Kevin Kelly: “The central driver of culture today is technology.”

A conversation with Kevin Kelly

Giuseppe Granieri
Futurists’ Views
Published in
2 min readApr 9, 2014


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Kevin Kelly

How do you envision the future of the our societies?

Here is the future I want: No state-sponsored war anywhere on the planet. Decrease in spending on weapons. Conflicts settled by impartial UN force. Nationalism low. Everyone potentially connected to everyone with real time translation. Single currency. Human right of mobility. Universal education, including college. Increased longevity. Non-dogmatic environmentalism. Commercial use of fusion power. Demise of petrol oligarchies. Super trains everywhere. Coveillence with data. Expansion of intellectual fair use instead of expansion of patents and copyrights. More government investment in science and technology, education, world-wide. More music, more fun.

How technology and culture are shaping each other?

Without a doubt the central driver of culture today is technology. Almost every upsetting change in society can be traced back to a new technology.

And for every problem that a new technology solves it creates new problems — which must then be solved with more new technology. We are bound closer and closer to our inventions. In fact we are actively re-inventing ourselves, our humanity. Humans will be the first artificial species.

You said: “Technology wants to be free”. Robots, artificial intelligence, algorithms: what we have to expect in the next future?

Artificial intelligence is coming very fast and will become a commodity like electricity. You’ll buy as much AI as you want or need. Robots will change our employment.

The main job of robot machines will be to increase efficiency. The main job of humans will be to waste time effectively. The main job of the human-machine cyborg will be to figure out our job.

Humans will be the first artificial species…

When our ancestors invented cooking technology, this external stomach based on fire helped us digest materials we could not before. The increase nutrition we got from cooking permamently altered our teeth and jaw, and increased our long-term fertility.

When we domesticated herding animals and began to milk them, we changed our genes rapidly to evolve lactose tolerance. Today we continue to alter our genetic bodies through our technologies, as we have for 100,000 years. We humans are in fact the first animals we have domesticated, making us the first artificial species.

Give us some key trends to watch

The Quantified Self (self tracking), wearable smart clothing, advancing importance of human gut microbe in health.

Follow Kevin Kelly on twitter: @Kevin2Kelly
Twitter: @gg



Giuseppe Granieri
Futurists’ Views

Predictive Thinking. Author of several books, columnist/contributor (L'Espresso, La Stampa), contract professor (Urbino University) | @gg |