology and has some interesting thoughts for how we may be affected in the future due to the pace of change.
The book is full of references to hot technologies and qoutes from practically everyone speaking on this subject.
The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars is because it get's slightly repetitive at times.
Decision time for Team Human - it's our future
From: Thomas | 21. Oct 2017This is an important book, deserving of a wide readership. A passionate, personal manifesto. A powerful and compelling rallying cry for "Team Human". I had the pleasure of experiencing Gerd live at an event in London a few weeks ago, and was looking forward to seeing the argument laid out in more depth. Like most of us, my knowledge and understanding of the challenges ahead - in AI and machine-learning, in biotech, in bio- and geoengineering etc - is limited, if growing. Technology vs Humanity asks lots of questions and provides few answers. But that is the point: we are at the stage where the right questions need to be formulated. Answers, then, need to be found in open and transparent (ideally!) civic discourse. Aristotle, Heidegger, Frankl and others serve to make the case for an ethical framework to guide the decisions that need to be made, so technology will serve human happiness - not of the superficial hedonistic sort, but eudaemonia: a more profound, deeper happiness. So: read the book, and joint Team Human in its effort to shape a desirable future.
there is little debate or conversation taking place as to whether these technologies actually act in our best interest, what we
From: Cat | 23. Sep 2017This is one of the most insightful books I’ve read yet which succinctly captures the pace at which technological advance is happening across both our home and work landscapes. And yet in spite of the speed at which new technology is being thrust upon us, there is little debate or conversation taking place as to whether these technologies actually act in our best interest, what we, as humans, are sacrificing as we adopt them and whether society actually benefits in the longer term.
Leonhard has clearly very carefully considered the ethical dilemmas around the widespread uptake of new and emerging technologies and takes, in my opinion, a sensitive and humanitarian approach towards these considerations. The balance between a clear passion for technology and a clear passion for the human goals of happiness, purpose and meaning is apparent from the outset and I’d recommend this book to anyone interested in what the future is most likely going to look like and also what future they want to build for themselves.
Gerd focuses on balance
From: Frank | 11. Sep 2016Finally, 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.
From: Jan | 10. Aug 2017Mind-blowing read. Had to stop in the half and take a week break, for the book is really heavy to digest. It changed the way I look at the labor market. It also made me re-consider my future career plans. If you want to challenge your mind and bolster your critical thinking, buy the book.
This is like a lecture where the speaker gets more and more into his stride
From: Jules | 03. Jul 2017A highly thought-provoking book, based on the premise that humanity will change more in the next 20 years than in the previous 300, plus the perspective that technology is not ‘what’ but ‘how’ we seek.
Written slightly episodically and academically (e.g. I'll talk more this in chapter X), this is like a lecture where the speaker gets more and more into his stride. By the end you are contemplating a possible world where thoughts and associated brain activity are turned into triggers for computers, while mobile devices are voice- and gesture-controlled.
You are encouraged to think about the purpose and ethics of technology - and the ethics of those who invent and provide it.
And, if you agree that technology has no ethics, then a society controlled by technology could be one without ethics - and that could make a gloomy future prospect.
Stimulating brain food
The good, bad and ugly) of current and emerging technologies
From: Eugene | 23. May 2017I recently read Walter Isaacson's fascinating book "The Innovators" which detailed the historic evolution of innovation and the compilation of developments that, over the centuries, have now come to inform and underwrite the on-going tech and digital revolution of our time. If Isaacson's book is the "who, what, when and how" of this revolution, Gerd Leonhard's recent book, "Technology vs. Humanity", takes things one step further with an essential corollary that suggests that we have reached a key inflection / reflection point that begs the essential question: "OK, now that we're here, just exactly what is the broader significance of this revolution?"
Leonhard sets out the potential impact (individual, societal, the good, bad and ugly) of current and emerging technologies, exploring those functions that, in an ethical sense, tech can, cannot, could or should not be allowed to perform. The book is a well sequenced, concise, and accessible read that considers the practical benefits of these technologies while weighing up their attendant ethical and moral challenges. The challenges are diverse and the exploration of the shortcomings and limits of technology (AR / VR and others), and their inherent inability to actually be as human as some purport, is well argued and illustrated.
