Is technology inherently centralising, invariably increasing the ability of a minority to dominate the majority? By the mid-20th century this had become its dominant characteristic. Since then, and particularly with the rise of the Internet, things have become more complicated. This presentation will consider the historical tendency to centralisation, and discuss countervailing tendencies today.
The goal of the H+ Conference is to support discussion and public awareness of emerging technologies, to defend the right of individuals in free and democratic societies to adopt technologies that expand human capacities, to anticipate and propose solutions for the potential consequences of emerging technologies, and to actively encourage and support the development of emerging technologies judged to have sufficiently probable positive benefit.
Slade is a systems analyst with extensive experience in the application of systems thinking to complex problems.
He has worked as an Enterprise Architect, Business Analyst, Human Factors Analyst and Project Manager with extensive experience in the Defence, National Security, Emergency Services and secure systems environment. Slade has been in the IT industry since 1988, and is experienced in systems engineering, systems architecture, systems integration, security assessment and development of sustainment frameworks for new systems. He is also a thought leader in human factors for the design of critical incident management systems and environments.
He also, in a rather silly moment, enrolled at the University of NSW in a research PhD where he is undertaking research in complex systems, human decision making and the human journey.
His particular passion is the evolution of human capability and the process of the human collective journey and the relationship between human technology development and the evolution of the individual and society.
He has previously presented papers on subjects as diverse as soft skill development in project management through to the application of human factors in the design of systems to support decision making in response in counter terrorist operations.
Slade presented at the Singularity Summit AU 2010.
Abstract – “Complex Systems and the Human Journey”
At the start of 2001-A Space Odyssey there is a scene where a group of apes experiencing a singularity style event is represented. The scene shows an ape learning to use a bone tool to kill for food. A new technology is developed and as a result the ape species can more effectively control a constrained resource. Then the ape turns the new tool to the task of defending another limited resource in this case water. A new process is applied to an existing technology resulting in the killing of an enemy. Now a single group of apes can dominate the landscape. The game has changed.
Singularity is one of these future pivotal events. The Kuhnian paradigm shift that changes the game completely.
The human journey is, in my opinion, a set of steps where process is applied to the use of technology to shape or respond to the environment. We are good at it. We adapt technology, we change processes and we shape the environment around us. Then we store what we have learned and then teach it to each other. And so we adapt.
Rather than discuss the potentials held out by singularity or to debate the reality or otherwise of achieving singularity, I would like to take a moment to ponder the human capacity to adapt to these game changing moments. In order to understand how we will deal with the challenges of singularity (and in fact any event which changes the game) I would like to look back a little and see the human journey for the marvel that it is. That we have come so far and adapted so much is a stunning achievement. And there is a definite pattern to how we have undertaken this journey. I will present one viewpoint that sheds some light on this human journey.
From our look backward we will see, in looking forward, how we will adapt to the game changing events like singularity. The systems based viewpoint provides one lens through which we can look forward to these events and understand the human response both collectively and individually.
Slade presented at the Singularity Summit AU in 2010.