Whether in the future the place of “the Humanities”? Spoiler: Yes

The Humanities are often considered a science of the past, not in the sense that they are not needed now, but the fact that a huge reservoir of philosophy and history of language was still in the past and today, is experiencing such dramatic change as the field of science and technology. Most people who believe in a future existence, says that their lives will be inextricably intertwined with advanced technology. Accordingly, the number of people wishing to enrol in the Humanities faculties are shrinking and scientific advisors often diminish the value of the Humanities to the labour market.

But the main point is that science and technology is aimed at helping people. The interface between people and advanced technologies represents a boundary, where the humanitarian point of view just need.

Is there a “Humanities” in the future?

Thirty years ago in the West, the development of narrow expertise was the key to professionalism. It was assumed that the manufacturer of leather shoes with rubber soles must know everything about the manufacture of leather and rubber in the form of shoes, and he was left with no time for peripheral learning.

Those of this Council did not listen, become carriers of interdisciplinary perspectives and new innovations. And they say today that in the future we will integrate the Humanities to hard science and technology. Academic studies of the interaction of people and machines will rejuvenate the discipline that became inactive, and connects the Humanities to our future, not the past.

Comes to mind several examples. First, research on the topic of ethics. There are major ethical concerns about genetic engineering: what changes in the genetic process of man we need to make? Should we create in people the qualities that they want to see society?

Another area related to the effects of collecting big data: how can we use a huge amount of information that is collected, and analyze it in the interests of psychology and social Sciences? Can we use these data to build computer models that could predict human behavior, for policy or political decisions?

The latest developments in the field of robotics, artificial intelligence and machine learning, raise fundamental questions of philosophy: what is consciousness? Is there free will?

There are also existential questions about the purpose of human life: will replace if robots and AI human labor in all areas, from construction sites to scientific research? The future as the economy adjusts to a new reality, in which people will need to work less? Will leave people in eternal retirement? If Yes, what will be their meaning of life?

And are fundamental questions about whether human creativity in art or science unique or it can be played with the help of machines. Whether we are in a world in which AI will be used to create art or to unexpected scientific discoveries? AI is already programmed to replace doctors when prescribing to patients with known symptoms, but should computers make also decisions about treatment? And if AI will make mistakes that will cause harm to people, should developers be legally responsible, or a learning algorithm should be considered independent from their creators-humans?

Social networks have already put forward to the forefront of the public debate about data privacy: how we protect your privacy in the light of future information technologies? To allow access to the data? How to mitigate losses from unexpected leaks?

It is easy to imagine how the ancient Greeks would fit in with modern science and technology. Without any doubt, Aristotle would have been fascinated by the Big Bang cosmology. Aristarchus of Samos would have been delighted with recent discoveries of exoplanets. Zeno of Elea became interested in the possibility of integrating the machine with the help of Apple Watch apps. Socrates would have criticized the herd mentality of social networking.

Philosophers, sociologists, psychologists and artists will participate in the future development of technologies to best meet human needs and values. Humanitarians will need, because the technology beyond the conventional ideas of iron and silicon.

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