While not overly gloomy or dystopian (these scenarios are explored, however) "Technology vs. Humanity" is a guardedly optimistic yet cautionary tale suggesting that, if the technology elephant is not already fully in the room, it certainly has a rather large and suspicious foot in the door and that the need for action is imperative before opening the door any further.
"Technology vs. Humanity" repeatedly describes technological evolution as "gradually, then suddenly", and I sense that, although not expressly articulated, what comes next would likely be, "and then it's too late." This book is a wake up call to individuals and is particularly so for policy makers at the national, international and, especially, supranational level of public policy and regulation. This would also include the private sector: business stakeholders, those responsible for corporate social responsibility and, very importantly, ethical investors large and small all of whom need to be asking serious questions about the wider individual and societal impact of the technologies they use and promote. Leonhard structures the on-going debate by providing a useful framework consisting of nine suggested principles and seven essential questions.
The clock is ticking - read "Technology vs. Humanity" gradually, suddenly or however you like, but get on with it before it is too late.
A Wake Up Call to policy makers, business execs and citizens everywhere
From: Simon T. | 04. Apr 2017Critical reading for anyone concerned about the impact of technology on the fundamentals of humanity. Gerd Leonhard, a professional 'futurist' who earns his living explaining complex things to leaders, provides a synthesis of his own research and the results of his ongoing dialogues with other leading futurists about just how fast things are changing and how little most people understand it. The World Economic Forum announced the emergence of 'The Fourth Industrial Revolution' last year at Davos - a coming together of physical, digital and biological worlds via technology. Ethics and philosophy now need to catch up. This book will give policy makers, business execs and everyone else who wants to understand the fast approaching future the inside track on the most important points to understand. It's pretty scary, and it's time for everyone to engage with the topic. Great as a companion read to Yuval Harari's Homo Deus, this goes into more depth on some of the key technological developments and how they will affect us all...
Accessibly thought provoking
From: Simon M. | 27. Mar 2017There are more discursive and detailed variants on the tech v human theme out there but few are as accessible and well structured as this one. Its aim is to open up and encourage debate and thought about questions that may still seem peripheral but need to be considered today. Importantly and rarely for this area it is perfectly possible to have a different view to the author on some key points but still find his examples and discussion illuminating. If you ever work with, use, design or commission advanced tech then have a read
From: Ray | 05. Mar 2017Gerd understands the future better than most and in this provocative book he argues that we've got a fight on our hands: he sees the future as a struggle between emerging artificial intelligence and the survival of humanity.
The book's well written, engaging and thought-provoking.
I'm pleased to recommend it, even if my own view of the future is very different to the vision presented here.
The blatant truth is that this is a debate we cannot ignore.
From: Amazon Customer | 16. Feb 2017The blatant truth is that this is a debate we cannot ignore. Much is written about technology development; very little
about its impact on human development. This book is filling a gap.
All need to read before too late
From: Icymru | 05. Dec 2016This is what needed to be discussed in all schools, college, companies. This should be on all elected person read list and thinking.
From: Clive | 25. Nov 2016A very thought-provoking read. As ever Gerd tackles head-on the pressing issues of the near-future with great intelligence and wisdom. I really hope that Humanity heeds Gerd's warnings and wakes to the dangers of mindless pursuit of technology goals before it votes itself out of existence. A good start would be for everybody to read this excellent book
We need to Know what lies ahead, this is why this is a must read!
From: Fabrizio | 26. Oct 2016This is a great book about the future. This is not only about technology but also about humanity. There is so much technology can and will do for mankind but things like emotions can't be replicated by a robot...or can it?
This is a book every young person and not so young person should read. it gives you a clear idea of the professions of the future.
