Contributions to Devotopia reveal the great potential for good that exists in technologies to improve the way we live and work. But we are on a narrow path, at a time when the future can easily flit to utopia or dystopia, depending on how much individual free will and free space we need to hand over for the benefit of all.
Mum’s the word: 75% of people believe families will need an electronic-free safe room at home to preserve privacy.
With billions of smartphones, vocal assistants and connected devices, our homes are now potentially widely public places. Trust has faded away, ethics is theoretical, legislation is slow to evolve. To preserve ourselves, we are being forced into organizing real world incognito mode, privacy oasis and securing explicit times for full disconnection. One of our greatest fear might end up being extremely positive, socially reconnecting us on the physical space, away from screens.
Memories erased: 68% of people think information will be set to self destruct over time and following people’s death in the future.
Huge volumes of data, experiences and feelings are individually produced everyday,. We feel we are collectively accountable to preserve our past to help invent our futures but at the same time we are expecting to leave room for any individual to express their free will on the destiny of their personal datas. Yet we still have to invent how to balance the global benefits with the need to curate, compile, aggregate or anonymise our pasts to free space in our minds and our servers.
Don’t be evil: 66% of people think SuperHumans are the greatest risk to humanity, not SuperComputers.
Computers and Humans are on parallel track to a “Super” status. AI is extending computers’ abilities to be able soon to cope with highly complex tasks. A new breed of technologies is moving fast forward to extend humans’ limitations. With super capacities comes super responsibilities. For SuperComputers to protect us from ourselves, nudging our actions when we are failing to be meaningful. For SuperHumans to design and build for good, to ease our life and protect the world where we live.
Happy communities: 71% of people think individuals will physically regroup with like-minded peers in closed city blocks.
The internet has moved from being a system designed to develop the spirit of collaboration, to being a system of platforms maximizing the satisfaction of individual users. As a result the internet spontaneously creates ghetto like clusters, bringing together similarities rather than diversities. We are on our way to transcript this in the real world as the internet is the place where we look for the next flat to rent, the restaurant to book or the persons to meet. Sounds explicitly negative from an individual and collective perspective, but are we ready to disconnect away from the cosy cocoons being built for us?
Zero risk: 89% of people think we will wonder why we ever took the risk of driving ourselves
In less than 5 years, autonomous driving has moved from “maybe possible” to “ most certainly a reality”. We look ready to trade security and comfort for less freedom and much less fun, removing all the joy and excitement of driving. We will have to look to other alternatives to keep ourselves dreaming of adventures and challenges, taking risks, making mistakes, learning from them, preserving the ability of humanity to constantly progress.
Devotopias survey was lead by Devoteam from October, 21st 2019 to December, 18th 2019. 900 people responded on an international scope – mainly European – including 69% of Devoteam employees, 66% men and 34% women.
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