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The Humanity of Machines

Brian David Johnson's Altruistic Technology Speech Examines Greed

— November 27, 2013 — Keynote Trends
In his altruistic technology speech, Brian David Johnson recounts the fateful 'flash crash' of 2010 that took him on a rewarding exploration of humanity's relationship to technology. Autonomous machines trading at near-light speeds were responsible for the crash.

The self-described optimistic futurist dedicated himself to answering the question: can we optimize machines for something other than profit? Though Johnson doesn't condemn profit as inherently evil, he cautions that excessive profit will give way to greed. To avoid this, he suggests that we can optimize technology for things such as quality, fairness and even the American Dream.

Johnson firmly believes technology is an extension of ourselves; we imbue it with our values, hopes and sense of humanity by virtue of creating it. Therefore, we bear an incredible responsibility; if we continue to be thoughtless with technology, we are culpable for creating and perpetuating a form of evil. On the other hand, technology can be used to enhance and better our humanity.
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