Five New Human Rights For The Digital Age

from Medium

Here are some core human rights that I humbly suggest might form part of a what I like to call a Digital Ethics Manifesto:

1. The right to remain natural, i.e. ‘merely’ biological and organic. We must continue to have the choice to exist in an unaugmented state. We need to retain the right to work or be employed, use public services, buy things, and function in society without the need to deploy technology with, on or — most importantly — inside our bodies. Various expressions of what I like to call #WiredOrFired — fears are already an issue with mobile devices and social media; yet one can easily imagine a future where we may increasingly be forced to wear augmented reality AR or VR glasses, visors, or helmets to qualify for employment, or even worse, be required to use or implant specific ‘wetware apps’ or BCI’s (brain computer interfaces) as a non-negotiable condition of employment. Mere humans may soon no longer be good enough — and somehow I don’t think this would be a very desirable future.

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29 Responses to Five New Human Rights For The Digital Age

  1. Lauren Burbank March 29, 2017 at 3:17 am #

    The topic of technology vs humanity has been very consistent in recent years. I found this article to be a unique approach to the subject because rather than point out the pros vs cons, or the fears of moving towards a more technologically empowered world, it provides suggestions on human rights we should maintain and embrace. The first one, the right to remain natural, is probably the most important one in my opinion. I think it’s very important to always allow people to have choices, and as it’s already been made obvious, not everyone is willing to embrace technology. I don’t believe there is anything wrong with people wanting to maintain the human interactions involved in shopping or completing a business transaction. I can’t even count the number of times I’ve had a customer tell me they were “thankful to be speaking to a real person,” at my job.
    The second right ties into the first one, as far as not being willing to adapt to new technology. There are some people who just will not grasp the changes and innovation that comes along with technology. My grandma is nowhere near being able to use a Facebook, though to most people it’s one of the easiest apps out there. She doesn’t even know how to turn on her cell phone (which is still a brick of a phone) and she loves her old fashioned box-shaped television. She doesn’t text and when she needs something, she calls us and engages us in lengthy, repetitive conversations. I don’t see any reason to try to push her into understanding all of the technology that’s out there, she’s happy and she likes her life to be simple. We’re happy to accommodate her right to be inefficient in these areas.
    The third one, the right to disconnect, is my favorite. Even now, without technology being as dominant as the we predict for the future, I have a strong need to disconnect. When I’m having a stressful day, the thing that “recenters” me is taking time to myself. Going to my apartment, ignoring my phone and not talking to anyone. I may scroll through a few blogs I like looking at, but it’s the silence and lack of constant stimulation that helps me regain my focus. In a more literal way, I also feel that my every movement and thought has no right to be tracked and recorded if I don’t authorize it. Privacy must always remain a human right, and a government priority.
    I already have my concerns about number four, the right to be anonymous. I have a few opinions on this concept. First, the group Anonymous has always gained my attention whenever they resurface in a news article. They’re proof of how technology can really empower people. On the other side of this spectrum, I already see huge holes in people’s right to remain anonymous, in fact it’s not even to that length—it’s people’s right to not be stalked and “put out there.” I have read numerous articles about people who were “doxed” for very trivial reasons and then harassed by people who carry a distorted “mob mentality.” We need to find a solution for things like this before we can ever have hope to remain anonymous.
    I love the thought behind the last one. It’s important to put people first, and imposing a tax on companies who go automation/robot online while giving tax breaks to companies who continue to give jobs to humans sounds like a brilliant plan. It becomes counterproductive when the technology we put into the world infringes on the very people it was supposed to benefit

  2. Frankie Lisa March 29, 2017 at 1:51 pm #

    The digital age started only a few years ago, and humans have already made remarkable progress. We have made so much progress that we have already begun to replace humans for many of the jobs we Americans used to do. Since we are still adjusting to the digital age, we are still adjusting to the rules and etiquette of the digital age. In his new book Technology vs Humanity, futurist Gerd Leonhard discusses five human rights that should be implemented as we move into the digital age. Leonhard addresses the problems that may occur if humans are no longer more efficient than technology, and we begin to combine the power of the two.
    One human right Leonhard mentions is “the right to be inefficient when and where it defines our basic humanness. He believes that we should have the choice to be slower and less capable than technology. The example he uses is seeing a doctor. While it is faster and cheaper to use digital health diagnostics, we should still have the ability to see a doctor if we please. If people prefer to use digital health diagnostics, that is okay. The point Leonhard is trying to make is that it should not be the only approved method; humans should be able to see a human doctor if he or she pleases. Also, the ability to see a human doctor should not be a luxury that only the wealthy can afford.
    Another interesting human right Leonhard proposes is the right “to be or remain anonymous.” What he means is that humans should have the right to switch off any communications, monitoring, or tracking device. It is not ridiculous to think that future employers will require its employees to wear augmented or virtual reality glasses or equipment. But employees should have the right to disconnect these devices once he or she is off the job.
    Leonhard’s fifth human right for the digital age is “the right to employ or engage people instead of machines. I agree with this idea, but I also think it is very ironic. This has already become an issue in the United States. Machines along with stricter labor rights laws have single handedly killed off the manufacturing industry in the United States. Leonhard believes that companies should not be placed at a disadvantage for hiring humans over machines. He proposes providing tax credits for companies that choose to hire humans over machines. I think this is the most important right Leonhard included in his book. This is because of its relevancy. The other rights address problems that will occur years even decades down the road. However, I previously mentioned that machines are beginning to replace humans today. And there are no tax credits or incentives being offered to companies who choose to hire humans over machines. This explains why in the United States, if given the option, companies prefer machines over humans.

  3. Matt Talarico March 29, 2017 at 5:31 pm #

    Human rights is taking a completely new form in the digital age. Because technology has quickly come into everyday human lives, new problems arise as new technology is introduced. The Supreme Court is quickly being filled with cases that are unique to the legal system, and we are only beginning to figure out what should and should not be allowed to happen with technology and on the internet. This article discusses a lot of the problems that the author believes could become problems in the future, and why humans should stay away from certain innovations in technology.

    A problem the article brings up is the dependency of human function on technology, or “WiredOrFired” as they describe it. In 2017, this does not seem to be a problem, but it can become one. For example, disabled people (elderly or obese) rely on cruisers to get around. With increasing obesity, I could see why the author thinks this as a problem. Also, people may just come to the realization that traveling around in these cruisers, or electric wheelchairs like in the movie Wall-E, are easier to get around with than cars or walking. In a time of increasing efficiency and convenience, the author might just be giving a warning to the future of humanity. In the next paragraph, similar to the first one, he gives this warning saying “never let efficiency more important than humanity”. While being objective is important, we are not robots and are not on this planet to simply do work we set ourselves. Living is our main purpose, and we should not get distracted by that.

    In his next three paragaphs, he warns humanity of becoming too attached to technology. He says how disconnecting is important to do, and to not become reliant on social medias and other stimulants found on the internet. Remaining true to nature and to human nature seems to be an important aspect of this piece, and how the direction we are currently going in is not supporting that. While technology does not make out lives easier, it does not always make it better because we are changing into humans that are not being humans, but rather victims to other indulgences. While the author is not arguing against technological innovation, he is warning not to let it become our lives, and to only have it be an accessory to who we really are.

