Jared Ficklin On The Other Singularity at Future World

Jared Ficklin, partner and chief creative technologist at argodesign, gave a presentation on The Other Singularity at Future World in Toronto.

Ficklin opened his talk by encouraging audiences to embrace and capture their moments of inspiration because they very well might be visions of the future. He then shared some of his futuristic concepts including a lane-splitting car and body-enhancing wearables. In response to the anxieties, including his own, created by AI and robotics, Ficklin says “Alexa, tell the robots I’m on their side.”

Ficklin defines Peak Technology as the year when the majority of new tech released does nothing to advance humanity. Instead of a rise in self-driving vehicles or autonomous helicopters to transport car crash victims to a hospital, we are using technology to create a smart hairbrush, a walking skateboard, and even a car for a pet fish.

However, Ficklin enjoys contributing to this space. He showed some of his creations such as an augmented reality porta potty, and a zen gardening robot. Fickin described this era as a shift from technology augmenting humanity to emulating humanity. We are adding human characteristics and moral judgments to technology.

Because humans view themselves as inherently good, we want technology to be morally good as well. When we start thinking of technology as human we create an unfair construct. We should think of technology as not human, but in the service of humans. Ficklin ended his discussion by looking toward the potential for us to put humanity in technology and stating “If we raise technology to be human, we’ll have nothing to worry about. People are good”.

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