Gerd Leonhard says, people don’t like or invest in companies and industries because of their technology. What attracts people is the intrinsic human value which is part of an organisation and how this value is tied with their vision.

We’ve seen what has been happening in the world; the growth is exponential. We are very dependent on technology to carry out our routine tasks. Our smartphones are now our external brains, doing all sorts of menial tasks like storing contacts and keeping the bank account details. These systems have algorithms running them, but we as humans, have androrithms. Machines run on fact and logic entirely and cannot compute data like emotions that we as humans can. This is going to be key in the future.


There is wearable technology now that enhances our performance and we are moving towards a highly connected world with cyborgs amongst us. A lot of us are addicted to our smart gadgets and can’t function properly without them. We’re living in a world where connectivity is religion. With this, Gerd asks us, “is this an upgrade or a downgrade?” While we can’t run away from technology, we need to rise above it and avoid becoming “a very lousy copy of a proper robot!” Instead of becoming like them, we need to give machines these human values and ethics and still have control over them.

“We cannot go back. We will fail without technology.”

Due to this, we need to embrace the new technology and create awareness. There is need for proper governing legislation to cater for the moral decision-making that machines lack. But this raises the question, whom do we give all this power to? Is it going to be the government of a country, a union of countries or something else entirely?

“Technology is neutral…until we use it!”

We need to have the right people in place to call the shots, following the proper collectively agreed-on guidelines. This is complicated since our own intrinsic and moral values differ, so before we can program an advanced machine to think, we need to break down our own thinking, otherwise things will go wrong. Also, after implementation, who is going to be responsible for the positive and more importantly, the negative outcomes of this technology?

Photo: Susanna Otakari