Are You a TechnoHuman?

It’s 2017, of course you are. We are all TechnoHumans.

As such, we have to define what it means to be a human during this period of our collective history as we slip deeper and deeping into the Digital Age. So let’s begin a conversation we’ll continue at various times in the future.

Irrigation in the desert.

Irrigation in the desert.

Technology has been influencing and guiding humans since the earliest inventions and innovations. Fire led to the modern kitchen; irrigation begat industrial farming; air conditioners allowed for the desert cities of Phoenix and Las Vegas; and, the simple sandal eventually became Air Jordans.

However, with the advancement of the microprocessor in the second half of the 20th century, human’s ability to rapidly develop information processing has led to repeated generational computing advancements in a single lifetime. Artificial intelligence, augmented reality, virtual reality, big-data aggregation and storage, and predictive analytics are just a few examples of technologies that have come to challenge what it means to be human. This advancement has created what some (including me) are calling a new TechnoHuman Condition.

The time is now to confront and manage the complex future that change is quickly ushering in a new age of human existence.

Sarcophagus with battle scene known as the Small Ludovisi.

Sarcophagus with battle scene known as the Small Ludovisi.

The hero is us. Humans. The villain is ignorance of the change that is happening all around us in plain sight.

The challenge is real and is ours to take up. The time is now. (Nothing less than the future is at stake after all.)

Location analytics,  Minority Report  (2002).

Location analytics, Minority Report (2002).

When robots are as normal to have embedded in our lives as today's cell phones, what of our humanity will survive? When "smart" contact-lens implants are as common as tattoos, how will they guide our behavior? How we see? What we remember? What will we be encouraged to forget? 

Inherent in these questions (and there are so, so many more) is a decision we have to make as a species. Do we continue to (somewhat) blindly embrace technology and see its intrusion into our lives as an inevitable evolution started with the invention of the wheel, or do we try to build a walled garden where the technology is on one side and we are safely on the other?

That is our TechnoHuman challenge and I say we take it up with vigor.