The new docu-fiction film created by Futurist Gerd Leonhard and directed by Chris Sean Nolan: How Humans utilizing the power of AI can realise The Good Future
LookUpNow (LuN) is a riveting 24-minute docu-fiction film featuring Futurist Gerd Leonhard as host, guide and narrator, on the future of artificial intelligence and humanity, directed by Emmy-award winning producer Christopher Sean Nolan. Currently in post-production, it is scheduled for release in late July 2023. It is the first episode in a series of films on AI and the future of humanity currently being developed by Gerd and Chris.
The film proposes that we should embrace AI and harness its positive potentials while at the same time we urgently must consider and address its negative side-effects and unintended externalities. We must use AI as a powerful tool but not let it become a purpose on its own. AI should be used to help us to bring about what Gerd calls The Good Future, but not to replace humans, or to whittle away what makes us human, or to further a synthetic, machine-led society.
LuN explains why we should welcome smart machines (what Gerd calls intelligent assistance aka IA) but not seek to build generally intelligent artificial entities (AGIs) – because as far as technology is concerned, it’s competencethat matters, not consciousness (quoting Professor Stuart Russell).
Riffing off the film ‘Don’t look Up’, LuN is not about pointing at AI “hurtling towards us like an asteroid, invariably destroying humanity” but about understanding the tremendous powers as well as the complex dangers of it, and redirecting it into our orbit (so to speak) where we could safely harness its potential for the collective good of all of humanity and the planet. Not to deny its possibilities, not to ignore what might go wrong with it, and not to hinder its progress, but to use its power to further our collective flourishing. To not be hasty, naive, or greedy, but to act collectively, with wisdom and foresight, to find a balance between pro-action and precaution.
To “Look Up Now” means not to fall prey to fear, dooms-day-ism and despondency but to observe, imagine and to prepare for what is coming towards us at exponential speed. In the film, Gerd also explains why it is important to understand that AI is just the first instance of the vast challenges and incredible opportunities that are presented by 5 other king-making technologies: quantum computing / supercomputing, nuclear fusion, human genome editing, synthetic biology, and geo-engineering. The challenge will likely be the same for all five: humanity could build a potential paradise-on-earth using these technologies – a kind of star-trek society – or we could slip into a hellish, post-human and Orwellian future where humans will, at best, be ignored by the digital overlords that we have created ourselves.
Gerd believes that much of the outcome (heaven or hell aka #hellven) will depend on whether we can move beyond our outmoded obsession with pre-exponential (and pre-AI) economics based on the single-minded focus on profit and growth, and the outdated ‘isms’ of the past, such as socialism, communism, capitalism or populism – none of that will matter in this rapidly morphing world. The only thing that will matter is the creation of a new economic (and societal) operating system that is fit for the future. It’s collaborate or perish for humanity – a fork in the road moment!
LuN proposes to put what Gerd calls the 4Ps – people, planet, purpose and prosperity – at the core of our societal and economic objectives (and our stock markets, as well). LookingUp and realising what is becoming possible will lead to different responses that ca be more proactive instead of reactive. It is us that is creating these asteroids, therefore we can also define their paths!
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A film by Gerd Leonhard (released in January 2020)
An ex-professional musician, on-paper dotcom millionaire, and bestselling author of Technology vs Humanity: The Coming Clash Between Man, Gerd’s most important role to date is a frequent social commentator and one of big tech’s earliest and loudest critics.
“The future does not just happen to us – we create it every day, ourselves”
“The future is already here – we just haven’t paid enough attention!”
“The future is no longer about ‘tomorrow’- the future is a MINDSET”