A meta conversation about humanity in tech
What do rapid technological developments mean for humanity?
TechNews brings you some quotable quotes from the eclectic line-up of tech industry insiders, thinkers and societal leaders who considered this question at Meta Conversations: Tech and Humanity, a conference held on 18 September 2017 as part of the Singapore Week of Innovation and Technology (SWITCH).
“In order to achieve maximum benefit from technology, we need philosophers as well as engineers…to know why we’re building what we’re building.”
Mr Scott Hartley, Venture Capitalist and Author of The Fuzzy and the Techie.
“A lot of conversations tend to hinge on the technology side of it, but what about the humanity side of it? We are not static, we as humans have to grow, evolve and change. So I don’t think it’s just about waiting for tech to catch up to us, or maybe surpass us—I think both these things have to be talked about together.”
On what skills would be more important in future: “No one should be a complete techie or fuzzy; the advice is to be well rounded.”
Mr Jason Portnoy, Managing Partner, Oakhouse Partners
Putting AI out into the real world: “The complexity of the real world today is far greater than that in chess and Go; you have more than two players, you don’t always see all the pieces, and you can’t always observe what happens as a result of a move.”
Mr Øyvind Roti, Head of Solutions (Japan and Asia Pacific), Google Cloud
Tech will not kill your job:
“Technology shouldn’t eliminate jobs; it should enhance them.”
Mr Vasanth Raju, Head of Platform and Client Solutions, ViSenze.
Efficiency should not always be the end goal: “If one of us can make the world a little bit more efficient, and another person does the same, and another…we will eventually reach 100 percent efficiency. But what is this 100 percent efficiency and what does it mean? That is very horrifying.”
How the Fourth Industrial Revolution will affect work practices: “The difference with this Industrial Revolution is that it may put labour to an end.”
Leadership in a time of changing technologies and economies: “My belief is that the biggest problem right now is the lack of clarity [of leadership] that the world needs.”.
Mr Peng T Ong, Managing Partner, Monk’s Hill Ventures
What changes leaders need to make in response to the current technological age: “My worry is not the transition [in governance and leadership] that needs to occur, but the suffering that happens between now and when the transition has occurred.”
Mr Piyush Gupta, CEO and Director, DBS Group
“When we use, design or relate to technology from outside-in, we can create purposeless negative outcomes; when we [do it] inside-out, we can create meaningful positive impact.”
“The greatest technological intervention you could ever bring into any room, any system, is your human self.”
“The most profound technologies we create will be those that enable us to live out a ‘who’ and ‘why’ we never thought we had within us.”
Ms Kuik Shiao-Yin, Nominated Member of Parliament, Singapore, and Founder of The Thought Collective