  4. Jonathan Cavallone March 29, 2017 at 7:12 pm #

    With the world changing so quickly around us, the rights that humans are given are starting to become jeopardized. Today in class, we discussed the new bill that was recently passed by the government giving internet providers the right to access any and all of their customers browsing history. This bill is just going to be the beginning of a series of new laws and policies that are going to be put in place violating human rights. This new law gives private Internet service providers the right to sell a customer’s browsing history to anyone who is willing to pay their asking price for it. Professor Shannon stressed the importance of encrypting everything we do on the internet, not because we are doing illegal things on the internet but because it is our right to have privacy while browsing the web. This first problem discussed in this article I believe is already starting to take place. According to the article, “We must continue to have the choice to exist in an unaugment state. We need to retain the right to work or be employed, use public services, buy things, and function in society without the need to deploy technology with, on or?—?most importantly?—?inside our bodies. Various expressions of what I like to call #WiredOrFired?—?fears are already an issue with mobile devices and social media; yet one can easily imagine a future where we may increasingly be forced to wear augmented reality AR or VR glasses, visors, or helmets to qualify for employment, or even worse, be required to use or implant specific ‘wetware apps’ or BCI’s (brain computer interfaces) as a non-negotiable condition of employment. Mere humans may soon no longer be good enough?—?and somehow I don’t think this would be a very desirable future.” Based on this, the author is assuming that humans are not going to be able to survive without technology. We can already see this starting to occur in today’s society. For example, many people cannot go to a store and buy groceries without using some type of technology such as a credit card, or a cash register. Additionally, many white-collar jobs are becoming increasingly dependent upon technology. This is especially noticeable in the finance industry where varieties of financial models and algorithms are developed by computers. Many of these actions would be nearly impossible without the use of technology. An additional point brought up in the article which connected to our class discussion involved the right to remain anonymous. This article believes that humans should retain the right to not be identified and tracked, such as when using an application, a bot or a platform, or when commenting or criticizing, provided it is harmless to others and does not infringe on anyone else’s rights. With the recently passed law giving internet service providers the right to monitor and sell consumers web browsing history, this desire is going to be thrown out the window. While technology is changing the way we live, we cannot forget our basic human rights.

  5. Andrew Imbesi March 30, 2017 at 11:33 am #

    I find the five human rights the author suggests for the digital world are interesting. I happen to agree with a few of the points that the author makes in regards to our personal privacy as we transition into a technological world.
    My personal habitat is simply what I want it to be, and my personal business is for my person and my person only. Technology does take away a person’s natural habitat. It is simply the reason why I cover the webcams on my devices, to protect myself from hackers on the other side of my screen if they choose to attack my device.
    Recently, Congress passed a law allowing people to bid on other people’s browsing histories. This is a complete violation of personal space, and will be tough to reverse in legislation. I am confident in my browsing history, but more offended that people would look into my personal interests and information. I hope that the government does not turn towards installing brain computer interfaces into people to track them.
    Another right Leonhard discusses is that it is our choice to allow technology to be a part of our lives. Obviously, technology will make things easier to do in life, but it should not take over human abilities. Humanity and efficiency are tough competitors; nevertheless, they must remain balanced to maintain a stable economy.
    So if we decide to allow technology be in our lives, should we have the right to disconnect? I believe the right to disconnect is unachievable. Monitoring others is irresistible, especially for the US Government. No matter what, the moment we connect to technology is the moment we surrender ourselves to it.
    Unfortunately, it is also impossible to remain anonymous once you surface the web. Once I created my first social media accounts, my first identification pictures were posted on Google without my permission. I am no Michael Phelps; there is no reason why millions of people should know me when I am just a regular human being, not a celebrity.
    In addition to a technological world, more and more robots will begin to surface thanks to humanity. A right we must reserve going into a technological world is human right to work. It is cost efficient to hire robots rather than employees, but it is inhumane to treat a human as if they do not matter in society. By exterminating humans from everyday jobs, we exterminate humanity itself.
    Already, the US Government has begun taking away technology rights. Earlier this week, Congress passed a bill allowing people to bid on other people’s browsing histories, a complete invasion of privacy. I thought that I would see an unconstitutional law pass at some point in my life, but I did not think that no one would do anything about it. I find the current governmental systems around the world to be destroying themselves. The United States does not stand for Freedom anymore. To me, it is a no-brainer that five hundred representatives are not enough to represent 320 million people. There needs to be more say in our governmental systems, voting for leaders is not enough anymore.

  6. Jiaqi Ma March 30, 2017 at 7:16 pm #

    I still remembered a movie, which name is “splice”. It generally talked about cloning technology. The scientists in the movie have putted many animals genes to one creature, including human genes. Although that is a science fiction movie, it reveals that with technology developing our basic rights are threatening. In this article, Futurist Gerd Leonhard pointed out that “Technology vs Humanity”. Futurist mentioned that technology would increase human’s stamina that should not belong to human through technology, which threatens the right to remain human’s body netural. Some people may be will argue that this is great for human because we could finish more things that before technology we thought that is imposible. However, the shocked fact is that the scientists try to merge human and computer. It is not alarmist. Recently, there was an essay in the Wall Street Journal pointed out that the ‘iron man’ in IT, Yilong Muske have established a new company. The main study program on this company is developing Neuralink. Neuralink is the part of technology of connection between human brain and computer. Their program is focusing on the study, which is creating an interaction device that could be implanted into the human brain. This will allow human’s brain connect to computing devices directly. Their ultimate goal is making integration between human and software. The company try to keep up with the pace of development of artificial intelligence, which means eventually human probably will become semi-robots! As we know, human have a rational and emotional part. If human really become semi-robots, will the part of our sensibility disappear? Who knows! When the moment really comes. Everyone will make his or her own interests to maximize without mercy.
    It is obvious that human never can exceed robots or intelligence artificial in term of efficiency. Nowadays, not only human cannot exceed robots in the simple manual labor, but also in some mental aspects. There was a new that researcher in Japan developed robots that could play Go. Moreover, this robot defeated the Go champion. On the other hand, I agree with the author’s idea about digital health diagnostics via platforms. This new style improve efficiency of patient’s treatment, which will bring many social benefits. Just because of machine’s efficiency, what steps that human should take to cope? More and more companies are willing to use robots replacing labor, which could bring more benefits and it is more efficientt. I agree with author’s idea. He mentioned that government should increase taxes for the company where robots replaced labor. It is a very useful measure, which could release the social issues that made by unemployment. The author also mentioned a very important human’s fact, which is privacy. Imaging on this way, human’s body are equipped by any software. Our brain is implanted digital chips that could help us communication with the outside world any time and time place. Then how could people protect their privacy? Even for this time, our privacy is threatened by hacker and various illegal organizations. What we should do at that time to prevent another people stealing our thoughts and ideas? Moreover, in that time, will human becomes more “ transparent”? This is also a problem that needs to be solved in the future. I do not deny that human should not develop intelligence technology. I just want to remain scientists that be careful on the technology.

  7. Juan Landin March 30, 2017 at 9:00 pm #

    Reading this article made me think how close we really are to a reality in which technology will completely rule everything about our lives. I agree with all of Leonhard’s rights, but I find some of them to be unrealistic and some are being broken in our society now.

    We, as humans, have a right to refuse to adapt to the evolving world, as technology seems to take it over. Right now, if you do not know how to operate a smart phone or a computer/laptop, then it will be very hard to find a good job or live a comfortable life. As we continue to evolve and grow, so does our demand. People seem to want their goods and services faster and more efficient as the technology improves. The only way this can be done is if we incorporate technology, not only into our businesses, but into our daily lives as well. This also goes against his second rule, in which we have the right to be inefficient. We should never put efficiency above humanity, but we have already done that. Businesses are laying off people by the thousands and shipping their jobs overseas where employees will work more for less. We are also giving many of these jobs to machines to do because they are simply better and they do not require any compensation. Thus, eliminating any human from contention for the job. This has come because we live in a capitalistic society in which every businesses and everyone is driven by money and what is the fastest way in which they can make a lot of it. Disconnecting, for some people, could mean that their whole lives would be blank for the time in which they do not have technology. That is how much technology has grown to become part of our lives. We should take some time and disconnect in order to appreciate everything else life has to offer, but some jobs may not allow that. To them, disconnecting means losing productivity, which translates to losing money. Which they do not like losing. Therefore, eventually this will be more like a privilege than a right. A right to be anonymous should be afforded to every human being. If they wish for their privacy infringed upon by businesses who collect their information and track their whereabouts. This information is mine, and I should be able to say who does and does not get to have it. You would think this is a simple right that would be easy to respect, but then you would be wrong. Today, consumer’s information has become one of the most valuable sources of information there is. It is collected by the various programs, websites, machines, devices, etc. that we use on a day-to-day basis. Then, the businesses that collect it sell it to other businesses who can use that data any way they please. Now, if this is not a clear invasion of privacy then I do not know what is. Even the government has been exposed to their actions of spying on millions of Americans. Although I can see where the government is coming from, it is not easy to keep a whole country of millions of people safe. Especially since, we now face a growing number of threats such as ISIS, North Korea, Russia, etc. Sometimes, you need to break some rules in order to keep the people safe; but I do not condone the collection and business made by businesses for selling our information. This is why the government should outlaw data collection by businesses for profit. As for Leonhard’s fifth right, I do believe people should still have the right to work and do business, even if it is not nearly as productive as businesses run by machines and technology. People should be able to do the business they wish, within the confides of the law, without having to confide to the new age technology trend. However, this will realistically never happen because in our capitalistic society, any businesses that is not the most efficient and the fastest will be not be successful and will eventually go out of business.

