Human innovation

This article was originally published by Rudy de Waele on on the Human Works website.

Human Innovation

While we witness technological innovation around us every day, we think it’s time to start focusing on human innovation. We need to start questioning more what is happening around us, how we can design a good life, what do we dream our life in the future can be – for ourselves and our children – and what needs to be done to turn those dreams into a reality.

Technological innovation can bring us lots of great things in many areas, but where do we go when countries like Saudi Arabia start giving citizenship to robots? This one is more of a PR stunt for the country but these type of announcements and actions will become more and more frequent as the frenetic business society pushes us further and further into a technological dystopia.

Kabat-Zinn argues that people are losing their minds. That is what we need to wake up to.

“People talk about artificial intelligence and machine learning, but we haven’t scratched the surface of what human intelligence is really all about.”

It is urgent that we investigate our true values as human beings and how we want to live with technology in the future, instead of submitting ourselves to the intelligence created by just a few technology companies.

We are copying our intelligence to AI and robots, based on everything that is fact-based or can be measured. However, our lives are mostly based on connections with others, emotions and feelings of what we experience in life. This is what makes life beautiful. After a lifetime of working, I do not remember the moments I worked, I remember the moments of joy I shared with colleagues, friends and family. Those are the moments that define us as humans and cannot be copied by technology.

The factual society we’re living in doesn’t leave space for everything that is human. Science creates great insights and advancements on many fronts but we need more. Currently, we are trying to copy the functions of our brain with AI and we can mimic nearly any body movement with robots. What distinguishes us from robots is that our consciousness is also linked to our every cell in our entire body.

While neuroscientists argue that the architecture of consciousness in the human brain can help create artificial consciousness, Robert Epstein states:

We are organisms, not computers. Get over it. Let’s get on with the business of trying to understand ourselves, but without being encumbered by unnecessary intellectual baggage. The IP metaphor has had a half-century run, producing few, if any, insights along the way. The time has come to hit the DELETE key.”

There are a couple of examples online mentioning human innovation, like how to anticipate what consumers cannot articulate or have not yet imagined, or other examples of how to augment humans with technology.

All these are not really addressing the real need of human innovation we need to look at, which is examining what we really want instead of submitting ourselves to further technological innovation without true value or ethical evaluation.

There is no real innovation without human innovation as we are the ones who are designing and creating our world systems. The main lack in the world today is collaboration instead of competition, and learning as humanity. These can be the answers to all the world problems. Personal transformation will become the biggest disruption for current industrialised systems.

The world of competition and ‘hard work’ are concepts created by the industrial society long ago but what do they mean in this time where lots of the work we used to do can or will be done soon by technology? What is the life you really dream for yourself? What are the values you have and want to live by with your family, friends and community? After lots of workshops we have run, hard work is never on that list.

So ask yourself: why do we have to compete instead of learning how to collaborate? Yes, companies compete in a ‘winner takes all’ system that only favourites the few and doesn’t think how it contributes in creating a healthy society.

At Conscious Learning Tribe, we are tired of the old ego-driven societies. We want to co-create a new world based on the values we believe in and walk that talk. Step away from the ego-driven society and greed for personal sake and start serving humanity.

Do you really know what makes you happy?

Do you want to live in a society like China is preparing for with its social credit system for its 1.3 billion citizens?

“If we are not vigilant, distributed trust could become networked shame.
Life will become an endless popularity contest, with all of us vying for the highest rating that only a few can attain.”

And this relates not only to China. What we need to understand is how the powerful may use Artificial Intelligence to control us – and what we can do in response. Check out Zeynep Tufekci’s TED talk on “We’re building a dystopia just to make people click on ads” in which she details how the same algorithms companies like Facebook, Google and Amazon use to get you to click on ads are also used to organise your access to political and social information.

Our Consumption Model Is Broken. Here’s How To Build A New One.

“We should ask ourselves: What societies do we want for us and for future generations? How do we want to spend our time? How much do we want to spend on activities that fulfil us and contribute to our well-being? How do we reconcile with nature and with ourselves?
As we answer these questions, we should rise to the challenge of health and sustainability, and start building pathways to the future we want.”

Or read Genevieve Bell’s “In our focus on the digital, have we lost our sense of what being human means?

“I know we can still shape that world, and make it into a place which reflects our humanity, our cultures and our cares. We have done so before, and we can do so again. It requires that we enter a conversation about the role of technology in our society, and about how we want to navigate being human in a digital world. I think we have a moral obligation to do just that, to shape a world in which we might all want to live.”

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