Forward Without Fear: Towards Humanity’s…
December 2019, volume 43, No 12

Forward Without Fear: Towards Humanity’s
‘Symbiotic Human-Machine Hybrid’ Future
By Marc Prensky

No One Knows Exactly What’s Coming—yet we can spot in advance a lot of the directions we are headed. And we can also see why those directions are potentially hugely positive for humanity—to be welcomed, rather than feared.  It is important, therefore, to address the rising fear from many adults that our technology-filled future will somehow be bad—or worse than today or the past. That is a perspective with which I strongly disagree.

Certainly, today, there is much writing and movie-making about dystopian futures. As one of those creators puts it, ‘That’s what makes for adventure plots.’ And there are some things—both short-term and long term—that actually are, and will be, bad for us.  We can’t know all of them in in advance, but like tobacco, we will eventually find them and fix them—and we are getting better at doing this faster. I believe even planetary degradation or destruction will eventually be addressed as the situation becomes dire enough for those with the means to do it actually to begin to care.

What concerns me more is people who worry that, somehow, at a far more basic level, our ‘humanity’ will soon disappear as the digital world increasingly takes on a larger role in our future. Some worry about our ‘loss of control’. Some worry about our ‘loss of privacy’. Some worry about the loss of ‘basic skills’ or behaviours like ‘looking people in the eye.’

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