We’re living in a fast-changing world and there are many voices of how fast it will change. Some experts like Futurist Gerd Leonhard predict that over the next 20 years we’ll see more changes than in the last 300 years.
I think he might be right. Just look at all the changes we’ve gone through since the first iPhone came out in 2007. Unlike previous major world-changing events in our evolution like the industrial revolutions where we competed from a physical perspective with machines today’s revolution is not only physical but also challenges our intelligence with a singularity – a time where artificial intelligence will qualitatively, far surpass all human intelligence – predicted by 2045.
While the first industrial (r)evolutions were answered with the power of creativity and intelligence, this strategy probably won’t work anymore because as mentioned before technology will soon surpass us in this. Already we’re seeing technology being used in ways that, a few years ago we or at least I thought impossible like counselling. But already existing today and introduced with success you have the mental health chatbots Tess and Woebot. Another amazing feat to give us insight into what is to come has been shown to us by Google who introduced a virtual assistant that can make an actual telephone call on your behalf.
The question is how will we overcome the challenges for example in employment? A report by the McKinsey Global Institute predicts that by 2030, as many as 800 million jobs could be lost worldwide to automation. New jobs will be created, yes of-course but these will unlikely be in the field of manual labour or mobility because what can be automated probably will be automated. Also, it might not be in the areas where mental capacity is needed. Just think it through with me, imagine… and this is not imagine if…’ but ‘imagine when…’ in a few years time these technologies just mentioned and many others have exponentially grown in power. Whole industries will become automated and artificial superintelligence will start coming up with solutions faster then any human or group of humans will ever be capable of performing.
That is the reality of our future as we know it.
In the end, the quest will not be about jobs. But about the meaning and purpose, we will give our lives and how technology is developed and used to become better at being human. Most authors on books about digital transformation or futurism like Gerd Leonhard, Yuval Noah Harari, Christian Kromme, Baroness Susan Greenfield, James Barrat and Max Tegmark but also Tim Cook from Apple talk about how technology should serve humanity. In other words, we’re entering the human-centred era, where spirit comes to the foreground.
It has eluded us it seemed an impossible task but while technology is proving that nothing is impossible given time we need to step up and take our evolution into our own hands. We are capable of so much more without technological implants or biohacking. What we need for that is time, and that is exactly what technology can give us. I love the analogy by Futurist Christian Kromme who in his book ‘Humanification’ describes how just like in the body there is an autonomous nervous centre that makes sure our heartbeats, lungs breathe air and do a zillion other things without us having to think about it. That automated system that is what technology can offer us and developers of technology should strive for so we can focus on what is essential, evolving on purpose and bringing meaning into our life to become who we were born to be. To work from the heart and step into our unique role to perform our unique part in the bigger scheme of Life and the Universe that connects us all. A part nurtured from our soul, that fills us with meaning and purpose.
If you have ever lived and worked from the heart even if it is only a minute you know the feeling that that gives. It fills you with joy and passion, you feel light, connected and nurtured even though you might not have eaten for a long time.
Today we’re living in a time where we have to make a conscious choice to design our life on and with purpose and futurize ourselves for the greater good. Yes, many elements of life will be automated, the IoT will make life easier, but we may not forget that as human beings we need a stimulus to grow. We need to use our brains because just like muscles they abide by the law ‘use it or lose it’. With no stimulus, without meaning or purpose, the brain will shrink and that will have detrimental consequences for your health, well-being and happiness.
So step into the heart and become curious about how you can evolve on purpose and navigate the challenges ahead and thrive with resilience.