Our relationship to technology full of contradictions, Pavlopoulos tells Delphi Economic Forum
Modern humanity’s uneasy and contradiction-filled relationship with technology was the focus of the speech given by President of the Hellenic Repubic Prokopios Pavlopoulos at the official opening ceremony of the 4th Delphi Economic Forum on Thursday evening, at the European Cultural Centre of Delphi.
Speaking on the topic “From the Industrial Revolution to the Technological Revolution: In the constellation of an uncertain future”, the Greek president analysed the repercussions of “technological unemployment” as machines took over more and more jobs once carried out by people and the protections against rapidly changing conditions in the labour market and society.
Humanity’s relationship to these technological achievements was a mixture of justified pride, on the one hand, but also fear and awe, on the other hand, and concern that its creations might supersede and replace humans entirely, Pavlopoulos said.
He also noted, however, that this “technological unemployment” was not an inevitable result of progress since nothing stopped people from using these new resources to replace the jobs that were lost in order to create new ones.
The president also highlighted the improvements in people’s lives as a result of technology, which made comparison with even the recent past ever more difficult, from the increase in life expectancy and living standards to the development of a person’s personality through participation in social, economic, political and scientific life.
The dark side of this picture was in the way that people used technology, both overestimating its benefits and underestimating its impact.
“In conclusion, the above contradictions, their expression and their causes explain how and why modern humanity does not always succeed in striking a balance, in terms of weighing the repercussions of technological progress and the results of its impressive performance, especially in weighing its positive and negative sides,” the president said.