    Overall, I agree with every right Leonhard states that we should have. I also think that it is idealistic to think that those rights would ever be permitted in the capitalistic, materialistic, and technological society that we live in and will most likely continue to live in.

  8. William Stuck March 31, 2017 at 10:26 am #

    We are approaching an era where a lot of the rules that exist now will no longer apply. This is why we need new rules for the “digital age” such as the ones in this article. The first rule is “the right to remain neutral”. This basically means that our descendants should have the right to exist as fully organic human beings. This might seem obvious now, but as things evolve we may come to a point where being technologically enhanced is the norm. In this strange future world, you may have to be augmented somehow just to function normally in society. This rule protects ones right to be able to live a normal life without the use of technological modifications. The second rule is the “right to be inefficient”. By nature, humans are very inefficient. We do things like eat, sleep, get tired, and have emotions. All of these things can hinder our ability to be as productive as possible. This rule says that it is okay to be somewhat inefficient, we don’t want to do things as efficiently as possible for the sake of ourselves. It would be a shame for us to disregard basic human traits in favor of something as lucrative as productivity or efficiency. The third right is the “right to disconnect”. This is a very good idea in a world where we are becoming more and more connected to the web. It is almost constant even now. That is why we really need the right to disconnect. We should be able to get off of the grid for a while and enjoy the real world. It would be like hell to live in a world where you could never just be alone and enjoy yourself. The constant thought of being watched should not be an all consuming thing. The fourth rule is the “right to remain anonymous”. This is another one of my favorites, along with the last one. In the future, we should have the right to do things online without being tracked or otherwise monitored. I do however agree with what the article says about anonymity being unrealistic to expect and even impossible in occasions. But despite this I believe that we have the right to just exist without what we do being catalogued and probably sold later on. The fifth and final rule is also good, but not one of my favorites. It is the “right to employ or engage people”. This essentially means that we have both the right and expectation to favor people over machines. The rights of organic life are far more important than any machine. We should favor regular people instead of machines, no matter how much more efficient they are. Profits and efficiency should only come after the wellbeing of our fellow man. Hopefully one day this rule will become obsolete if we ever approach a point in which machines can do everything so that humans can just relax.

  9. Jacob Hoelting March 31, 2017 at 12:47 pm #

    In a world that is ever growing with technology it is necessary to lay out the basic human rights we have when it comes to technology. With the new era of technology it seems that no one has the slightest idea what rights we, as citizens, are entitled to. Every day we are presented with new challenges and adversities that we must face in order to keep out technological human rights, but what are they? In this blog the author focuses on five of these basic human rights involving technology. He says that they are the right to remain natural, the right to be inefficient if, when and where it defines our basic humanness, the right to disconnect, the right to be, or remain anonymous and the right to employ or engage people instead of machines. These along with many other rights need to be respected and followed as we progress into a world of technology. These human rights outlined in this blog and in the book they came from are mainly about the rights we have in the work place and what are entitled to when it comes to what we must keep human in the work place. However, there are other human rights that need to be respected with he new coming age of technology. Last year in San Bernidino there was a terrorist attack on an office building and the FBI wanted to get into one of the terrorists phone’s in order to check messages and phone records. This is a good idea from the stand point of the law enforcement, but when you look at the incident from a stand point of human rights it is thought that a personal telephone and its contests are personal property and a warrant is needed to view the phone. The declaration of independence states what every American citizen is entitled to, but that declaration of independence was written two hundred years before the internet and computers so we have no basis of what our human rights are concerning technology. Everyone has their own version of what our technological human rights are and there has barley been any kind of headway on what those rights actually are. However, thanks to this blog and the author’s book the author has given the people a basis of what our basic human rights for jobs are. He says for jobs we are entitled to our basic humanness at our jobs. Human rights need to be laid out for technology because this is a new era that has never been ventured into before and human rights need to be respected the same way here as it would in different areas. Human rights are everything that people argue about in law enforcement and employment. These things have changed in the era of technology and need to be figured out .

  10. Julian Manzano March 31, 2017 at 1:34 pm #

    Technology vs. Humanity, this seems like the battle that is being fought every day of our lives. There is so much connectivity in this world and we are all living in a world where technology and this feeling of being connected is present everywhere. This article highlights many challenges that we may soon face in the future as a result of technology becoming a staple in society. The author gives five basic “human rights” we need to keep as technology becomes more advanced in the world. These rights seem very obvious and elementary, but this may change as the time goes forward. These rights talk about keeping life more human than technology and how there has to be a balance in the world. The word cannot become fully ran by technology as that would be detrimental to the human race. Again, these rights seem like they are very basic, but they need to be kept in mind as technology increases in importance.
    One main factor that technology could change is how humans work. Meaning that companies may require, in the future, for humans to have technology in their body. Such as VR and wearable tech, or even worse, implants of chips in humans’ brains. In the future, companies could make this a default requirement to be employed so you could be more efficient and/or be tracked. This idea is very scary and goes against basic human nature. People are employed because of skills and ideas that a person knows and carries with them, but if they were altered by computers in their brains, it would be very unnatural and unfair. The world, especially the work place, has to remain “natural” and understand that humans run the world, not robots. Along with this, companies should understand that humans cannot be replaced by robots in jobs just because it is cheaper and more efficient, as this would destroy the economy.
    Besides employment and work, there are ethical rights that have to be secured if technology proves to become more advanced. Two rights that are highlighted in this article that are very important ethically are the right to disconnect and the right to remain anonymous. Being able to not be connected to technology all the time is important as it keeps people grounded and in reality. Being able to remain anonymous online is equally as important because we need to be able to have protected space online and be able to have a sense of privacy on the web. Privacy online should remain important no matter what.
    These rights are crucial going forward in the future. These rights must be put into practice in a world connected all through technology. Ethically and economically speaking, technology cannot change the humanity aspect of the world, as this would be extremely dangerous for our future. We have to realize that computers are just computers, and are not living, breathing creatures like us.

  11. Evan Costello March 31, 2017 at 2:14 pm #

    The more technology is introduced into our lives, the more questions are raised to the point where human rights are to be considered. In a time where technology is of course no longer optional, we as users and as human beings need to consider more basic human rights we are entitled to moving forward. The author outlines them as (1) the right to remain natural, which is to be able to conduct simple things like buying things, working or using public services without technology, (2) the right to be inefficient in accordance to our humanity, which is to never make efficiency more important than humanity, (3) the right to disconnect, which is the right to take a break from technology, (4) the right to be anonymous, which is to retain more than basic privacy in regards to the internet, and (5) the right to be employed instead of a machine. I agree with these premises because humans created technology and created the means to create more technology. We are owned by our technology with very few instances that give us freedom from it. Your average person from the age of thirteen to thirty-five cannot and will not stay off the phone, computer, or any other way to get in contact with the internet. Now the question to be asked is yes, the internet makes our lives easier, but at what cost? In regards to the first of these natural rights, I worry for a day where technology will be a part of my body. That very premise sounds crazy, but I remember this gentleman who tried to go on Shark Tank with an idea for an implantation of Bluetooth in one’s head that would be charged by inserting a peg into the ear canal…it would basically be an earpiece in someone’s ear permanently. In regards to the second natural right, this right will never be afforded to us because technology makes things more efficient. Why hire a factory worker to manufacture a car when a company could hire a robotics engineer to build the software to make machines build the car? In regards to the third natural right, I highly agree with this right because we are required to use technology every single day, there should at least be an instance where we are allowed to disconnect for a while. We should not be dependent on technology as much as we are. In regards to the fourth natural right, we absolutely deserve the right to be anonymous, although we never will be. Congress just passed a law that allows ISP’s to sell our browser history, which is just ridiculous. Those who desire to find our information via the internet can and will at our expense, which could cost us money and possible theft of our identity. In regards to the final right, as I stated before, we deserve the right to be employed over a machine, but sadly, that right does not matter to a CEO or and upper level manager whose sole purpose is to make money. Technology is and always will be cheaper and more accurate than a human beings work, which unfortunately has gained more of a right to be used than a humans.

