The Futurists Podcast - Foresight Complexity & Human Adaptability  with John Smart

Futurecrafting -

The Futurists Podcast - Foresight Complexity & Human Adaptability with John Smart

In Episode 14 our guest is John Smart, founder of Foresight University. John shares insights about the practice and practical application of foresight, the distinction between foresight and futurism and its relationship with complexity and human adaptability.

The key idea of the video is that third generation technologies, such as AI, have the potential to be adaptive and humanizing, and by understanding and planning for the future, we can adapt to complex systems and harness the benefits of AI.

Key insights

Foresight and Adaptability in a Changing World

  • 📚 John Smart's book, "Introduction to Foresight," explores his methodology and learnings from early forecasters and scenario planners like Alvin Toffler.
  • 🌍 "Thinking about the future seriously is making a comeback due to the impact of COVID-19, advancements in AI, and other changes, putting us at the cutting edge of a new foresight era."
  • 🔄 The overlay of evo devo in foresight involves understanding the interplay between evolutionary and developmental factors, recognizing that both occur in shaping the future.
  • 🌍 "Networks always win life as a network has been immortal and has been improving its capacity since the very first cell emerged three and a half billion years ago."
  • 🌐 Complex systems require a balance of exploratory ability, protective ability, and network maintenance for effective functioning.
  • 🌐 The adaptiveness and progress of a network is determined by the relationships and network tending, which is the highest value in a living system.
  • 🌍 The COVID-19 pandemic was a trend that was anticipated and converged with new software capabilities, highlighting the importance of foresight and adaptability.
  • 🌍 The world is becoming more interesting and complex, and foresight is our superpower to navigate through it.
  • 📚 Foresight is your top superpower and you can get better at it just by having conversations and giving yourself permission to explore new ideas.

The Future of AI and Technology

  • 🎮 The future of AI-enabled games could potentially improve us in various ways, such as teaching equities trading or city-building skills.
  • 📚 Major advances in human culture and organization have historically occurred with the development of new tools, such as oral culture, written language, books, recorded media, and now computational algorithms and deep learning machines.
  • 🌱 The process of training AI is more like gardening than engineering, where data sets are continuously adjusted and experimented with to improve performance.
  • 💡 The development of AI with biomimicry and neural networks will lead to a human-machine merger in the long term, according to John Smart.
  • 💡 The future of personal AI will allow individuals to have their own customized AI that can nudge and guide them based on their values and preferences, potentially surpassing the influence of marketers.

The Impact of AI on Society and Human Development

  • 💡 With the freedom provided by basic income, individuals can focus on their passions and create beautiful and wonderful things that don't currently exist.
  • 💡 "Technology always wins, so instead of debating whether AI will be good or bad, we should focus on how to transition AI into society." 

Questions to inspire discussion

What is the key idea of the video?

The key idea is that third generation technologies, like AI, have the potential to be adaptive and humanizing, and by understanding and planning for the future, we can harness their benefits.

What is the difference between first and third generation technologies?
First generation technologies are dehumanizing, while third generation technologies can be more adaptive and humanizing with good design.

What is strategic foresight?

Strategic foresight involves activities like trend analysis, scenario creation, and forecasting that are done prior to creating a strategy.

What is evo devo?

Evo devo explores the tension between the probable and the possible and offers valuable perspectives on adaptiveness in biology.

What is the potential of AI in improving human development?

AI has the potential to improve exploratory skills, predictive capabilities, and understanding of networks through advanced 3D models and simulations.

 ------------------------------------- 0:54:20 2023-09-30T11:51:36Z


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