By Randall Margo
Board Director and Commentator, G.L.O.B.A.L. Justice
If one were to try and identify the most pivotal phenomenon of our times, it would be hard to challenge the spectrum of technological change. Nearly every field of endeavor has been altered by technology and more rapidly than at any time in history. In comparison to the industrial revolution, which took about 150 years to dramatically upend agricultural society, the information age has taken a mere generation to reshape how we work and live. Moreover, changes now occur so quickly that even rather recent innovations such as compact disks and fax machines are now obsolete. Almost daily, advances in such areas as artificial intelligence, gene editing and 3D printing revise major aspects of our existence. If the past is prologue, we are likely to see an acceleration of technological change in coming decades. These transformations during this information age, like the industrial revolution, have generally gone unquestioned as progress for mankind. Yet, while these changes have made our lives and work easier, more efficient and perhaps materially better, is there also something lacking in this progress, perhaps intangible tradeoffs that are presently opaque but might be eventually revealed only upon reflection of what are lives epitomize?
While technology hasn’t created the movement of societies from rural to urban environments, and all that change represented, is it making more profound changes about our nature and character? It is this question, technology’s effect on human beings that is the thesis I will be exploring in upcoming commentaries and eventually a manuscript. If there are indeed ethical dilemmas technological upheaval can present, should these questions be at the forefront of cultural and public policy deliberations. To the extent that we acknowledge and perhaps resolve these tradeoffs could determine our intrinsic value as human beings in coming generations.
With no preconceived notions regarding the outcome of the issues that will be raised, I look forward to your insightful comments as this narrative commences.
The views and opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and do not imply endorsement by G.L.O.B.A.L. Justice. We are a faith-based, nonpartisan organization that seeks to extend the conversation about justice with a posture of dignity and respect.