Fears about artificial intelligence are about as old as the concept of AI itself. But for many proponents of this technology and others, a symbiotic relationship that benefits all of us is the more likely outcome.
Our guest today is Kevin Kelly, a co-founder of Wired and the author of the new book The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future. Kevin falls firmly into the optimistic camp as he details in his exploration of the tech forces that will improve life around the world in the coming decades.
Kevin and I start by talking about the early days of Wired and how he has since transitioned to other types of writing. We then discuss “creeping betterment” — the concept that technology enables us to improve the world little by little each year, the benefits of which are compounded over time.
Kevin also talks about how humans and AI will have complementary types of intelligence in the future, working together to solve problems that couldn’t be surmounted with human ingenuity alone.
Kevin Kelly co-founded Wired in 1993 and served as its Executive Editor for its first seven years. He is also founding editor and co-publisher of the popular Cool Tools website, which has been reviewing tools daily since 2003.
Kevin also co-founded the ongoing Hackers’ Conference, and was involved with the launch of the WELL, a pioneering online service started in 1985. His books include the best-selling New Rules for the New Economy, The Silver Cord, an oversize catalog of the best of Cool Tools, and his summary theory of technology in What Technology Wants (2010). He has also written a graphic novel about robots and angels, titled Out of Control.
Kevin has worked in the technology and future-casting field for many years, and is an engaging and optimistic thinker. Be sure to tune in!
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On Today’s Episode We’ll Learn:
- Why Kevin thinks technology is leading us to a “protopia” rather than utopia or dystopia.
- How the seemingly tiny improvements we make to the world each year multiply over time.
- Why there is no such thing as general purpose knowledge, and how this is good for our relationships with AI.
- How society is shifting from owning things to simply accessing them.
- Kevin’s thoughts on home automation, now and in the near future.
Key Resources for Kevin Kelly:
- Connect with Kevin: KevinKelly.org | Twitter | Cool Tools
- Amazon: The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future
- Kindle: The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future
- Deep Blue versus Garry Kasparov on Wikipedia
- Ray Kurzweil
- Nest smoke + CO alarm
- Amazon Alexa
- If This Then That
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Full Episode Transcript: