In the long term, if we take up this challenge, we are looking at nothing less than the conscious, collective intervention of human beings in their own evolution. It’s the opportunity of a civilization’s lifetime. Shouldn’t more of us want to participate actively in this project?
Digital technologies are different. They are not just objects, but systems embedded with purpose. They act with intention. If we don’t know how they work, we won’t even know what they want. The less involved and aware we are of the way our technologies are programmed and program themselves, the more narrow our choices will become; the less we will be able to envision alternatives to the pathways described by our programs; and the more our lives and experiences will be dictated by their biases.
On the other hand, the more humans become involved in their design, the more humanely inspired these tools will end up behaving. We are developing technologies and networks that have the potential to reshape our economy, our ecology, and our society more profoundly and intentionally than ever before in our collective history. As biologists now understand, our evolution as a species was not a product of random chance, but the forward momentum of matter and life seeking greater organization and awareness. This is not a moment to relinquish our participation in that development, but to step up and bring our own sense of purpose to the table. It is the moment we have been waiting for.