Hey kids! Here’s another fantastic installment from The Center for Humane Technology!! Sign up for their newsletter here
Below is a full copy of the email I got with some great information everyone should be privy to.
THE WISDOM GAP
The scope and speed of our world’s issues — from climate-induced migration to global financial fragility — are accelerating and growing more complex. And yet, our ability to comprehend those challenges and respond accordingly, across all sectors, is not matching pace. The gap between the rising interconnected complexity of our problems and our ability to make sense of it all is "The Wisdom Gap." And while technology isn’t the sole cause, runaway technology is rapidly widening that gap even further.
1. TECHNOLOGY INCREASES THE COMPLEXITY OF ISSUES
We live in a world of interconnected issues. Yet, technological advancement — even when created with positive intentions — can supercharge existing problems and power dynamics. For example,
Advances in AI have made disinformation campaigns easier to operate and more successful.
Synthetic media (e.g., DALL·E 2) can exacerbate war and conflict because almost anyone can produce believable fakes. We’ve seen this in Myanmar, Ethiopia, and Ukraine.
Widely available 3D printing has enabled the rise of 3D-printed firearms.
As a result, we're seeing issue complexity accelerate and become more interlocking, which makes problem-solving harder.
2. TECHNOLOGY DECREASES OUR SENSE-MAKING ABILITIES
In addition to driving up complexity, runaway technology also decreases our ability to make sense of the increasingly complex issues.
Much of today’s most powerful technology fails to respect our human psychology and paleolithic hardwiring. This had led to disastrous results, which we've collectively seen play out over the last 15+ years.
Technology that takes advantage of human vulnerabilities — like cognitive limits, how our dopamine systems work, or our need for social validation — negatively affects us and those around us.
TECHNOLOGY AS AN AMPLIFIER
Amplification theory states that technology is not neutral and that technology's impact depends on the context in which it is placed(read more here and here). Technology will amplify the forces at play within a given context, such as bias and human vulnerabilities.
For example, in a society experiencing civil conflict technology can add fuel to the fire by making it far easier for bad actors to spread disinformation and target victims. The ultimate impact will vary based on the context, but technology will interact with existing contexts and amplify them.
CLOSING THE WISDOM GAP
Our world’s biggest problems are coordination problems that require collective action. Creating the conditions to tackle them means replacing our old, extractive technology paradigms with new humane ones.
Operating from more humane paradigms leads to more humane technology. And more humane technology helps close "The Wisdom Gap." That's because humane technology counteracts both forces. It reduces the complexity of our issues and increases our capacity to respond.
More than ever, we need wisdom to wield our god-like technology.
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