Brave Conversations Stuttgart 2024As a part of the 2024 ACM Web Science Conference WebSci24
To be held at the University of Stuttgart, Stuttgart, Germany
In association with the 16th ACM Web Science Conference 2024 - Reflecting on the Web, AI, and Society
Helping to create Smart Humans
This is our 23rd Brave Conversations event and our first in Germany.
Our first Brave Conversations was held in Canberra, Australia, in 2017. Since that time the world has changed, but the conversations remain the same:
How can we help Humans become Smarter in a world stuffed full of smart machines?
"The biggest threat facing humanity today is humanity in the age of the machines.” (Mo Gawdat)
Brave Conversations Stuttgart 2024 takes place within the context of a world undergoing significant social, political and technological change.
- 2024 is the year which seems the most number of human beings participating in ‘democratic’ elections, something that has been described as an ‘election extravaganza’ - see https://www.economist.com/international/2024/02/11/the-2024-democracy-test
- Technology companies are releasing more and more powerful Large Language Models and Machine Learning systems and Intelligent Agents - see https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-024-53303-w
- They are also rapidly developing and releasing new ways of interacting with technologies such as Augmented Reality - see https://www.forbes.com/sites/bernardmarr/2023/10/13/the-10-biggest-ar-vr-and-immersive-internet-trends-in-2024/
- Social Media companies are under increasing scrutiny by governments and regulatory authorities around online safety - see https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-68161632
- Progress on human longevity is becoming increasingly interesting with progress being made on the Science of Ageing - see https://www.economist.com/technology-quarterly/2023-09-30
- It is hoped that renewable energy sources will achieve one third of global power generation in 2024 - see https://ourworldindata.org/renewable-energy
Within all of these themes perhaps the most important is not the technological advances, but what the implications are for humans and the human systems within which we live.
This is what Brave Conversations seeks to explore. We can’t go down every rabbit hole but we can peek in to a few and see if we can draw out themes which impact each of us in our daily lives, with a view to exploring how we can retain our humanity and our agency in the Age of Smart Machines.
We will be exploring
- What is the definition of a human in the Age of the Smart Machine?
- What is the role of a human in this Age of the Smart Machine?
- How do we retain our humanity whilst harnessing the power of Smart Machines to improve life for all on Planet Earth?
We will be guided in our conversations by the use of Mark Moore’s Strategic Triangle asking:
- What Can We Do?
- What Should We Do?
- What May We Do?
"We assumed people were going to do good things with it. We really didn’t have any idea of what bad things people would do with it.
Everything that is bad within society is writ large within the Internet. They lose their moral compass in a way."
The goal of Brave Conversations is to challenge everyone who participates - regardless of what background they come from, or what their skillset and expertise are - to more fully explore and understand the interplay between humans, the societies we live in, and the technologies we have created.
We want to empower people to proactively make decisions about how we live our everyday lives, how we participate as commercial actors within the economy, and how we operate as digital citizens and exercise our political rights. That empowerment comes from demystifying data and information and understanding how it informs the everyday decisions which gradually create the future.
Each of those decisions begin on an individual human level - our bodies and our minds - and then emanates out to our families, communities, societies and from there to nation states. We are all responsible for the world we are creating and never has there been a time when we have more potential to influence the changes around us. But we need to be given the space for robust debate and respectful curiosity, learning from each other, playing with ideas, and asking the questions that are both confronting and potentially will take us to uncomfortable places.
How it works
The best way to learn is through experience and the act of playing with ideas, to imagine, to challenge, and to be creative. The things that humans do best.
Brave Conversations complements the work being done at Newspeak House to address the challenges and opportunities which face contemporary society.
Brave Conversations London
WHEN: May 21, 2024, 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
WHERE: Room 00.150
University of Stuttgart
70569 Stuttgart, Vaihingen
For more information please visit