COMMENT – June 2024

In this paper you will find stories about the past, the present and one that gives some insight into the future.  Some look longingly in the rear view mirror, some are eager to move into the future while others insist we should live in the moment.

Last month, a young child in Ontario died of measles.  So far this year, there have been twenty-two cases of the virus reported in the province, which results in permanent brain damage in one of every 1,000 cases.  This virus is preventable, but misinformation and disinformation (with intent to deceive) is eroding confidence in scientific knowledge and public institutions.  This has people questioning the safety of vaccinations that were seen as routine just a few years ago.

The spread of mis/disinformation is now seen by many as the most significant threat to humanity.  The situation is about to get worse thanks to accelerating Artificial Intelligence technology.  Attitudes towards AI has created a new source of division: those who embrace it and want its progress to accelerate, or boomers, and those who fear it and want it to slow down, called doomers.  There seems to be agreement on one thing: AI will be the most significant technological transformation in human history.  Will it create a new utopia or destroy the planet?  Even the AI experts are split on this.  It will take hard work and wisdom for the rest of us to sort out what is real and what is fake in this new world, but our future depends on it.  KG

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