Worum es bei uns geht

In a series of meetings we explore how rapidly evolving technologies work, and how they might best be put to use to tackle humanity's grand challenges. We attempt to differentiate between hype and possible futures, and make it tangible by speaking with the actual experts working on the technology.

We will host lectures and discussions around the following themes:

• Emerging technologies

• Disruptive business

• The effects of technology on society

• Ethics

• Tackling humanity's challenges using technology and knowledge

Example subjects include (in no particular order):

Technology and developing countries' challenges:

• Use of solar energy in developing countries for provision of clean water

• Use of ubiquitous wireless mobile tablets and smartphones to enable widespread education in developing countries

• Use of autonomous drones for distribution of medical supplies, trade goods and food in remote areas

• Paradigm changes due to trade and wealth management possibilities made possible by mobile phone banking in developing countries

• Using new technologies such as solar powered 3D printing in architecture construction (see the "Solar Sinter" project)

Computing and robotics:

• Self driving cars: reduction of road fatalities; discuss peripheral technologies; effects of alternative energy options in transportation on global warming

• Robotics and new methods like 3D printing in manufacturing: effects on global and local supply chain; logistics; workforce and society

• Robotics in the home: business opportunities, social impact perspectives

• Artificial Intelligence: Definition and road map; Impact on the job market; Social acceptance

• Ubiquitous Internet-of-Things: business opportunities versus the loss of privacy; Legal implications

Biology and nanotechnology:

• Therapeutic applications of genetic manipulations

• Biological enhancements of living beings: agriculture; biochemistry applications • Nanotechnology and the creation of synthetic life forms: applications, risks and possible outcomes

Human enhancements:

• Intelligent prosthesis enhancements: increased physical work performance; sports

• Machine learning applications growing into human cognitive enhancement applications

• Direct brain implant opportunities and capabilities: therapeutic for impaired people, or as cognitive and motor enhancements for healthy people

• Chemical or genetically engineered performance enhancements: cognitive as well as physical

• Virtue engineering and mood stabilizing methods

• The augmented human: the identity of a hybrid AI enhanced human individual; the identity of an uploaded human persona

Society and governance:

• Workforce adaptations due to increased levels of intelligence in automation

• Development of machine ethical frameworks for governance of emerging artificial intelligences

• The ethical interpretation of human enhancements and genetic engineering: "Take the pill, or lose your job to someone who agrees to take it?" or "screen or genetically augment the baby with immune system upgrades, or be excluded from medical insurance?"

In these times of accelerating technology development, we carry tremendous responsibility. Decisions we make now will shape how these technologies will evolve, for the better or the worse. Join us and contribute to the global discussion.

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