2040: Death, bereavement and digital legacies
Maneesh Juneja, Digital Health Futurist
Technology and those that create it are able to wield more power every day. The quest for greater efficiencies is promising us a brilliant future, where our needs, wants and even our emotional states are predicted, to enable personalised goods and services that arrive just in time. If algorithms could one day predict the onset of certain diseases, could they one day also predict when we are likely to die, and arrange the necessary interventions?
As more data about us is generated, captured and shared, in order to power artificial intelligence, can we really automate things like empathy and compassion, in the context of death? Today, children are growing up perceiving virtual assistants as friends and sometimes trusting a machine more than a human. Who (or what) will future generations turn to for support when it comes to bereavement? Humans, robots or a combination of both?
What does this shift mean for the services of tomorrow, and for those that work in areas such as Palliative Care? The pandemic has already catalysed changes across society, which have influenced not only how we behave, but how we relate to ourselves and each other.
The future looks uncertain in many respects, but there could be ways in which we can work together to not only navigate the uncertainty, but to ensure the future is a desirable one.
This keynote will take us on a journey towards 2040, to explore how emerging technology could create an even larger impact on dying, death and digital legacies, and what this means for our choices today as we work towards building a better tomorrow, for everyone.
Maneesh Juneja is a Digital Health Futurist who explores the convergence of emerging technologies to see how they can make the world a healthier and happier place. He looks at these technologies in the context of socio-cultural, political and economic trends, helping organisations around the world to think differently about the future.
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