  12. Thomas Dellisanti March 31, 2017 at 2:26 pm #

    In a world where technology has been implemented in almost every aspect in our daily lives, this article is very essential to remind us of our humanity. It seems that every right that Leonhard lists has been forgotten about to a certain degree. Efficiency is the primary focus on production, and machines and robots have replaced thousands of jobs previously given to humans. In addition, being able to hire people for jobs that can be done by machines would be considered very inefficient because AI can work faster and more efficiently without being able to tire. We are all connected to the Internet, and we cannot imagine living our lives without it. No one believes that they can be anonymous anymore, especially because of very recent circumstances that will allow Internet service providers to sell any part of our personal information to third parties.

    The reason for becoming so motivated by technological growth could be that we can see how efficient we could be, compared to 50 years ago. As a society, we are at a transition point where technology is taking over many jobs and becoming increasingly involved in our daily lives. 30 years ago, we were not concerned with pushing absolute efficiency in production and business because the technology we see today was not developed yet. After seeing what AI can do, we push for more AI because we think that more is better. For example, Tesla recently showed that machines, with the exception of a few supervisors, almost exclusively run their factories. Efficiency is better than ever, and they do not even think about using people as workers, simply because it is not as effective.

    AI and hyper-connectivity is mentioned several times in the article, and coincidentally, they are both central themes in countless science fiction and futuristic movies. Many of these movies focus on how society struggles with humanity as technology dominates their lives. According to Leonhard, this bleak look at future society might not be far off. The first right, being able to remain natural, or organic, is a very widely used topic in these movies. However, technology that replaces limbs has gotten more advanced, especially arms, which can now do actions such as grabbing objects and allowing the user to tie his or her shoe. The article is trying to say that this, along with the inclusion of VR headsets and other technology, those looks at the future may eventually happen.

    As technology becomes more advanced, the likelihood of remembering these basic human rights will slowly diminish. I do not know anyone that does not use the Internet or is not “connected” in some way. We as a society have adapted to a technological world, and imagining going back to a time where technology was not implemented so heavily is just not going to happen. We are always being tracked and monitored, and now our personal private information will be available to anyone who is willing to pay for it. To many people, these rights have been forgotten about, and they accept what is happening and what might happen. This change might be inevitable, but we all need to prepare for the future and be aware of how much technology means in our lives.

  13. Nicholas Thomas March 31, 2017 at 4:43 pm #

    Before even address the “Five new human rights for the digital age,” the title of book the “five new human rights,” “Technology vs. Humanity” suggests that we are at war with technology. I both disagree and agree with this implication. Technology is created by us and is meant to make our lives easier. A huge center point of life today is convenience and how fast we can make gratification. However, and this is where I begin to agree with the implications of “Technology vs. Humanity”, advancements in technology are causing us to lose what makes us human. To be clear, I believe advancing technology are a great achievement and are a must; however, what about those who are put at a disadvantage because of a new advancements. Some people cannot adapt to advancing technology whether it is because they do not have the money, training, or education, and thus left behind. The rights raised in the article are important, but the focus of the article is to protect those who cannot or will not conform to the cultural changes technology is creating.
    In my opinion, the most important new right the article purposes is the right to be inefficient and slower than an AI or other technology but still be qualified to work in a particular area. Technology is changing what it means to work a “blue-collar job” and what those “blue-collar jobs” do on a day-to-day basis. For example, the job of working on the assembly line or for “the company” with a 20-year employment contract is gone and has been replaced with coding and statistic skills; coding and statistic skills allow people to work with AI’s and other technology. However, the “assembly line” jobs are the most recent jobs to be replaced with AI’s, how long until occupations such as engineers, doctors, and lawyers are replaced by technological advancements. Obviously the reason why AI’s are favored over human labor is money, AI’s do not have to be paid, are more efficient, and faster than humans. However, I believe there us a right to interact with others, especially when involved in personal services such as a mechanic, doctor, or lawyer. To force compliance is unjust, and I agree with the article that there should be multiple “approved” manner, ways that are not disfavored more than others, for a business to provide a service or employment.
    The issue with employing or providing a service with humans rather than AI’s, is it is more costly to use humans. With this said, the new human right to be less efficient and slower than AI’s is addresses by the new human right to employ humans over AI’s and receive a tax credit. The prime concern of businesses is money. AI’s are less costly and more efficient, therefore companies make more money by investing in AI’s. A tax credit for human employment would encourage companies to continue to employ humans. Technology is truly an amazing part of human life; however, the benefits such as efficiency and money flow increase have replaced humanity.

  14. Joshua Luchon March 31, 2017 at 5:48 pm #

    I agree with some points the author tried to make, but others are completely against what I believe in. The first point that I found troubling was when the author wrote about “the right to be inefficient.” On its face, I agree that people should be able to opt out of efficiency if they feel their “humanness” is at stake, but that should not detract from the efficiency of anyone else nor should we need to accommodate them specifically. It is a basic right to object to something in fact, but in practice, there cannot be an expectation of special treatment. Society is constantly moving forward and there is no time to make special arrangements for those who oppose progress. I don’t think that is an unreasonable assertion considering the fact that rarely are special considerations offered to me just because I don’t agree.

    One point that the author brought up that I agree fully with is the right to disconnect. I think it is not only an extension of consumer choice, but also a healthy practice to take a break from the craziness. I regularly turn of my phone to make room for life. For me personally, having a phone or any device around constitutes a quasi obligation to remain available. That may not be the healthiest perspective, but I enjoy being fully disconnected if I’m on vacation or out with friends.

    The fifth point that the author made was the most appalling in my opinion because it is the antithesis of technological evolution. The author explained that avoiding robots and automation should not only be encouraged, but also rewarded in the form of tax credits. That is completely unfounded in my view because it blocks change. It is akin to fighting evolution and that is not what America stands for. In order to be the biggest, fastest, strongest, and most dominant player in the global economy, we need to trim the fat. The fat in this case is those who refuse to get on board with technology. Robots are better than human employees in every aspect. Robots don’t take bathroom or smoke breaks, they don’t need lunch breaks, health insurance, or vacation time, you can program them to do exactly what you want, and most important of all, they never complain! They are the perfect employees on paper as well as in practice, and those who fight them are holding on to the past and it’s disappointing.

    The only argument presented by the author that I agree with without exception is the right to anonymity. I believe strongly in privacy and that is a big issue in today’s technological landscape. My entire life is in my iPhone and the thought of my privacy being challenged is very scary. Identity theft is a huge problem and it can bankrupt people and completely ruin their lives. The fact that there is actually legislation being proposed that could enable Internet service providers to sell user information is appalling and it is in direct opposition with my opinions about anonymity. There are countless implications of having my information out for sale to the highest bidder, but one of the first that comes to mind is my identity. Hackers are brilliant people and I have complete faith in their ability to steal my identity with the help of my ISP. I found the majority of the author’s views to be antiquated and frankly unrealistic, but I am on board with maintaining privacy at all costs. In a situation like the ISP debacle, it is important to keep the future in mind. The law has a way of building on itself and expanding privacy infringement after the ISP bill goes through is more than a possibility. Once the door is opened, there is no way to close it, leaving consumers defenseless against the greed of big business. I am normally in full support of capitalism, but not at the expense of privacy. I am most afraid of the ISP bill because I think it is just the tip of the iceberg. Of all the “human rights for the digital age” presented by the author, I believe that the right to anonymity is the most important and I am very interested to see how it will be contested going forward.

  15. Zion McMillan March 31, 2017 at 6:08 pm #

    As we voyage into the digital age, there are many things we take for granted and scenarios we do not even think about in which technology conflicts with our civil rights. With that being said, rules and regulations need to be created to govern this technological world and protect the people in it.
    The digital age started only a few years ago, and humans have already made remarkable progress. We have made so much progress that we have already begun to replace humans for many of the jobs we Americans used to do. Since we are still adjusting to the digital age, we are still adjusting to the rules and etiquette of the digital age. In his new book Technology vs Humanity, futurist Gerd Leonhard discusses five human rights that should be implemented as we move into the digital age. Leonhard addresses the problems that may occur if humans are no longer more efficient than technology, and we begin to combine the power of the two.
    One human right Leonhard mentions is “the right to be inefficient when and where it defines our basic humanness. He believes that we should have the choice to be slower and less capable than technology. The example he uses is seeing a doctor. While it is faster and cheaper to use digital health diagnostics, we should still have the ability to see a doctor if we please. If people prefer to use digital health diagnostics, that is okay. The point Leonhard is trying to make is that it should not be the only approved method; humans should be able to see a human doctor if he or she pleases. Also, the ability to see a human doctor should not be a luxury that only the wealthy can afford.
    Another interesting human right Leonhard proposes is the right “to be or remain anonymous.” What he means is that humans should have the right to switch off any communications, monitoring, or tracking device. It is not ridiculous to think that future employers will require its employees to wear augmented or virtual reality glasses or equipment. But employees should have the right to disconnect these devices once he or she is off the job.
    Leonhard’s fifth human right for the digital age is “the right to employ or engage people instead of machines. I agree with this idea, but I also think it is very ironic. This has already become an issue in the United States. Machines along with stricter labor rights laws have single handedly killed off the manufacturing industry in the United States. Leonhard believes that companies should not be placed at a disadvantage for hiring humans over machines. He proposes providing tax credits for companies that choose to hire humans over machines. I think this is the most important right Leonhard included in his book. This is because of its relevancy. The other rights address problems that will occur years even decades down the road. However, I previously mentioned that machines are beginning to replace humans today. And there are no tax credits or incentives being offered to companies who choose to hire humans over machines. This explains why in the United States, if given the option, companies prefer machines over humans.

  16. Carl Hakansson March 31, 2017 at 6:41 pm #

    The age of technology has prompted modern thinkers to ponder whether or not technology has become a necessity, as it has become a part of everyday life and has had such a huge impact on so many people. In this article, Futurist Gerd Leonhard outlines the dangers that may arise from the technological age, and also the rights that we as humans need to preserve, utilize, and enforce as robots and computers begin to have more and more of an impact. The first right that Leonhard talks about is our right to remain “natural”. We are humans – no matter what technology we have at our disposal. This means that we have the right to live our lives without technology becoming a requirement. By living our lives he means become employed, use public services, buy things, or just overall function in society. Leonhard condemns the idea of having technology installed inside of us, such as in our brains, however I do not think this is likely or plausible, even though anything is possible with today’s technology. The other rights include the right to be inefficient, the right to disconnect, the right to remain anonymous, and the right to engage people instead of machines. All of these rights have the same themes – keeping the human aspect alive amid all of the commotion surrounding the age of technology. The right to be inefficient, meaning everyone should remain conscious of the fact that we are only human and will naturally work slower and less efficient than machines and computers. The right to disconnect will help us remove ourselves from technology when needed. Too often we find ourselves obsessed and fully focused on our phones and computers, and it has gotten to the point where technology feels like a necessity. The right to remain anonymous is one that has come under heavy scrutiny lately, as companies are beginning to track our internet browser history in order to target us for specific advertisements. The final right is the right to engage with people rather than machines. As I said before, we have become so obsessed with our phones laptops that we often ignore other people. It should definitely be a basic right to put your phone down and talk to people, because that is what we are meant to do.
    At first, I thought that these rights would regard what we are allowed to do while using the internet. Instead, the author focused on what rights we will need to preserve as technology gains more and more of an impact on our lives. The right that really stuck out to me is the right to disconnect. Personally, there have been times when I just want to throw my phone out the window and either have some peace and quiet or just talk to people without having to worry about a phone. Unfortunately, technology has become such an integral part of our lives that we can ill-afford to put our phones away, in case we receive an important message. Technology is something that is expected to be on us at all times, and that is why the right to disconnect should be emphasized, so that people remember there is more to life than phones and computers.

  17. Nick Shervanian March 31, 2017 at 6:42 pm #

    The privacy and rights of citizens today have become less and less private in the technological world. The discussion for our personal records and internet history to be available for purchase and not very protected has taken on many different opinions. As the world continues to change around us day after day, so do our rights as humans. Technology has quickly come into everyday human lives; new problems arise as new technology is introduced. The Supreme Court is quickly being filled with cases that are unique to the legal system, and we are only beginning to figure out what should and should not be allowed to happen with technology and on the internet. This article discusses a lot of the problems that the author believes could become problems in the future, and why humans should stay away from certain innovations in technology. A problem the article brings up is the dependency of human function on technology, or “WiredOrFired” as they describe it. In 2017, this does not seem to be a problem, but it can become one. For example, disabled people (elderly or obese) rely on cruisers to get around. With increasing obesity, I could see why the author thinks this as a problem. In addition, people may just come to the realization that traveling around in these cruisers, or electric wheelchairs like in the movie Wall-E, are easier to get around with than cars or walking. In a time of increasing efficiency and convenience, the author might just be giving a warning to the future of humanity. In the next paragraph, similar to the first one, he gives this warning saying, “never let efficiency more important than humanity”. While being objective is important, we are not robots and are not on this planet to simply do work we set ourselves. Living is our main purpose, and that should not distract us. In his next three paragraphs, he warns humanity of becoming too attached to technology. He says how disconnecting is important to do, and to not become reliant on social medias and other stimulants found on the internet. Remaining true to nature and to human nature seems to be an important aspect of this piece, and how the direction we are currently going in is not supporting that. While technology does not make our lives easier, it does not always make it better because we are changing into humans that are not being humans, but rather victims to other indulgences. While the author is not arguing against technological innovation, he is warning not to let it become our lives, and to only have, it be an accessory to who we really are.

  18. Owen Balseiro March 31, 2017 at 6:58 pm #

    Many of these rights that the author speaks of are things we as a species are going to have to come to terms with soon. Technology, like it or not is a very important part of our lives and it’s importance will only grow with each passing year. As technology becomes more and more advance many aspects of our lives will become intertwined with technology.

    For the right to remain neutral, I believe that it is in fact important that we do not rely on technology all the time and in every situation. Being human, and having that creativeness and adaptability is what us as a species so dominant. Bogging that down with mandatory technological enhancements will only make it harder to be create, to be adaptable and everything will be “part of the code” and by the book.

    For the right to be inefficient. This one I am more uncertain about. In a business world efficiency will always be valued over almost everything else. It is why so many robots are becoming more and more prevalent in work spaces around the world. It is why car factories use less and less people and it is why the ones crowded and loud New York Stock Exchange is a shell of it’s former self. There are hardly any people left as almost every job has been given to machines or can be done on a machine.

    For the right to disconnect. This is a must, there should be no reason why it should be easy to track us all the time. We as people should have every right to go “off the grid” for as long as we see fit. If we want to just drive off down a highway, only pay in cash and not leave any sort of foot print. We should have every right to. If the government really wanted to find us, they could do it even without the presence of modern technology.

    The right to remain anonymous. This is another really important right. One of the best and worst things about the internet is its anonymity. It means anyone can say anything they want and most people will not be able to find out who that person is. Not saying it is impossible, but it is very hard for average people to find out. Being anonymous when you say something that may go against the status quo is a right guaranteed to be defended. And there are many people today that would like to see that taken away.

    The right to employ or engage people. This is a tough one. Businesses will always want to maximize profits and lower costs. Just how they work. And today businesses that use human labor where machines are already proven are either out of business or going out of it. That being said I do believe that it is important to see a doctor instead of using something online. Because as a machine can do things a human can’t there are things a human can see and do that a machine can’t.

