Applications of Artificial Intelligence surround our everyday lives, from the exemplary to the critical. But does the rise of AI mean the fall of humanity?
In this lighthearted romp, the ‘For’ side argues (with supreme irony) that through our own choices, we are destined to enslavement by AI. While ‘Against’ asserts that this deterministic perspective is needlessly pessimistic. With any luck, the latter is proven correct.
The possibility of immortality has long occupied the human mind. The great religions of the world have been founded on a promise of eternal salvation from the ultimate reality—if only to deny it. In Homo Deus, the avowedly atheist Yuval Harari proposes a different solution: that scientific advances will delay death until well into our second century. But will extra life be extra great?
Here, the ‘For’ side argues that a privileged caste would greatly enjoy an extra thirty-plus years of life, provided that the quality of that extra time was sufficiently rewarding. The ‘Against’ side suggests that we would be better served trying to come to terms with the reality of Death rather than in trying to delay its inevitable arrival.
There’s no question that the tsunami of ‘content’ is a defining theme of our époque. What is contested, however, is the impact of that tsunami.
Here, ’Against’ asserts that neurosis about the proliferation of ‘content’ has affected us for centuries. ‘For’ argues that we are conducting a dangerous experiment on our lived experience and that careful regulation is required to mitigate harm.
Shosanna Zuboff coined the term ‘Surveillance Capitalism’ in 2019 to refer to the mass commodification of hitherto private domains of our existence. The debate on this issue turns on contrasting views of the power of human agency. The ‘For’ side, argues that submission to the audacious will of Surveillance Capitalism has become one of the Terms and Conditions of modern life, and threatens our personal freedom. The ‘Against’ side adopts what might be termed a refusenik stance, positing that we can in fact choose to opt out of the services offered by the apparatus of Surveillance Capitalism.