Conscious tech needs conscience
Now that we are on the eve of major public and private investments in so-called digital twins and integration of artificial intelligence, we state that conscious tech requires increased attention for some sort of related conscience.
Aware and responsive
The word conscious in conscious tech indicates ‘aware and responsive.’ Contrary to common misinterpretation, it does not imply any sort of moral standard.
Conscious tech today refers to human beings using technologies to enhance their bodies, minds and habitats. Think: phones, wearables, implants, buildings, cars, traffic lights and CCTV, which notice and register our presence and behavior, gather and organize data – for us and about us – and interact with us and each other.
Automated and instant consequence
Connectivity, artificial intelligence, and data are the very core of conscious tech. However, due to connectivity and artificial intelligence, this data is no longer the bottom of a traditional ‘data-information-knowledge-insight’-pyramid, but increasingly a trigger of automated and instant consequence.
This calls for increased effort in systematizing, defending and recommending related concepts of right and wrong, also known as ethics.
Speed and prosperity
Conscious tech and data should be seen in the perspective of the intersection of three global trends all heavily linked to our habitat: urbanization, digitalization and connectivity.
Each of these trends has a technological side as well as a social one. The balance between the two sides determines speed and direction of the trend.
Much like at the beginning of the industrial revolution, while technological inventions reshaped the production and transportation of goods, people stood up for improvement of their physical working and living conditions and the distribution of the newly created wealth. Companies, cities, and governments who were able to embrace this prospered.
Today, we see hints of a popular uprising for emancipation, autonomy and influence related to data. Particularly because this data is increasingly a trigger of automated and instant consequence.
This one is on us as people
Our conscious tech conscience is a joint responsibility. This one is on us as people. Figuring out, sharing, testing and implementing our concepts of right and wrong related to data, are collaborative efforts. We created this. It is up to us to make it work. Together.
Rather than waiting for an all-encompassing one-time right, LUMO Labs is founded on the belief that now is the time to start making incremental, consistent steps to merge opinions, beliefs and innovations into favorable and feasible concepts of right and wrong.
We advocate self-determination and traceable ownership of data, transparency and traceability of technologies used.
Our contribution is an impact-driven seed capital fund: LUMO Labs. We create opportunities for next-generation software and smart hardware startups who provide infrastructures, platforms and applications (B2C, B2B and B2G) for Sustainable Cities & Communities, Good Health & Well-being and Quality Education.
In addition, we reach out and open up to our ecosystem partners to join forces for sustainable economic, ecologic and social return. From a holistic point of view, the resilience and adaptability of a system heavily depends on its components and vice versa.
It is no coincidence that LUMO Labs is headquartered in Eindhoven. The story of the Eindhoven region is one of balance, collaboration, meeting popular demand and successive speed and prosperity.
The technological innovation of the past 100 years of the Eindhoven region, ignited by Philips, can be summarized as light – lighter – lightest. Light being the electric light. Lighter being automotive, health technologies and consumer electronics to make curing and caring lighter and people’s lives better. Lightest being the speed of light in semiconductors and photonics, the foundation of today’s connectivity.
Entrepreneurs and authorities in this region understand the importance of social responsibility in order to attract and keep the best employees and partners.
Hence, in addition to light – lighter – lightest, innovation has been about being bright and brighter. Bright being affordable access and proximity for all to adequate housing, safety and healthcare. Brighter being affordable access and proximity for all to quality education, leisure and cultural activities.
Lightest & Brightest
This, multiplied by the regional culture of purposeful collaboration and its international scope, brings a unique opportunity for greater global impact by being not only lightest but also brightest: being the spark of a sustainable future and balanced innovation by imagining, designing, manufacturing and supplying the building blocks for its foundation.
This allows us and future generations to build resilient and sustainable cities and industries and to create human-centered habitats that support and enhance our health and well-being.
We believe that conscious tech needs a conscience and that here and now is the perfect place to start.
By Andy Lürling
Founding Partner LUMO Labs
Madelon, thank you for structuring my thoughts