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“Basically, we’re already digital primates today”

“Basically, we’re already digital primates today”

How will humans and technology shape each other? Under this lead question Prof. Alexander Görlach and Prof. Sir Nigel Shadbolt discussed the future of human and machine.

Sir Nigel Shadbolt reading from his book “The Digital Ape” (Photo: Philipp Külker/Vodafone Institute)

It is undisputed that people have always helped themselves with tools. Since the beginning of the technological age, the development of technical innovations has accelerated more and more. The boundary between tools and human beings is becoming increasingly blurred. Bionic and smart machines not only have user interfaces that get smaller and smaller, they are also easier to use as an extension of the human body.

Prof. Sir Nigel Shadbolt, Alice Deißner (Vodafone Institute), Prof. Alexander Görlach are presenting the book “The Digital Ape”, by Prof. Sir Nigel Shadbolt (Photo: Philipp Külker/Vodafone Institute)

The effects on our co-existence can only be guessed at. All the more important is the discussion on interactions between man and machine, and the underlying potentials and dangers that have to be considered.

Following Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, a completely new image of man emerges: “The Digital Ape”. In the eponymous by Professor Sir Nigel Shadbolt, which formed the basis for the scientific evening, the author discusses how these new technologies change our lives and how we can best make use of them.

Full House at the event “AI&Anthropology” with Prof. Sir Nigel Shadbolt, Prof. Alexander Görlach and Alice Deißner (Vodafone Institute) (Photo: Philipp Külker/Vodafone Institute)

In the following discussion, Professor Alexander Görlach and Sir Nigel deepened the discourse from an anthropological and computer-scientific point of view and answered questions of the guests. A possible new religion and access to the data collected by AI were discussed: who can access data and who can use them for co-designing and developing technical innovations? What potentials of co-design and decision-making sovereignty over social

The evening ended with lively conversations and the chance to try Melodrive’s  AI music system that composes an infinite stream of original, emotionally variable music in realtime. Find out more here.

Sir Nigel Shadbolt tests Melodrive’s Revolution of Music in Gamification (Photo: Philipp Külker/Vodafone Institute)

You can also view the whole event again here.

More voices and opinions on our interview and essay collection “Entering a New Era”.