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Abstract: Our Planet on the Edge—Can Technology Really Save Us?
The fires in the Amazon, the rapid melting of glaciers and ice sheets, and the rapid loss of biodiversity all illustrate that our planet is changing rapidly. Yet at the same time, we seem to be entering an epoch of unprecedented technological change. Automated decision making supported by artificial intelligence in combination with rapid progresses in sensor technology and robotics, are likely to change the way we all perceive and respond to our rapidly changing planet Earth. Where do these major megatrends meet? Which new opportunities and challenges do we face as AI and autonomous systems enter domains of critical importance for sustainability?
In this talk, Victor Galaz will explore why technological change matters for the future of our planet, in both expected and unexpected ways.
Victor Galaz is Deputy Director of the Stockholm Resilience Centre (Stockholm University), and Program Director at the “Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics” (Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences). His research explores new societal challenges created by rapid global change, and novel technologies.
Victor’s work about societal challenges created by technological change includes governance dimensions of geo-engineering, early warning systems of epidemic outbreaks, uses of social media to detect ecological change, algorithmic trade in financial markets, and environmental risks embedded in early applications of artificial intelligence.
Victor is author of the book “Global Environmental Governance, Technology and Politics: The Anthropocene Gap” (Edward Elgar, 2014), and co-founder of the Biosphere Code—A manifesto for algorithms for sustainability (2015).
Galaz participates actively to international and national public discussions about global sustainability, politics and technology, and is a regular writer in Swedish newspaper media, and in international media outlets like The Guardian.