CM 046: Kevin Kelly On How Tech Shapes Our Future

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Blog Post - Kevin KellyDo we shape tech or does it shape us? Turns out it is both. And that is just 1 of the 12 big ideas Kevin Kelly explores in his latest bestseller, The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future. The Inevitable is a playbook to guide us through the seismic changes in life and work, caused by technologies becoming exponentially faster and smarter.

Kelly, Co-founder, former Executive Editor, and now Senior Maverick at Wired Magazine, takes us on a futuristic — and highly believable ride — from start to finish. Former publisher and editor of Whole Earth Review and Cool Tools, he is the author of other thought-provoking and visionary books, like New Rules for the New Economy, Out of Control, The Silver Cord, and What Technology Wants.

Kelly embodies what it means to be curious!

In this interview, we talk about:

  • Why continual tech upgrades will make us perpetual newbies
  • Why Kevin favors protopia, instead of utopia or dystopia
  • What it means to cognify
  • Why artificial intelligence is a feature, not a bug
  • Why we want and need the different kinds of intelligence that comes with AI
  • How we will work with robots to solve big problems
  • How robots will free us up to be artists, scientists, inventors, and creatives
  • How many of our jobs will be to invent jobs for the robots around us
  • How our technology places us in streams and flows that are dynamic, interactive, and chronological
  • Why personalization and immediacy will be better than free
  • How filters may negotiate on our behalf and sharpen our understanding of who we are
  • Why virtual reality is about presence and, more importantly, interactivity
  • Why one day anything that is not interactive will be considered broken
  • How interactivity will one day extend beyond our bodies to our emotions, facial expressions, voices, and more
  • Why if it matters, we will be able to tell whether it is human or nonhuman
  • Why tracking is inevitable and transparency around our data is a must
  • What Kevin means by covalence when it comes to our data
  • How we will come to a deeper, more nuanced understanding of privacy
  • Two things Kevin worries about
  • As AIs become more capable and integrated into our lives, how will we treat them?
  • As cyber conflicts and cyber wars continue, what rules will we establish?
  • How will our technology change us?
  • The importance of thinking much longer term than a generation or a corporate quarter
  • What a global government might look like and how we might get there

Selected Links to Topics Mentioned



Whole Earth Review


Game of Thrones

The Third Wave by Steve Case

The Quantified Self

The Fitbit



Boston Dynamics Quadrupeds

Star Trek

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Thank you to Emmy-award-winning Creative Director Vanida Vae for designing the Curious Minds logo, and thank you to Rob Mancabelli for all of his production expertise!



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1 Comment

  1. […] a more positive note, Kevin Kelly, Senior Maverick for Wired, says continual tech upgrades create protopia (instead of utopia or dystopia) where every day just […]