This is the final blog post in this series.
“It is not the most intellectual of the species that survives; it is not the strongest that survives; but the species that survives is the one that is able to adapt to and to adjust best to the changing environment in which it finds itself……” – Charles Darwin
Outrage Against The Machine.
Why do machines exist? What purpose do they serve? For most of human history, the primary answer has been a very basic biological principle: Energy Conservation.
It’s a survival technique that runs through the entire animal kingdom..,minimizing energy expenditure, to preserve available calories for potential future needs.
There’s no denying that there are massive benefits to using machines in everyday life. What I find troubling is that there is very little discussion about the considerable cost that goes along with it, and whether or not we are still in a net positive position.
The more responsibilities we hand over to machines, the more our related skills atrophy. For example, if we do reach a fully autonomous transportation system, it’s entirely possible that within one or two subsequent generations, most people will not know how to drive.
There is a relatively new and potentially dangerous level to this transition. Up until fairly recently, although many/most work-functions were performed by machines, humans ensured that humans still had the final say.
That appears to be changing.
The Global Laboratory.
It’s important to remember this isn’t a theoretical exercise. It’s real, it’s now, and it may already be costing lives.
From a news.com.au article (link below), about the recent Ethiopian Airlines crash:
“Artificial intelligence is efficient. But it’s not at all smart. Which is why a single potentially faulty sensor could have caused two Boeing 737 MAX aircraft to nosedive into the ground.”
A little further on in the same article: “Investigators say the flight characteristics of both the Ethiopian Air and Lion Air MAX8 aircraft before they crashed was consistent with pilots ‘fighting’ the aircraft’s computers. The pilots were attempting to pull the aircraft’s nose back up to a safe level. The computer appears to have been repeatedly forcing it back down.”
Just how much human control do we want to relinquish? And why? There is not nearly enough discussion around these questions and answers. We must increase our due diligence, as there are far-and-wide-ranging impacts to our decisions and actions.
And Now For Something Completely Different…
While Darwin made reference to species adapting, I think the concept holds true for populations, and even for individuals.
Opportunity has been rapping at my chamber door, and while I remain committed to launching a new business related to the Ethics of Technology, and improving Quality of Life around the world, the overall approach may need to change.
One of my overarching life-objectives is to Make a Difference. Part of that involves, as Stephen Covey might have put it, ‘Leaving a Legacy’.
And so, for a number of reasons, I have initiated an exploration of a possible Independent run for office in Canada’s upcoming Federal election (October 2019).
I think there is a dearth of leadership across all political parties, and an increasing polarization in the debate and discussion. The incessant back-and-forth name-calling and finger-pointing is doing our country and its citizens no favours. And to add insult to injury, we’re literally paying for the privilege.
As I recently posted on Linked: “How much better off would our country be, would ALL of us be, if we were able to vote FOR someone and something, rather than merely vote against the incumbents?” We, as a country, deserve much better than the status quo.
Carving A New Path.
As one can imagine, even the exploration of a potential run requires a significant commitment.
As a result, there will be less time available than expected to work on the Business Launch. So, while that process isn’t stopping completely, it will need to be rearranged and rescheduled.
Were I to run for office, almost all of the new Business would need to be handed off to others to manage.
Updates and Next Steps:
- The first event, tentatively planned for May 2019, has been postponed until the fall.
- I intend to make a final decision about running for office by mid-May.
- A revised Business Strategy will be targeted for end of May.
Thank you so much for joining me on this journey during the past six months. It’s remarkable yet humbling to realize that people from dozens of countries have regularly read this blog. I wish you all the best in your adventures, and will return with an update in May! Nigel Oliveira