  19. Peter DeSantis March 31, 2017 at 7:36 pm #

    This article, “Five New Human Rights For the Digital Age,” contains an excerpt from the book titled, “Technology vs Humanity” by Gerd Leonhard. The excerpt outlines five human rights that Leonhard believes should be given to all people in light of the digital age. I think this is a very important issue because technology has changed the way in which human rights can be violated. Nothing at all is private on the Internet and there are few laws which determine the rights that people have online and how they should be protected.

    I found the first of the five rights to be quite shocking. Leonhard says that the people should have the right to deny the acceptance of changing technology while still being able to survive in society. I agree with this right to an extent. I think that if you do not want a cell phone or an email address that should be allowed as a personal decision. That being said, I do not believe that anyone should make this decision since technology is incorporated into almost every part of society and it improves productivity, which all humans should strive for. If this is established as an unalienable human right it could potentially be problematic in the labor force. For example, think of a person who applies for a job without the required technology skills. If that person does not receive the job due to a lack of technology skills; this right, that would be safeguarded by a statue, thus giving the job applicant precedent to sue the company. It is possible that the court would see this as a violation of a human’s right not to adapt to technology. All in all, I agree that if a person does not want to learn how to use new technology that he should not have to; however, that does not mean that a law needs to be established granting people that as a “Constitutional right.”

    I entirely agree with the fourth human right listed by Leonhard. He says that people should have the right to remain anonymous on the Internet despite the fact that it continues to grow and protrude more and more into all parts of human life. I think that anonymity should be the standard online and not just something that the digitally literate can do. Anyone who is simply just surfing the web should be allowed to do so without his identity being tied to it. There are certainly some obvious exceptions to this such as social media, where the entire purpose of the site is to share exactly who you are with everyone. Another example is online banking, where the bank needs to know whom you are and ensure that each time you log on it is really you in order to ensure the safety of your funds.

    Leonhard also says that it should be the norm that Internet users are not identified and tracked by Internet providers or the owners of different websites. I agree with this right as well. If companies are not allowed to follow their customers around all day in the physical world, for the obvious reason that that would be stalking, why should they be allowed to “stalk” on the Internet? I believe that a law should be created protecting people from companies that track people’s online activities and making it illegal for companies to collect data on their customers pertaining to what they say online. Although I do not agree with all of the listed new human rights, I respect and applaud the intent of the author. A compilation of human rights that can be applied to technology use needs to be established by lawmakers. The major obstacles to overcome in order for this to happen is the lack of technology knowledge and the financial incentives provided by lobbyists.

  20. Erin Carunchio March 31, 2017 at 8:06 pm #

    The improvement in technology has exceeded expectations for years. Technology includes the digital age that we all love so much. As we transfer into the digital age, there are many things we take for granted and scenarios we do not even think about in which technology conflicts with our civil rights. With that being said, rules and regulations need to be created to govern this technological world and protect the people in it. The digital age started only a few years ago, and humans have already made remarkable progress. We have made so much progress that we have already begun to replace humans for many of the jobs we Americans used to do. Since we are still adjusting to the digital age, we are still adjusting to the rules and etiquette of the digital age. In his new book Technology vs Humanity, futurist Gerd Leonhard discusses five human rights that should be implemented as we move into the digital age. Leonhard addresses the problems that may occur if humans are no longer more efficient than technology, and we begin to combine the power of the two. Combining the two powers will exceed all expectations once again. One human right Leonhard mentions is “the right to be inefficient when and where it defines our basic humanness. He believes that we should have the choice to be slower and less capable than technology. The example he uses is seeing a doctor. While it is faster and cheaper to use digital health diagnostics, we should still have the ability to see a doctor if we please. If people prefer to use digital health diagnostics, that is okay. The point Leonhard is trying to make is that it should not be the only approved method; humans should be able to see a human doctor if he or she pleases. Also, the ability to see a human doctor should not be a luxury that only the wealthy can afford.Another interesting human right Leonhard proposes is the right “to be or remain anonymous.” What he means is that humans should have the right to switch off any communications, monitoring, or tracking device. It is not ridiculous to think that future employers will require its employees to wear augmented or virtual reality glasses or equipment. But employees should have the right to disconnect these devices once he or she is off the job.
    Leonhard’s fifth human right for the digital age is “the right to employ or engage people instead of machines. I agree with this idea, but I also think it is very ironic. This has already become an issue in the United States. Machines along with stricter labor rights laws have single handedly killed off the manufacturing industry in the United States. Leonhard believes that companies should not be placed at a disadvantage for hiring humans over machines. He proposes providing tax credits for companies that choose to hire humans over machines. I think this is the most important right Leonhard included in his book. This is because of its relevancy. The other rights address problems that will occur years even decades down the road. However, I previously mentioned that machines are beginning to replace humans today. And there are no tax credits or incentives being offered to companies who choose to hire humans over machines. This explains why in the United States, if given the option, companies prefer machines over humans.

  21. Matthew Radman March 31, 2017 at 8:25 pm #

    The world certainly has changed in the twenty-first century. The idea of “digital ethics” is not a topic of serious philosophical discussion. As people’s lives become digital, it is pivotal to ensure individual new human rights.
    The right to remain natural is the most basic of all of these rights. As technology advances, it has the potential to change lives physically. Medical professionals have been able to print 3D organs and create robotic limbs. This technology is incredible and has amazing potential. However, it is important that a person can maintain their true humanity. Another size of this is to ensure that the world requires humans. It seems that AI and robotics are slowly but surely taking over the human workforce just because we may eventually have the ability to replace people, we must decide not to. W have not enough hit a technological wall where too much technology is bad. However, at a certain point, too much technology interferes with humans’ right to be human.
    Continuing on the theme of technological restraint, we cannot be too consumed with efficiency. In a strange conundrum, humans at a particular point must stop striving for better. Where people define their humanness, it vital to not be consumed by technology “making things better.” While technology has the potential to reduce costs, increase speed, and improve accuracy in many professions and services; the human element of service must be maintained.
    While our world becomes consumed with screens and interfaces, we must be able to disconnect. We must give ourselves time to realize our naturality in opposition to our man made creations. This also means maintaining control over our creations. We must be able to, at will, disconnect computers in the instance that they become dangerous. Humanity is only safe in its naturality if it maintains control over the computers that it creates.
    In a hyper connected world, security is becoming a top priority. After the recent rollback of FCC Internet protections, people must learn to keep themselves safe digitally. Technology is getting smarter and maintains more and more information. People must support the right to anonymity. Part of the sociability of humans is the ability to be alone and private. Even in a connected world, people deserve privacy.
    The last major right to maintain is the right to engage people. Never should choosing a person to do business with disadvantage a consumer. Commerce is an innately human invention. Transactions should be able to be maintained between two individual parties. The world where your morning coffee is made by machine, your car drives itself to work, a computer assists you massively with that work, life becomes unnervingly inhuman. The world such as that is isolated, lonely, antisocial, and cruel.
    In a society on the verge of artificially intelligent computers who can think of similar capacities to humans, it is vital to maintaining humanity. These five rules are thought to provoke and will be necessary for the future.

  22. Antoneta Sevo March 31, 2017 at 8:49 pm #

    It is inevitable that our world is evolving into a more technology-based atmosphere. We already have autonomous cars, robots managing factories, and soon robots will be taking care of more jobs that humans currently hold. Since this is already happening, the age where robots are working more than humans will come soon. The reason why robots and more technology is on the rise is because the world is craving more efficiency. Gerd Leonhard sees this and his article talks about his book “Technology vs. Humanity”. It discusses the five new human rights for the upcoming digital age. His five points are ones that should be taken seriously because it could make a big difference.

    The first right is “the right to remain natural…and organic.” Leonhard is talking about how we, as humans, must stay true to ourselves. As crazy as it sounds, he does not want humans “to wear augmented reality AR or VR glasses, visors, or helmets to qualify for employment…be required to use or implant specific…brain computer interfaces.” If we have to become more of a robot to keep up with employment and everyday life, then we have done something wrong. It is scary that humans might have to become a computer in order to have a job.

