Utopias, Dystopias and Today's Technology

Johannes Castner

AI/ML, the blockchain and many other nascent technologies are already affecting peoples’ lives across our planet, yet a discussion as to how these effects play out and whether they produce dystopian or utopian conditions is still largely missing. Where there are discussions about technology and ethics, they mostly come from decisively western ethical traditions and they are often concentrated not on what is good but merely the negative consequences that those technologies might bring and how to avoid the worst. We expect technologies to solve our problems and to catapult us into a future of abundance, improved health and ecosystems flourishing. Yet what those hopes are and how we shall arrive in this world of plenty must be discussed on a global level in order for us to steer the ship and not have the ship float our lives into random and perhaps dystopian waters, determined only by profits. The purpose of this podcast then, is to spur an inclusive discussion with expert thinkers who are underrepresented in today’s discussions about these new technologies and what they can achieve or break in our global societies.

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