Digital humanism, a tool for putting technology at the service of people while respecting the environment

This was the theme of the fourth and last talk in the series "New technologies and digital humanism", organised by Casa Amèrica Catalunya and DIPLOCAT

The last talk in the series "New technologies and digital humanism", organised by Casa Amèrica Catalunya in collaboration with DIPLOCAT, took place on Thursday 14 December. This is a series of four talks to discuss topics such as the symbiosis between human and artificial intelligence, the control of the technification of our lives and the balance between technological innovation and human ethics.

On this occasion, the main theme was digital humanism and how new technologies can be a tool for human benefit in the broadest and most egalitarian sense possible. Luisa Velasquez, a Colombian student of the Master's Degree in Science and Technology of Sustainability at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia with experience in Digital Communication, and Leandro Navarro, a graduate in Telecommunications Engineering, professor at the UPC and expert in circular economy, distributed systems and algorithms, ICT sustainability and networking, took part in the event. Both speakers emphasised the importance of adopting a holistic and sustainable perspective on the consumption of new technologies.

Velasquez began the talk by introducing the concept of digital humanism and its application. He stressed that digital humanism takes into account human values and principles and that it is essential that technology does not surpass them, but that it is used as a tool at the service of people, in an egalitarian manner and with a sustainable vision for the environment.

According to Velasquez, technology offers us mechanisms that facilitate decision-making in many areas. It allows us to have the necessary information to make conscious and sustainable decisions regarding the harmful impact it may have. He also highlighted the key role of technology in terms of the help it can provide in sectors such as education and mental health, and stressed the importance of asking ourselves how we act and what tools we use to improve our environment, not only on an individual level, but also collectively.

Navarro began by drawing the public's attention to the fact that they should be aware that technologies are advancing every day and that "the past is obsolete". He emphasised that it is important that we all have our minimum needs covered, but that this clashes with the limited resources existing on the planet and generates negative consequences such as the extinction of certain minerals and the deterioration of the environment. He therefore recommended getting out of the "green bubble" in which we live and learning about the impact that the technology we use has on other countries and on the environment, as well as valuing sustainable initiatives that advocate recycling and reuse.

In general, he believes that understanding the complexity of the world we live in is good, but that this "condemns us to be just spectators". Therefore, he invited the public to become empowered actors in order to make conscious decisions and transform their ideas into actions.

In a world where technologies are present in most areas of our lives, it is essential to be aware that they are a tool to improve our environment, and that is why it is necessary to adopt a humanist and critical vision, accompanied by responsible consumption.