    The second right that Leonhard discusses is “the right to be inefficient if, when and where it defines our humanness.” The biggest point that he makes, that I think is the most important, is to “never make efficiency more important than humanity.” Though efficiency is extremely crucial to make the most money as possible, it will hurt the human race as a whole. I believe that the wellbeing of humanity is much more significant than the amount of production we have. Technology does have the power to help certain industries thrive, however, I think should only aid to a certain point. We should not let technology take over the planet we live on.

    The third right we should have is the right to disconnect. When he discussed this, it made me think of 1984 by George Orwell. They have a TV they can never turn off and it watches them to make sure they are doing what they are supposed to. That is something that is not ethical due to our right to privacy. That is why we should have the right to disconnect and “go dark”, it is only fair and ethical.

    The fourth right is “to be, or remain anonymous.” We have some options today that allows us not to be tracked by companies or the government. This is something that should be carried over in the new digital age. The final and fifth right is to “employ or engage people instead of machines.” Though employing people might become more expensive in the future, it should still be a company’s first choice. People should become more educated in certain areas to ensure a job in the future. We work and contribute to this world in order to make lives better for humans. I do not believe that is capable of happening if machines and AI become more important than humans. We should take these five human rights seriously in the upcoming digital age or else the world as we know it might be gone.

  23. Cameron Collier March 31, 2017 at 9:36 pm #

    The topic of technology vs humanity has been very consistent in recent years. I found this article to be a unique approach to the subject because rather than point out the pros vs cons, or the fears of moving towards a more technologically empowered world, it provides suggestions on human rights we should maintain and embrace. The first one, the right to remain natural, is probably the most important one in my opinion. I think it’s very important to always allow people to have choices, and as it’s already been made obvious, not everyone is willing to embrace technology. It is inevitable that our world is evolving into a more technology-based atmosphere. We already have autonomous cars, robots managing factories, and soon robots will be taking care of more jobs that humans currently hold. Since this is already happening, the age where robots are working more than humans will come soon. The reason why robots and more technology is on the rise is because the world is craving more efficiency. Gerd Leonhard sees this and his article talks about his book “Technology vs. Humanity”. It discusses the five new human rights for the upcoming digital age. His five points are ones that should be taken seriously because it could make a big difference. The right to remain natural is the most basic of all of these rights. As technology advances, it has the potential to change lives physically. Medical professionals have been able to print 3D organs and create robotic limbs. This technology is incredible and has amazing potential. However, it is important that a person can maintain their true humanity. Another size of this is to ensure that the world requires humans. It seems that AI and robotics are slowly but surely taking over the human workforce just because we may eventually have the ability to replace people, we must decide not to. W have not enough hit a technological wall where too much technology is bad. However, at a certain point, too much technology interferes with humans’ right to be human.
    The right to remain natural is the most basic of all of these rights. As technology advances, it has the potential to change lives physically. Medical professionals have been able to print 3D organs and create robotic limbs. This technology is incredible and has amazing potential. However, it is important that a person can maintain their true humanity. Another size of this is to ensure that the world requires humans. It seems that AI and robotics are slowly but surely taking over the human workforce just because we may eventually have the ability to replace people, we must decide not to. W have not enough hit a technological wall where too much technology is bad. However, at a certain point, too much technology interferes with humans’ right to be human. The right to employ or engage people. This is a tough one. Businesses will always want to maximize profits and lower costs. Just how they work. And today businesses that use human labor where machines are already proven are either out of business or going out of it. That being said I do believe that it is important to see a doctor instead of using something online. Because as a machine can do things a human can’t there are things a human can see and do that a machine can’t.

  24. Robert Seijas April 2, 2017 at 3:24 pm #

    Currently, the technological human rights listen in Gerd Leonhard’s book are actually already here and are more or less choices, rather than rights. Remaining natural is a choice that people have currently, especially since there are not brain chip implants like you would see in Johnny Pneumonic. The implants which the author speaks about are simply not feasible and realistic in our current day and will most likely not be for quite a while. As for the virtual reality and augmented reality glasses and visors, those are again a choice one would make and are defined as wearable technologies. These wearable technologies can be taken off at any time, and often come with many alternatives. An example of the alternatives is many video games having virtual reality support, but being playable as a normal game as well. Augmented reality is similar as it simply shows a layer of digital information over real life. The alternative to augmented reality would be taking the glasses or headset off and experiencing the world. The only real issue with the author’s writing on this subject is that this technology is optional, and is much more of a choice than a right. In fact, I would think of the wearable technology as more of a uniform, such as a postal worker uniform, rather than a modification.
    The second point about using platforms that make actual jobs obsolete is a complete preference. This time, it is a preference to the consumer who is using the technologies. If somebody would rather trust a computer to scan and asses their health, then they can do it that way. If not, then the person could go see a real doctor. Just because the efficient high tech option is there does not mean it will be the only one, as it would come down to preference. Putting this into the real world, one could think about buying tickets for a movie. Tickets can be bought online or at the ticket counter in the theater, and this decision comes down to preference, as both methods are completely and readily available.
    As for disconnecting and anonymity, these may seem a bit trickier, but can still turn out to be a decision. If disconnecting is not allowed at a certain job such as an Uber driver, than it cannot be a choice or right due to the fact that it could jeopardize the safety of riders. If this is so, it would most likely be written into the terms of the driver’s contract and therefore not be an issue at all as it is an agreed to term of employment. People themselves have the option to disconnect their devices and go offline whenever they want, simply turn of a device or install software to do so. The installation of software also brings about the idea of anonymity, and is an issue that is extremely prevalent today. Today, people are losing their privacy to their ISP’s and whomever the ISP’s decide to sell their data to. The solution to this is to buy a VPN and create anonymity. As the internet is a service that is almost impossible to use, it is easy to understand that this may seem to be a deserved right. The only issue with that is that there are entire industries built on aiding and maintaining anonymity and security for users. This also means there are plenty of option and alternatives to allow anonymity and therefore it is a problem with a solution. If somebody puts something online, like pictures, it is opened to the entire world and therefore deserves no anonymity.
    The last “right” to be listed is to employ and engage people rather than machines. This is a preference that some people prefer, but others do not weigh in on. The idea of forcing a business to employ people to customer service when a machine is able to do the job for less is a no more ethical than the business switching to a machine. If it helps the business by cutting costs, it should be a decision up to that business. Being employed is not a right, but a privilege and a job.
    Ultimately, the “rights” for the future of technology come down to nothing more than easy decisions which can be made with any common sense at all. Some things are simply not possible in a developing society and others come down to choice. The listed ideas do not form any real rights, and should remain a list.

  25. Kathryn Allen June 6, 2017 at 3:27 pm #

    This article was a very interesting read for me. I use technology everyday but never think about what technology does to people. I think it is extremely important to disconnect from your devices and have time away from them. However, I think some of what Gerd Leonhard talks about is a bit farfetched. Being forced to wear AR or VR glasses or anything of the kind, as well as implants, seems nonsensical to me. Therefore, I completely agree with a comment made by Robert Seijas when he explains that technology is a choice not so much a right. Its true technology does make life easier and more efficient but one chooses this. Technology is not forced upon us and we are not forced to use it. People may choose to do online banking, for instance, while another may prefer to go to a physical bank and do things the “old fashioned” way. I do, however, agree with Gerd Leonhard about those of us who choose technology over humanness to disconnect from it when they can and enjoy being in the moment.

  26. Ron Simpkins June 11, 2017 at 10:08 pm #

    This blog is an excellent example of the many possible outcomes with the fast advancing technological world of the internet. The right to remain natural is already eroding in some parts. I have envisioned the smartphones or computers touchscreens impeded into people’s forearm. Yes, I have trademark rights to this innovation. Unfortunately, I’m joking, of course, but my point is even I find it hard not to succumb to having my face stuck on my iphone’s screen or “thumbing” and “scrolling” for memes. However, it is only a matter of time before that mindless passion is enhanced without the need for fingers. Plus, I do surely believe employers will make some of the technological advances reality and part of the conditions for employment. It is interesting to know that maybe I’m not the only conspiracy theorist believing in the implementation of brain computer interfaces (BCT) in the near future. Especially, with the increase developments for net neutrality. I even have some ideas to implementing new technology into everyday life. And, I would love to design and build the next swipe friendly innovation for the easy-going. Although I wonder do developers even consider the dehumanization of mankind? Or is profit margins and low price floors that more important than mankind. All the new advances would be great for a multi intergalactic universe like Star Wars. Perhaps the new technologies will lead to such a grand expansion. Therefore, making them essential to our lives. However, digital obesity is bloating our earthly existence. We should keep our human ability to talk face to face but not be scared of where technology takes us in the future.

