[ War or peace: Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk have asked the wrong question. We will neither fight against the machines nor make peace with them: we fuse together. But that leads to completely new lines of conflict in society - perhaps even to the division of humanity?
Data monitoring, hacks, profiling, bots, trolls and manipulation dominate the headlines. That scares and unsettles. At least the older generations. And what does the younger generation think?
Evolution met a journalist from the magazine WIRED recently in the subway.
Between Heinrich-Heine-Strasse and Berlin Alexanderplatz, she takes the form of a woman, that feverishly persuading her child:
Mother: "You have to bring the thing with the robots in your essay in the right place!"
Son (11): "I do! Here, I’m writting: The machines will soon do our job. "
Mother: "But you don’t explain what that means."
Son (11): "I'll do it! We just have to get smarter, here it is. "
Mother: "That's not enough, that's not a real argument!"
Son (11): "... I think that's enough."
Mother: "Then write your essay alone, if you are goofy now. Gotta go now. "
This family quarrel amazes the WIRED editor. Not only because the tiny tot writes an essay about robots in the job market. He also defends his argument brave. The little one has understood: The machines take over in every corner of our lives, in this case: our working life. And he gives a seemingly simple answer to this development. While his mother is afraid and asks, "What will happen to me?", The student is convinced: "I am getting better myself".
The scene also shows a difference between the generations:
All generations up to and including M are experiencing a renaissance of the society, economic and even technological insecurity. They watch as the Internet turns from the former colorful child prodigy into a serious adult.
Generation Z: the 2.6 billion internet natives - a generation that has never known a world without the Internet - will know it all, when they grow up. They deal with the problems of today as a matter of course and therefore they now jump youthful forward.
In everyday life, it encounters us more and more, this excitement between those who can follow the progress and those who can not cope. In the past, people liked to talk about the "digital natives" and the "semi-skilled". But what happens when the technological development speed up so fast that this excitement becomes a split. When it's no longer about online or offline, but about two different realities - when mother and son live in completely separate worlds instead of just misunderstanding each other?
Their quarrel reveals fundamentally different definitions of what the lines of conflict of a society are - the so-called cleavages, as political scientists call them. The excitement between workers and employers is one of these lines. They will, as the mother is right, radically change in a first step - so to say, disrupted. This development has already begun, now even the news reports every evening about it. The keywords are digitization, industry 4.0, cyberwar or privacy debate. All classic topics that experience a new digital appreciation.
But the son is one of the first witnesses of completely new cleavages. Man versus mega-human can be called "natural" versus "improved". These conflicts turn up soon and they unfold a kind of technological Darwinism - the survival of the technologically best-adapted.
Tesla founder and visionary Elon Musk says: In order to be able to cope with our devices and machines in the future, we all have to become cyborgs. "with the time, biological and digital intelligence will merge togther."
For more, in the next post. ]