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IQ2 Debate: Humanity is designing its own demise

If Bob Dylan had written his classic song today, he might have called it 'The Times They Are A-Makin My Head Spin'.
Thinking about the future can make you feel optimistic or hopeless. Who knows what it holds?
From our politics to the very resources we rely on, we haven’t yet found a balance between our needs and wants, and the things that sustain them.
We are in a new era. Of growing and changing population, economic failings and headwinds, changes to our environments and the mix of biodiversity on our planet. We are unsure of our resources, whether its land, energy, food or water.
Technological advances are delivering ethical minefields. And with each change, our choices expand and others get left behind.
We don’t know if we’ll have jobs. Or what those jobs will look like. We don’t even know what we will look like – our communities, families, our children, even our own reflections.
Perhaps we’re designing our own end. Or maybe we’re in the messy process of future-proofing humanity.
Can we weather the storms ahead like the generations before us?


CliveHamilton.jpgClive Hamilton is a philosopher, author and professor of Public Ethics at Charles Sturt University. His most recent book is Defiant Earth: The Fate of Humans in the Anthropocene. He argues humanity’s influence on Earth is so great we have irreversibly changed the planet and created a new geological epoch – to our detriment.  Follow Clive: @CliveCHamilton

Kristin.jpgKristin Alford is a futurist who has worked with government, business and not-for-profits on strategic foresights into areas like water, health, climate and tech. She is director of MOD., University of South Australia’s “immersive museum of discovery”. The TEDxAdelaide host sees continual evidence of humans refusing to design solutions to well-known future risks and reacting only to immediate dangers. Follow Kristin: @kristinalford 

SigneDean.jpgSigne Dean is science and health journalist, broadcaster and deputy editor at ScienceAlert. Her work has been published in National Geographic, Australian Geographic and SBS Science Online, which she launched. The former Executive Producer of SBS Latvian radio sees an optimistic future for humanity and marvels at our capacity to design new medical technologies and cures. Follow Signe: @nevertoocurious

TobyWalsh.jpgToby Walsh is a professor of artificial intelligence at UNSW and research leader at information and communication technology centre Data61 (formerly known as NICTA). His recently published book is, It's Alive!Artificial Intelligence from the Logic Piano to Killer Robots. Toby recognises AI can be dangerous but argues humanity is wise enough to avoid producing things like killer robots that could ultimately destroy us. 
Follow Toby: @TobyWalsh

A huge thanks to those that joined us on the night. 

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