All these potential threats are real and must be taken into account while building the future of our societies. The thing is, we never take the time to look at how technology has had an enormous positive impact on our lives. As explained, we emphasize the fact that our societies have to face ethical, security, environmental, work and education challenges.
More than ever, technology has never been so badly perceived by our world. A threat to our work because of Artificial Intelligence, a threat to our governance because of autonomous robots that remind us that iRobot could happen someday, a threat to the environment as many experts theorize that it impacted badly CO2 emissions, a threat to our privacy because of the incapacity of GAFA’s to capitalize on data security, a threat to our sexual life because the algorithms of Tinder or even how youtube is manipulating your related videos to deepen your ideas based on what you’re looking at. We could also note the potential danger of low-cost sequential genomes or the dilemma upon an autonomous car accident and the ability to define who the robot should kill: the passengers, the conductor or the child that is crossing the road.
So many use cases that have been or could have been showcased in Black Mirror, the Netflix series that is explaining to the world how technology could be a threat to our world.
All these potential threats are real and must be taken into account while building the future of our societies. The thing is, we never take the time to look at how technology has had an enormous positive impact on our lives.
As explained, we emphasize the fact that our societies have to face ethical, security, environmental, work and education challenges.
You got it, that wasn’t a real Netflix announcement, more a catchy headline to get you to click on my article. Now that you’re here, why don’t you take the time to read the entire one?
The concept of innovation is directly related to the exploration of successful ideas that can generate profitable products, processes, services or profitable business practices as Schumpeter stated.
Schumpeter studied innovation as a cyclic process by using Kondratiev’s waves analysis that is also called “supercycles”. Following this, Schumpeter hypothesized the existence of very long-run macroeconomic and price cycles, originally estimated to last 50–54 years that were driven by technological innovation.
Such assertions highlight the role of Schumpeter’s (1982) theory of “creative destruction”, according to which old assumptions must be “destroyed” at the expense of new ones.
In our modern history, economists agree that there have been 5 innovations’ waves that have led to the world we know:
The first wave of innovation: the Industrial Revolution 🚂 (1760– 1815)
This first, took place in the UK. Why? It was the biggest empire at the end of the 19th century that gathered lots of different resources and knowledge.(who said mixity is bad 🧐). We could discuss the reason but here are the main: agricultural revolution, population growth, financial innovations, world trade and other key assets that made this possible.
I’ve been recently reading “Le Capital” from Karl Marx (Thank you lil’ sis for this one 😘) who took the examples of tissues and textile production to explain the link between product cost and money redistribution. Why? Because he deliberately took Adam Smith’s work to show how disagreed he was.
Globally, this big first innovation cycle has been responsible for promoting a great leap in countries by incorporating new technologies and causing a shift from artisanal to industrial production.
The second, the Age of Steam ⚓️(1815–1929)
Following Napoleonian wars, the age of steam came. It facilitated transportation over long distances of both people and goods and contributed to the development and market expansion of many companies. It ended with the Great Depression.
The third, the Age of Electricity 💡(1815–1929)
At the same time, electricity rose everywhere enabling remote communications and reconfiguring the productive potential of companies. It also ended as a result of the Great Depression.
The fourth, the Age of Mass Production ⛽️(1945–1980)
Following the end of the second world war which enabled companies to meet new demands, scale up their productive potential and seek new business opportunities. It ended with the Oil Crisis.
This period is now one of our biggest problems. Today, we have to deal with climate change because of our means of production that have been built around fossil ener. Our system is still dedicated to fossil energy but we have opportunities to change that and technology could be a great help.
As we will see through, there are many opportunities where technology could help our world to deal with climate change.
The fifth, the rise of Information and Communications Technology and Networks 🖥 (1980- )
Based on Information and Communication Technology and Networks, and is characterized by the widespread use of computers and the reconfiguration of businesses with the development of the Internet.
Some authors already saw the sixth wave of innovation that would be led by the depletion of the current model of capitalism and the need for reconfiguration around present environmental and social needs
Through sustainability, our society could be reshaped and once again, thanks to better technological use of tools that are available within our society, we could build a better world.
Technology has to be used as a way to reduce growth and better use the mean of production that was in the past to become more efficient.
The development of new technology is one of the ways of addressing overcrowding in cities, pollution, traffic jams, an aging population and other social needs, and this can also lead to business opportunities. Thus, innovation has a leading role to play in this process, as it is innovation that enables the development of solutions for such problems (Han et al., 2012).
Faced with this scenario, we see a progressive expansion of the model of innovative sustainable organizations which seek both symbolic efficiency, represented by the legitimacy of society, as well as technical efficiency, thus seeking to maximize the three pillars of sustainability and transform this vision, which was previously seen as irreconcilable with economic growth, into a form of competitive advantage (Nidumolu et al., 2009).
Given the convergence of social needs and competitive advantage, governments, societies and businesses should coordinate and combine their efforts (Hart and Dowell, 2010, Kleindorfer et al., 2005, Seebode et al., 2012.). In organizations, it is observed that sustainability has the potential to drive various types of innovation, some arising from regulation and others that are inherent in the company’s own vision, which seeks ways to develop competitive advantages through technologies that are linked to sustainability (Kleindorfer et al., 2005).
Since 2000, Jean-Marc Jancovici, a French energy expert speaks, a lot about the need for our societies to decrease the amount of energy we use every day. Many people don’t understand what a kWh is and how we use it unconsciously.
To explain it more clearly, he makes a link between slavery and energy to show how one person has hundreds of “energy slaves” working for him every day.