The Right-Brain Future: the Non-Coding TechStars of the New Digital Decade May Just Be What Will Prevent the Rise of the Robots
From: InAmazonSince1999 | 23. Oct 2016Gerd Leonhard delivers an accurate, visionary yet attainable description of what the future of digitisation is bound to become. Clearly encouraging the reader to take a stance for #teamhuman, that is, to accept that if we still want a society fit for humans to live in we must all start demanding a humanistic approach to how the future of jobs, products and services needs to be. Leonhard exemplifies with great ease the understanding of not just the risks associated with accelerated technological advances but how better outcomes could be achieved if we all thrive to become a right-brain-driven, creative society. A very inspiring book and an excellent read for your teen children to become encouraged to pursue creative careers with a technological orientation, something that not many educators are encouraging today, but that Leonhard with this book becomes the white knight of the non-coding future technologists. An excellent book that leaves profound new thoughts within one's mindset.
We are still human, but for how much longer?
From: JF Cardella | 12. Oct 2016Is Gerd Leonhard the whistle-blower for the world of Big Tech? The author who is rightly considered as one of the leading futurists in the world has the courage to stand up waving a big “HUMANITY” flag that will –no doubt– act as a big wake up call for mankind faced with exponential technological changes and the unstoppable digital transformation swamping our society.
I devoured his new provocative manifesto in an afternoon. This is the kind of book you do not want to put down, unless for grabbing your Stabilo to highlight the constant flow of powerful quotes and deep wisdom. The compelling –yet passionately argued– case Gerd makes for humanity is punching you right in the face at every page with an unsettling sense of urgency: what moral values are we prepared to stand up for before “being human” alters its meaning forever?
The book is full of sharp – and sometimes frightening – insights. Technology vs. Humanity will shock you. A thought-provoking read for anyone inclined to believe that exponential technology has no ethics and if we take humanity for granted we may well witness –gradually then suddenly– the greatest watershed in human life on earth.
But what makes this book so interesting and brilliantly original is that it will make you think in ways you had not thought before. Far from being commercially dystopian and depressing, Gerd Leonhard has a vision and a road map grounded in practical wisdom to make sure that we can “embrace technology but not become it”. The coming clash between man and machine is a vital crash course in why we must interrogate the Big Tech around us and demand better, because if we do not introduce a Chief Humanity Officer alongside the Chief Digital ones that is the kind of clash we will have to experience.
Gerd Leonhard has made hundreds of speaking engagements for Big Tech. His narrative is definitely not against technology (or call it “progress”) but to transcend technology while exploring the myriad moral and ethical issues that lie in wait for us as a species, due to the exponential and combinatorial developments of Artificial Intelligence, deep learning, cognitive computing, the Internet of Things and human genome editing.
Yes, we are still human, but for how much longer? Business leader, professionals, politicians, anyone with decisions to make in this new era, and anyone who wants to understand the tsunami of “Megashifts” coming our way, you have to pick up that book and reflect on what is looming just round the corner in this complete rewrite of the human plot. As Gerd puts it “Humanity will change more in the next 20 years than in the previous 300. Wait and see means wait to die”. Let’s not have Silicon Valley and China as mission control for humanity.
This is a brilliant, 180-page book
From: Bob | 27. Sep 2016This is a brilliant, 180-page book. It is beautifully written, so easy to read that I found it hard to put it down. “Technology vs. Humanity is a last-minute wake up call to take part in the most important conversation humanity may ever have. Will we blindly outsource and abdicate big chunks of our lives to the global technology companies – or will we take back our autonomy and demand a sustainable balance between technology and humanity?”
That is a huge topic, which the author covers in twelve chapters. Chapter 2: “Tech vs Us” covers a key issue: technology knows no ethics, norms, or beliefs, but the effective functioning of every human and every society is entirely predicated upon them. So what happens when technology goes on expanding exponentially while humans progress linearly? Do we lose control? If that sounds far fetched consider the fact that we are already grappling with some rapidly escalating issues, such as the constant tracking of our digital lives, surveillance-by-default, diminishing privacy, the loss of anonymity, digital identity theft, data security, and much more.
