During the last decades, numerous fields and organizations have come together to focus on major technological advances in favor of humankind. These scientific and technological leaps have resulted in impressive developments that we thought were only possible inside a fictional world. Even though this progress is overall accepted and even admired in the public eye, it is important for us to step back a little, look for the true intentions behind these “ethical” developments, and question if we are ready to face the implications that come with them. In today’s episode, Dr. Rosie Sendher and Dr. Erica Fisk are joined by Jenny Kleeman, author of Sex Robots & Vegan Meat, to chat about birth, food, sex and death, the four pillars that rule the human experience.
Jenny Kleeman is a documentary film-maker, journalist, broadcaster and author. She is also the host of the Immaculate Deception podcast, and the weekend Breakfast show on Times Radio. Jenny is not only passionate about her profession, but also about the topics she touches on her book, and encourages our listeners to reflect on their own behavior and dependency on technology. She believes humankind is still far away from becoming a slave of technology, but close enough to get uncomfortable and start these important conversations.
Artificial wombs made of plastic, “relationships” with customizable partners who lack autonomy or free will, premature euthanasia as a result of an absolute terror towards death, and meat that can grows inside a lab. This episode encapsules a collection of important conversations that are defining our humanity right now, and yet are not being held by the developers of these technologies, much less questioned by the global population. In a society where profit comes before ethics, it is quite easy to blur the lines between what we need and what we want, what is wrong and what is right. As you finish listening to this conversation, you will start reflecting and being more critical about the technological developments that are taking place in the worldnin favor of humankind, or so they say. Technology will always advance, but are we really ready to pay the price?
In this episode we chat about:
(00:37) - How birth, food, sex and death rule the human experience - “Humanity is changing without us realy realizing it because of these developments in technology that sound really science fiction but are very real.”
(08:28) - The importance of questioning and having conversations around major technological developments - “We have to make sure that our society is robust enough to be able to take on the implications of this technology when it arrives, because it’s a massive thing.”
(16:41) - Profits before ethics: How the ethical evaluation of technologies is a mere afterthought and not a priority for developers - “The need for control, the pursuit of perfection for everything, that’s where it’s moving to.”
(25:29) - Assembling warm bodies: On the controversial world of the sex dolls industry - “It’s a testimony to how specific human desire can be.”
(34:31) - On our society’s unhealthy obsession to solve behavioral issues with technology - “There is always a simpler answer that comes from changing behavior, but it requires more courage and effort than just buying a piece of technology.”
(39:08) - The global manipulation of humanity through social media platforms and “good intentions” - “Ultimately, they’re going to invest in ideas because there is going to be some payback, they’re looking to make money.”
(43:53) - The dangerous pursuit of the perfect death - “There’s a fantasy that you could take some sort of pill and have a perfect death. It comes from the fear of your life being prolonged with no quality of life. ”
(58:15) - Veganism, lab grown meat and how our diets are manufactured by society - “We can have this change where we’re no longer being driven by our learnt behavior, a learnt palate preference.”
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