Are smart societies zero-sum intelligence games?

The society has decided to become smart and projects to transform our cities, our homes, our televisions, our phones, promise to make everything smarter.

The question is: will the intelligence of all the smart devices represent a total increase in intelligence or it is an increase that requires a decrease at another level, namely, at human level. Bluntly speaking: smart societies will be made of dumbs?

In their 2014 Big Innovation paper Charles Levy and David Wong describe smart society as:

“A smart society successfully harnesses the potential of digital technology and connected devices and the use of digital networks to improve people’s lives.”

Smart societies are populated of smart cities, smart hauses, smart cars and function through smart money.

Frost & Sullivan 2014: “We identified eight key aspects that define a smart city: smart governance, smart energy, smart building, smart mobility, smart infrastructure, smart technology, smart healthcare and smart citizen.

Is there any space among all these smart entities for smart men?

Smart houses are imagined as follows:

It’s 6 A.M., and the alarm clock is buzzing earlier than usual. It’s not a malfunction: the smart clock scanned your schedule and adjusted because you’ve got that big presentation first thing in the morning. Your shower automatically turns on and warms to your preferred 103°F. The electric car is ready to go, charged by the solar panels or wind turbine on your roof. When you get home later, there’s an unexpected package waiting, delivered by drone. You open it to find cold medicine. Turns out, health sensors embedded in your bathroom detected signs of an impending illness and placed an order automatically. Good thing you already knocked that presentation out of the park. (Source)

Smart cars (self-driving cars) will take mobility decisions anticipating our needs and will inform about such decisions shops, houses, traffic, ecc.

Maybe smart money will take decisions on our finances (read my article on smart money), will administer demand and supply, will harmonize wishes and financial opportunities.

According to many studies people are getting dumber. The reasons are many. One of the explanations is that. as the blogger and economist Tyler Cowan says: “We have started building a more stupidity-inducing environment.”

The humans in a society in which the house will know what we want, the cars will tell us where to go, the watch will tell us how we feel, the money will tell us what to buy, will be granted of the luxury opportunity to be dumb. But probably long before humans will consider themselves stupid, they will change the definition of intelligence. Intelligence will be no more ‘the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills’ but the ability to connect and interact with smart devices.

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