Before there were internet memes, there was the Voight-Kampff machine. And rather than tell you which Harry Potter house you’d be sorted into or what your favorite ice cream flavor says about you, it did just one thing: determined whether or not you were a human being.
1982’s Blade Runner is a sci-fi cult classic, and this week’s sequel, Blade Runner 2049, will no doubt introduce a whole new host of questions around who is a human being and who is a replicant, the world’s version of artificial intelligence. Without getting into the details of the original, it’s pretty important to the film’s main characters who is and is not a replicant, and the story wrangles with some tough questions around sentience and the value of life – any life.
Our latest resource, “The Future of Learning: Redefining Readiness from the Inside-Out,” explores the rise of AI as a key trend in determining the future of learning and working. Examining four different possible future scenarios – none of which feature Harrison Ford, though this does not discredit their extreme coolness – readers are invited to consider that what makes us uniquely human may be the key to reshaping our society and unlocking our true potential. There’s a lot of talk lately about what it will mean to pursue an education and earn a living when AI will be capable of doing almost everything we can do. How will our relationships with technology change? Our relationships with each other?
While the world of Blade Runner sees replicants as a threat, I am not so sure it has to go down like that. If we aspire to live in an era of partners in code, as imagined in our most recent forecast, we can come to rely on our increasingly smart technologies as collaborators rather than mere tools.