  27. Meagan E Finnerty June 13, 2017 at 7:27 pm #

    Every year apple comes out with a new phone, iPod, iPad or computer that blows away the year before. It is amazing to see the new technology and the advances it is bringing our nation. Technology is bettering every aspect of our lives; whether it’s the protection in the car, the way we learn and in surgeries. However, we are allowing for the technological advances to overtake life as we know it and not necessarily change us only for the better. As stated in the article, five new human rights for the digital age (excerpt from the book ‘Technology vs Humanity’), it captures and discusses the ‘digital ethics’ that the new and upcoming generation has turned to, which can and cannot be a good thing. I have found myself guilty of accepting these new ethics and adopting them as if they are acceptable and moral, which for the most part is wrong.
    As stated, ‘the right be being inefficient’, how have we turned out world into a place where it is acceptable and okay to not work as hard as we can and be dedicated. When you walk into most stores, most employees are behind the registers, racks or in the isles on their phones. In most offices, phones sit on desks. This technological generation is addicted to their phones, computers and tablets and it is taking an impact on the way we perform. I, myself will admit to when I work, my phone is always on me and that I do not hesitate to answers the phone whenever it rings. I spend about an hour a day, at work, running to the bathroom to send texts or at my desk answering these messages and no wonder our generation is consider ‘inefficient’. The work that could be done within that hour alone is unlimited, work twenty accounts and bring in more revenue for my company. However, I cannot control the desire to stay connected with the people outside the work place. Another negative outlook on this is the right that allows people to stay anonymous. In 2011, ABC family released a movie that was based on a true story named, Cyberbully. It was an extremely heart-wrenching movie that quickly grasped the attention of the audience. The audience watched this girl be taken over by social media and be toyed with by her best friend as she posted cruel and horrid rumors related to this girl causing her to decide if her life is worth it or not. Many teenagers are faced with this decision daily; the internet allows children or any individuals to hide behind a screen and perform actions that they would not necessarily do in person. Technology has enhanced and encouraged many negative behaviors by the thought of people thinking they will not be able to be traced. Though the above were looked upon as negative behaviors, they can also by positive. For example, the right to be inefficient, we can text from our desks and stay connected with family members through hardships while not being there. As for staying anonymous, many individuals are now able to report to human relations or other aspects through anonymous websites or phone lines without fear repercussions. Another one that is being looked upon as negatives is the right to remain natural, computers are taking over. They can outperform humans and this is a though for many. What happens if computers can take away the jobs that are already extremely limited due to the economic state. Yet, although these new human rights have a negative spin, some may also have a positive outcome when looked further into.
    Some other positives of the new culture behind our generation is we have given ourselves the ‘right to disconnect’. Many individuals can ignore texts or calls, Facebook messages phone calls, etc. We can ignore the world at the touch of a button; we are also able to block individuals from seeing our posts if we do not want them to see them. It has opened a new door to the social life of individuals. Being able to disconnect, gives the world a new opportunity to choose when they want to be a part of the social aspect that is ‘turning our brains to mush’. The last human right talked about within the article is the right to employ or engage people instead of machines. We are opening a window for people to stand up to their employers and prove themselves capable of being a part of their companies. It is inspiring and pushing people to work harder so that they do not end up unemployed or unable to support their families – which is something that some people are missing now a day.
    The point that the author is trying to dig into is that technology is over taking our lives and if it is not control, maintained or regulated we as a generation are going to fall victim to these new overwhelming changes. Ur generation must realize that the technology can be helpful if used properly – but for social purposes, there needs to be a line drawn in which we know the rights and wrong – and when it is acceptable for the usage of cell phones to be used. The author realizes that without a change our generation is going to manifest and be forced out of job opportunities, promotions and the ability to the natural laws that we have been given in the constitution. These new technological advances are coming with new regulations that can ultimately end up destroying privacy, equality and much more.

  28. Antonne Watson June 17, 2017 at 5:58 pm #

    The form and fabrics of human rights is being altered in this digital age we live in. Since new technology and technological advancements being a part of our everyday lives, new problems are also being introduced. The Supreme Court is rapidly being saturated with cases that are different to the legal system, and we are only starting to formulate plans and laws about what should and should not be allowed to happen with the internet and technology. The article discusses some issues that are believed to become big problems down the line.
    The first problem brought up in this article is already starting to take place. According to the article, “We must continue to have the choice to exist in an unaugmented state. We need to retain the right to work or be employed, use public services, buy things, and function in society without the need to deploy technology inside our bodies.
    Obviously, technology will make our lives easier, however, it should not over power human abilities. Humanity and efficiency are strong competition. Nevertheless, they need to maintain stability in the economy by being balanced
    If we decide to let technology be a part of our lives, should we have the power to disconnect it? Personally, I believe the right to disconnect is unachievable. The power to be able to monitor others is irresistible, especially for the government. The moment we connect to technology and the internet, we give ourselves up to it..
    The right to remain anonymous is an important. One of the best and worst things about the internet is its anonymity. Anyone can say anything they want and most people will not be able to find out who that person is. Not saying it is impossible, but it is very hard for average people to find out. Being anonymous when you say something that may go against the status quo is a right guaranteed to be defended. Also, there are many people today that would like to see that taken away.
    Even for this time, our privacy is threatened by hacker and various illegal organizations. What should we do to prevent other people stealing our thoughts and ideas? Moreover, in that time, will human becomes more “ transparent”? This is a problem that needs to be solved in the near future

  29. Greg D'Ottavi September 22, 2017 at 1:12 pm #

    Technology has been on the forefront of society my entire life and over the last twenty years, it has developed faster than ever before. The idea of a technology driven community has its obvious upsides and some not so obvious downsides. Gerd Leonhard discusses various issues that may arise within a technological world and the rights that we humans still deserve. The article states five rights to be kept in mind for the “digital age” and all of them are significant. Though, I believe the two most important rights suggested are, the right to disconnect and the right to employ or engage people instead of machines. Leonhard explores these rights from a very realistic standpoint which is what made this so interesting to me.
    When discussing the right to disconnect, Leonhard explains that if humans do not retain the ability to leave the technological universe and return to the ‘real-world’ than all will be lost on human well-being. This point stuck out to me because it reminded of a book I read over the summer called Ready Player One. In this novel, a futuristic United States is portrayed in which a virtual reality video game dominates society. While reading the book, I felt as though a world consumed by virtual reality seemed rather far-fetched, but after reading this article, maybe not. The book depicts the main character as having an absolute disconnect with the real world and an elaborate obsession with the virtual reality. It is scary to think that a scenario like this could actually become true, but if technology continues to advance and expand into everyday life, it most certainly will be. Leonhard explores the right to disconnect for this very reason, if people cannot separate VR from reality, then the world will become consumed and there will no longer be true human interaction.
    In addition to having the right to disconnect, Leonhard’s next most important right in my opinion is the right to employ or engage humans instead of machines. The issue of technology and machines replacing humans is something that has gone hand in hand with innovations for years now. In fact, in various cases, jobs have been lost due to technological efficiency and at this rate; it seems inevitable that more will be given up. Obviously, every corporation’s main goal is to make money and most will do whatever it takes to produce the maximum at the minimum cost. Unfortunately, that means many jobs lost to machines which will work faster and cheaper than humans. It is essential that this epidemic does not drastically takeover the workforce, but without consideration, it very well may. Leonhard attempts to shed light on this by suggesting that taxes be put in place for companies who dramatically decrease the number of humans working for them. As well as, creating tax credits for those companies who do decide to use people instead of machines. This is a great idea in my opinion because it will give corporations an important decision to make when deciding their employment process. I believe this is one of the best solutions for the problem of technology taking the place of humans in the workplace and should be heavily considered.

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