The author argues that we are at a 90/10 point right now: 90% of the amazing possibilities presented by technology could play out well for humanity, while 10% might already be troublesome or negative. Dramatic changes would result if that 10% grows to 50% or more and very powerful technology forces are driving that development. Computers will surpass the processing power of a single human brain by 2025 and a single computer may match the power of all human brains combined by 2050. Therefore there is an enormous gap between what technology can do (the answer seems to be pretty much anything), and what it should do to result in overall human happiness. We must look beyond profit and growth when it is about technology that can dramatically alter human existence.
Chapter 5: “The Internet of Inhuman things”. It examines the potential challenges posed by the IoT, which is the current dominant narrative within digital transformation, with thousands of corporate strategies riding in its slipstream. If the IoT delivers on its promise, we could realize savings of 30–50% on global logistics and shipping costs; 30–70% of the costs of personal mobility and transportation; 40–50% of energy, heating, and air-conditioning expenses. But will efficiently trump humanity?
The IoT is bound to be orders of magnitude more powerful than the human Internet of today, and therefore infinitely more likely to cause unintended consequences. The outcome of global deployment could be heaven or hell, but either way the compass for this journey is being calibrated right now.
Chapter 7: “Digital Obesity”, which he defines as a mental and technological condition in which data, information, media, and general digital connectedness are being accumulated to such an extent that they are certain to have a negative effect on health, well being, happiness, and life in general. Moreover exponential technologies that seem to make our lives easier, that play on our natural laziness and our need to be liked are highly addictive and often have a drug-like effect. Habits form very quickly. Do you check your email one more time before going to bed? Do you feel “alone” when not connected to your favorite social network, and defenseless without Google maps or your messaging apps?
Chapter 12: Decision Time. In this closing chapter the author argues that it’s crunch time for tech adoption—not the application of technology itself, but the deeper integration and delineation of technology in human life. Numerous ethical, economic, social, and biological issues will simply not wait for another forum or the next generation. It’s time to regulate mass technology application just as we would any other transformational force such as nuclear power. This is not the conclusion of a rich dialogue, but the beginning of a conversation that needs to become mainstream in our media, our schools, our government, and—most immediately—our boardrooms. The time for technologists and technocrats to simply hand the ethical buck over to someone else has passed.
Conclusion: We are heading into a future where literally everything around us is impacted by a tsunami of technological advances, yet the way we frame the world, the way we evaluate what is right or wrong, the way we decide whether to engage and use a certain technology or not is still based on past experiences, on old frameworks, and worst of all, on linear thinking. Our ethics—and many of our laws and regulations as well—are still based on a world that advances linearly and on “what used to work”.
Ever since the Internet became a significant commercial force, we seem to have focused in the main on exploiting its economic and commercial promises. We have spent way too little time considering its impact on our values and ethics—and this is finally becoming apparent as we enter the age of artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, and human genome editing.
The author cites the need to establish a Global Digital Ethics Council. The book demonstrates why that need is overwhelming, but who will set it up? Silicon Valley? They could but they would be eating their own lunch. The UN? Their track record is abysmal.
A great read tackling some of the most important questions about our future
From: N. Perkin | 24. Sep 2016An important book that sets the context for one of the key questions of our time - the relationship between humanity and technology. Not enough people are discussing the big questions that surround our ever-shifting relationship with technology but it is critical that we do this before it is too late. As well as being a great read, this book is not afraid to confront some of the biggest themes and challenges that we will face in our increasingly technology driven future.
Future of humanity
From: Karolina | 22. Sep 2016Great point of view on technology, artificial intelligence development progress and how they can impact humans life and humanity in the future.
I found ‘Technology vs. Humanity” thought provoking
From: Amazon Customer | 13. Sep 2016I found ‘Technology vs. Humanity” thought provoking. In the face of an ever increasing hi-tech world, the author, Gerd Leonhard, has bravely endeavoured to give technology a conscience.
Required reading for anyone in business
From: Andrew | 11. Sep 2016Gerd is the Futurist's Fururist. He literally can see the future. In his latest book he provides a wake up call for companies and consumers looking to the future. If you are in business, you need to read this book, and also hear Gurd speak live.