Swissnex Brazil catches a glimpse of the future with Dirk Helbing’s keynote

What consequences and challenges will our society face upon the rise of artificial intelligence? Is your data safe on the Internet? Will Democracy survive a new Digital Age? Dirk Helbing, professor at ETH Zurich on the Computational Social Science at Humanities, Social and Political Sciences Department, addressed these and other meaningful questions on December 20 at swissnex Brazil. Under the theme “The Digital Revolution: Why it will start a new Era of Human History,” he presented an overview about transformations and changes that will shake our society, and the possible huge impacts on our jobs and security. Likewise, he forethought solutions about a future when human beings will have to pursue a new meaning for its existence, once machines take over traditional tasks and jobs.

Helbing is often referred as one of the most prominent futurists worldwide. His research on Computational Social Science integrates modeling and computer simulation to social processes and phenomena, combining perspectives of different scientific disciplines. After the keynote, the event proceeded with a roundtable with the participation of Hans Hermann, theoretical physicist and professor at ETH Zurich and Federal University of Ceará, in Brazil; and Eduardo Magrani, Coordinator of Law and Technology at ITS Rio (The Institute for Technology & Society) and Professor of Law and Technology and Intellectual Property at FGV Law School. The roundtable was mediated by Débora Garcia, educator and Director of Content at Canal Futura.

During the brief visit to Rio de Janeiro, Canal Futura, an educational Brazilian TV channel, produced an exclusive interview with Dirk Helbing. He also visited the Rio Operations Center, which integrates the data and monitoring functions on municipal and state levels to optimize city functioning, especially in large-scale events, and to respond proactively to emergency situations.

Dirk Helbing’s presentation first introduced the conditions for a perfect storm – – and explained why and how we are living in its very center. Even though it may sound frightening, this context also brings opportunities like co-creation, collaboration, and collective intelligence. And inspired by the text on his last slide, swissnex Brazil also invites you: “Let’s Do This Together!”