It’s time to take back control of technology.

That’s a bit of a cheeky slogan, with its nod to the UK’s Brexit campaign.

But the message is appropriate. Technology is changing quickly. Indeed, the pace of change is accelerating in at least some fields. These changes are hard to anticipate. Their implications are far from clear. If we’re not careful, we may well stumble into a future that we deeply regret.

Alongside some technologists and entrepreneurs who seem to thrive in the new worlds enabled by technology disruptions, many other folk feel bewildered, disenfranchised, and despondent. The social alienation is having all kinds of ill effects. And even the nominal successes of new tech breakthroughs come accompanied with shades of unwanted peril.

There’s nothing wrong, by itself, with technology improving. Such improvements can boost health, enable easier access to education, and enable all kinds of uplifting experiences. Thus, wise embrace of technology can enable a sustainable superabundance.

But there’s nothing guaranteed about these outcomes. It comes down to a question of how technology is harnessed – how it is selectively steered, slowed down, and (yes) on occasion, given full throttle.

It’s a core part of the Future Surge worldview that the development and deployment of fast-changing technologies needs to be guided by a powerful set of principles – principles:

  • To manage multiple risks of disaster,
  • To enable the attainment of remarkable benefits,
  • And, in consequence, to help humanity approach a profoundly positive singularity.

In short, technology cannot be left to its own devices. Nor to the sometimes headlong rushes of technology corporations. Nor to the decisions of military planners. And definitely not to the whims of out-of-touch politicians.

Instead, we – we the people – need to “take back control”:

  • Accelerating a deeper understanding of the potential upsides and downsides of new technology combinations
  • Advocating a whole system perspective
  • Championing transparency, resilience, verification, and vigilance
  • Promoting agility, accountability, consensus, and diversity
  • Insisting on proactive risk management
  • Putting in place the policies that will revitalise the social and political landscape, and thereby enable a dramatically better future for all.

It won’t be easy. But many hands can make light work.

To find out more, take a look at the Future Surge home page, where you’ll find the slogan “It’s time to take back control of technology”, and much more besides!

For other news items from Future Surge, see Future Surge News

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