“Our world is experiencing tremendous social, political, economic, and technological change. Navigating this change requires that we ask the right questions and address the deepest human needs. Where human thriving, psychological wellbeing, and resolving fundamental questions of meaning or what it truly means to be human might once have been considered luxuries – they will be a requirement for the future of society, work and human consciousness. The universality of this requirement suggests a key role for technology that is scalable, accessible, affordable, ethical, and human centred. “ - Extract taken from TransTech 2018
I have been practicing and teaching yoga for over fifteen years. Ten of those as a Yoga Therapist and a Thai Yoga masseur with extensive trainings in touch and anatomy. Just to give you a brief background for those of you who don’t know me. When l started teaching yoga there were no yoga virtual platforms to subscribe to, yoga podcasts, there were no bendy glamorous unrealistic yogis and yogini's strutting their stuff on Instagram. Basically the world was a much simpler kinder place to be a humble yogi in.
Fast forward then 15-20 years, where we now have yoga on demand morning, noon and night streaming via social media, Utube, yoga platforms, podcasts you name it’s out there. But the one thing this technology CANNOT give people is the comfort, reassuring and support of HUMAN TOUCH in adjustments to help practitioners find more space within the architecture of these wonderful poses and prevent them for injury.
Lately, there has been a lot of discussion both sides of the pond on Hands-on-adjusts, who should give them, should you give them and blah blah blah due to the actions of certain well known teachers who have crossed the line in the past. Of course whilst it remains a personal preference for the student we also have to look at the other possible implications of this.
For example, if we take this out of the experience of teaching yoga then what becomes the difference between using Big Virtual screens up Yoga Studios, which they are already using in some Spin Clubs reducing the human interaction altogether. Or better still just stay at home pay your subscription to a yoga platform?
I am currently and have for the last three years explored personal and professional Psychological
behaviour in regard to the new trends in technology namely AI. The personal, political, economical and societal implications .How governments, companies and society need to get real (pass the novelty stage of speaking to Amazon Echo) in terms of looking at what this really means for people’s livelihoods moving forward, which l was only speaking about last week at a conference in Amsterdam.
In terms of the new set of technological related behaviours that are arising presenting new challenges to Mental Health and Wellbeing. In particular the increase in Stress and Anxiety around technology, "Technophobes" - people who fear robots, artificial intelligence and new technology that they don't understand. Who are much more likely to be afraid of losing their jobs to technology and to suffer anxiety-related mental health issues as a result.
Raising questions such as how will automation and machine learning effect the types of jobs we do currently? And which type of jobs will be at risk in the future? Will people and companies need to retrain and change professions altogether. With many people already asking the question will we eventually be replaced by machines? It’s a good and fair question. So whats the answer l hear you asking? Well, some researchers in economics caution that the impact of robotics and artificial intelligence in the next several years will be much more rapid than job displacement of the past and that we need personally and business need to prepare now.
So maybe a place to start is to look at the question What does it means to be human from a biological and computational perspective? And What are the differences CURRENTLY between Life 2.0 (us) - Life 3.0 - AI?
Two answers are Consciousness & Emotion but even that is changing as we speak in terms of emotion, with a unique collaboration between HansonAI, Singuarlity NET and Lia, Inc. Already addressing how AI agents can communicate unconditional love to humans through conversations that adapt to the unique needs of each user while supporting their integrative personal and relational development. McCann Worldwide Japan has even debuted what it claims to be the world’s first mindfulness meditation robot that will help guide meditation. With the robot that will guide the mindfulness meditation as a demonstration for an experience of looking inward and conversing with oneself.
With all of this processing at alarming speed then maybe HUMAN TOUCH maybe the only connection we can still maintain.