Talking About Transitions features critical conversations on systemic transitions at the interplay of technology, society and sustainability. Our Dialogue series provides a platform for thinking together about three major areas of change and challenge – urbanisation, climate change and digitalisation.
Our upcoming dialogue, Digitalisaion and the Anthropocene, will take place on February 29th, from 5:00 to 6:00 pm IST.
Context: We live today in the era of the Anthropocene, a period where human activity is significantly shaping the planet’s climate and ecosystems. A critical feature of this epoch is the catenation of natural processes and digital technologies: digital technologies such as AI increasingly shape human action and mediate our relationship to ‘nature’. From sensor networks that monitor deforestation in real time, to the use of AI to optimise water and resource consumption, digital has become integral to shaping climate action, and addressing its challenges. At the same time, these technologies also contribute to the harmful impacts of anthropogenic activity on the environment. The pervasive integration and influence of digital technologies in our daily lives, has led scholars to qualify this epoch as the ‘digital anthropocene’. Thus, the ‘digital’ presents both a challenge and an opportunity to address many of the most pressing environmental and social issues today.
This dialogue examines the role that digital and other emerging technologies like AI, play in shaping the anthropocene and our responses to it. What is the digital anthropocene, why has it become significant, and what are the key trends? We also address the question of how digitalisation is shaping climate action, and what are the steps that need to be taken to ensure the responsible utilisation of these technologies?