View profile

Digital Ethics by Futurist Gerd Leonhard - Issue #1

Welcome to my brand-new Digital Ethics newsletter, a weekly set of curated articles and must-reads fr

Digital Ethics by Futurist Gerd Leonhard

January 17 · Issue #1 · View online
Futurist Gerd Leonhard's latest findings from the intersection of humanity and technology, focusing on Digital Ethics i.e. the ethics of exponential technological change and related Technology/Humanity topics

Welcome to my brand-new Digital Ethics newsletter, a weekly set of curated articles and must-reads from the intersection of technology and humanity, handpicked by me and my team.
As many of you may know, Digital Ethics is one of the core themes in my 2016 book Technology vs Humanity; one that has now become prominent in all of my work and in most of my keynotes.
This newsletter is a key element in my 2019 focus on Digital Ethics (read more about that, and about my updated mission statements, here). More is to come: a new blog, a new podcast (in addition to my current audio-only-keynote channel, here), and who knows, maybe a new book. Stay tuned!
Here, I will on questions such as: What will it mean to be human in a world that is becoming hyper-connected, and that will increasingly be run by algorithms and machines? What will real happiness aka Eudaemonia actually mean in this new world? How will we ensure that all these amazing technological gains still result in human flourishing? How will we avoid selling-out our humanity in return for economic growth, or for the endless convenience of a connected lifestyle?
I promise to limit the information stream in this newsletter to a manageable and digestible number of entries (I know that sounds unlikely, coming from me… but let me surprise you:), but if you really want to hang onto the firehose, I suggest you subscribe to my Instapaper-fuelled highlights at and of course you can browse some of my past work on Digital Ethics on my main site and watch my many keynotes and films on Youtube.
Enjoy and please feel free to ping me anytime with comments or feedback.
Gerd Leonhard

Convenience over consciousness ? Which side are you on?
In this first edition, I am presenting these sections to get ourselves organised:

  • Challenges: preferred narratives, underlying motivations, and governance
  • Technologies: I really want to go beyond AI-only so we will also cover topics such as surveillance, synthetic biology, longevity, human hard- and software extensions, facial recognition, Natural Language Processing and much more
  • Industries: Digital Ethics cuts across all industries: Finance, Retail, Insurance, Health, Government, Automotive, Transport, etc
  • Organizations: countless private and governmental organisations are already looking at Dgital Ethics
  • Reports/Whitepapers: pointing you to the most relevant ones from the last couple of weeks
  • People: experts, visionaries, futurists, and wise men/women who have an interesting perspective on the topic
  • Gerd-stuff: links to recent things I have published that might be of interest
Please let me know your feedback (email)
Gerd Leonhard
Childhood's End: The digital revolution isn’t over but has turned into something else
What deserves our full attention is not the success of a few companies that have harnessed the powers of hybrid analog/digital computing, but what is happening as these powers escape into the wild and consume the rest of the world.
Edge Perspectives with John Hagel: Mindset and Heartset
Human Qualities (remember: whatever is easy for humans is hard for computers:)
Kick-Start the Conversation on Digital Ethics
With great power comes great responsibility! #digitalethics #deletefacebook
The future of humanity depends on design ethics, says Tim Wu
IBM Chief Sounds Cautionary Note on Deep Data, AI, Quantum Computing
Wanted: The ‘perfect babysitter.’ AI scans for respect and attitude?
Data Alone doesn't Move People
Facial Recognition Has to Be Regulated to Protect the Public, Says AI Report
“Claiming to ‘see’ into people’s interior states is neither scientific nor ethical.”
A New Approach to Understanding How Machines Think
Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Humans | Pew Research Center
Technology needs ethics. Oxford philosopher Luciano Floridi explains why. 5*!
“The commitment to work on a digital human project. That means: a form of human life — individual, collective, and public — that a society presents and promotes as desirable”
An Ethical Framework for a Good AI Society: Opportunities, Risks, Principles, and Recommendations
Overview of the four core opportunities and risks offered by AI
I’m reading “The Humans: A Novel” by Matt Haig. An alien comes to Earth and discovers what it means to be human. I wanted to share this quote with you.
“You can’t find happiness looking for the meaning of life. Meaning is only the third most important thing. It comes after loving and being.”
Start reading it for free:
Snippet of the week
Rushkoff's new book: "Team Human"
The anti-human agenda of technologists might not be so bad — or might never be fully realized — if it didn’t dovetail so neatly with the anti-human agenda of corporate capitalism. Each enables the other, reinforcing an abstract, growth-based scheme of infinite expansion — utterly incompatible with human life or the sustainability of our ecosystem.” in The Anti-Human Religion of Silicon Valley – Douglas Rushkoff – Medium
Checkout my recent podcast with Matt Ward from on Megashifts, AI and Why the Future is More Unknowable than Ever.
Meme of the week
Gerd's Latest
My Xerocon London Keynote: Technology and Humanity: the next 10 years (huge stage!!)
Hilarious stuff
Robot to run for mayor in Japan promising 'fairness and balance' | World | News |
End note
That’s it for my first issue. Hope you liked it. Please share your feedback.
The Digital Ethics (DE) newsletter is provided for free. If you are reading it and value it, I wouldn’t mind if you gave my digest some love through Twitter :-) Or just forward it to a friend.
Warm regards,
Gerd Leonhard, Futurist, Keynote Speaker, Author, CEO The Futures Agency
Videos from my talks: 
My main website: 

Did you enjoy this issue?
If you don't want these updates anymore, please unsubscribe here
If you were forwarded this newsletter and you like it, you can subscribe here
Powered by Revue
The Futures Agency, Zurich, Switzerland