Is 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.