More precisely, with 1euro, you can buy half a liter of fuel for your car, which represents around 5 kWh. That represents the work of 2 “slaves” for one entire day (beware, he speaks about energy slaves, that represents the amount of energy that a human is able to produce and not the amount of work a human is able to produce).
Now that you better understand, you agree with me that energy is cheap, the problem is linked to the way it has been addressed on an economical point of view.
Just to give you a quick heads up, In 2012, an average french guy would consume 30 000 kWH, which represents around 400 “energy slaves” for each person in our society.
I’ll just finish with a quick conclusion. To produce enough food in France, without fossil energies, we would need around 1.8 billion (yes billion) people for 65 million French people. Crazy, hum?
Simply, technology is not new to our society, the modern industrial process rationalizes technics and works from the past, from building chairs to railways. This view is quite simple and tends to accept technology as a good thing for our society. And that’s true, there are good technologies, technologies that help people to live better and enjoy their life to the maximum. What has changed is the way we consume technology and how it is produced.
Since the beginning of the age of mass production, many voices arise to prevent and alert about the danger of technology in our society. At first, Unfamous Ted Kazcinsky extolled the art of nature-centered society, a form of anarchism that led him to jail.
Another denunciation of this nonconformism and may have influenced the ideas of Kazcinsky would be the famous book “What we did to father” and the famous uncle’s words:” Back to the threes”.
The technology could be seen as a solution to prevent the world to collapse … Or not, but I strongly believe that without education, technology is useless because it scares people.
Once again Black mirror is the perfect example. More recently, the yellow jacket crisis in France, led by the rise of fuel prices, has also been the result of those people that don’t understand the world we live in, being rejected by the companies because they’re not able to transform their skills.
Technology isn’t dangerous if people understand the power it can bring in their life and therefore, education is the key.
“Knowledge is power” — Francis Bacon
Innovation is a process that tends to force companies to enhance their products and services. It means their workforces have also to stay up to date with the latest technological innovation so the company is able to produce the best customer experience.
If not, most of the time, they will face a slow decrease and will tend to disappear.
Therefore, we can easily say innovation is a key process in order to enhance education within our society as innovation leads to new processes that have to be mastered by individuals.
As education is a way for individuals to master new skills, it generates the need to learn them. Thanks to the internet, education has become a commodity. Everyone, with an internet connexion and a computer, can now easily enhance his own skills.
In fact, we (human) are already upgraded thanks to technology. We’re augmented but few people are aware of this. Look at how smartphones make us smarter…
Badly, the last few years have shown that the French national education system wasn’t able to follow innovation cycles and therefore, led to creating a high level of unemployment rate among young people.
Nicolas Collin explains it very well in his book “L’âge de la multitude” and certifies that private companies will arise to take the space that has been left by national education.
To counter this problem, many schools are rising in France, and abroad, to help companies and countries to face these kinds of problems that they have trouble dealing with.
JoinLion, which I have been part of, is one of the best examples. It was the first time in my life I have been happy to wake up at 8 on a Saturday morning to go to school. I’ve learned more stuff in 8 weeks than in 3 years at the business school I went to.
These schools have to face a big deal: the necessity of being able to warn their students that they have a big power that is lying inside their own brain.
Humans, especially engineers, have to face an ethical challenge regarding their ability to build usage around technology that is put in their hands because, at first, technology is neutral. The consequences of wrong development would generate a world that will tend to an extreme that we can’t even imagine.
More than ethical challenges, those new workers will have to face climate change. They will have to invent new ways of dealing with a new world that has fewer energies available and an ever-increasing amount of people to feed, heal or even take care of.
Technology has also brought a lot of new media that can now diffuse different information than the traditional one and that’s great!
We should not lawsuit technology neither idealize it but should rather consider technology as a neutral tool.
In fact, technology is good or bad when it's used on purpose by humans. Each technology is deeply linked to the creator's mentality so that’s why people that use these technologies to build and create have to integrate diversity and include as much variety of opinion as possible to have to clearest view on the path to success.
At human kind scale, this new era is very small. As this new to our society, our limits and regulation are quite inefficient as our societies don’t understand the implications of this new era.
As many believe that technology is neutral, it’s interesting to understand how we could live with a social development led through state control.
In fact, technology should not be seen as an objective but rather as a mean to reach specific goals. Indeed, this is what technology is all about.
Recently, French food expert, Christophe Brusset, explains that lobbies are too powerful and that the food industry, in France, is being totally uncontrolled. Transforming products that are not good anymore, importing fake(chemical) honey and selling it as-is through technological processes and low level of controls.
Technology and law are often totally dissociated because of the unawareness of deputies and ministers. What if we would replace deputies by engineers? What would happen to our societies? Would they be able to better understand real challenges rather than accepting all-inclusive travels paid by private companies?
Bruno Lemaire seems to have understood this challenge as he has been able to reopen the case a European Cloud that would have to fight data control and GAFA’s dominancy.
The recent Covid-19 crisis is the perfect example, can a government, in the name of security and health, track each one of their citizens to prevent the lockdown to be a big fail?
This crisis has been teased by many, especially Bill Gates, in his famous TedX talk.
Through the Covid crisis, that the world starts to face (don’t believe it’s over, the Spanish flu killed more people during the second round than the first one.) I can see lots of reason to hope for a better world, if our government are able to take the good decision, all together.
Ultimate faithful hope decieve pinnacle morality madness prejudice will enlightenment against right. Fearful derive ultimate spirit ideal of aversion holiest god prejudice merciful.
Contradict endless ultimate pinnacle inexpedient merciful dead. .