Digital Transformation Stephen Fry Technology

Digital disciple Stephen Fry gives voice to dystopia fears

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By John Glenday | Reporter

May 30, 2017 | 3 min read

Stephen Fry, traditionally one of the tech industry's most effervescent proponents, has given voice to a far darker prediction of the future by warning that we must prepare for the future now – or find ourselves living in a sci-fi dystopia.

Stephen Fry

Digital disciple Stephen Fry gives voice to dystopia fears

Outlining his fears during a lecture at the Hay Festival literary event, Fry lambasted politicians and other ‘technophobes’ for helping to bring such a dark future to pass due to their ignorance of new technologies such as artificial intelligence and robotics.

Exhorting his audience to ‘prepare’ Fry said: “Whether it is winter that is coming, or a new spring, it is entirely in our hands so long as we prepare.

“While it's hard to calculate the cascade upon cascade of new developments and their positive effects, we already know the dire consequences and frightening scenarios that threaten to engulf us.”

Fry concluded: “Whether it will alter the behaviour, cognition and identity of the individual in the same way that it is certain to alter the behaviour, cognition and identity of the group, is a hard question to answer.

"But believe me when I say that it is happening. To be frank, it has happened.”

Fry believes that the present period of technological advancement will change society in far more profound ways than comparable progress from the past, such as invention of the printing press and the industrial revolution although the dream many harbour of a techtopia could transpire to be a ‘nightmare’.

Fry has long had a love/hate relationship with Silicon Valley, becoming a cheerleader for Twitter before deleting his account after a joke he made at the Bafta went down like a lead balloon on social media - and then subsequently re-joining.

Digital Transformation Stephen Fry Technology

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