Walking man in step with his mind

Time to think: Dr Agustin Chevez is walking from Melbourne to Sydney. photograph heidi kraak

Time to think: Dr Agustin Chevez is walking from Melbourne to Sydney. photograph heidi kraak

One step at a time, Dr Agustin Chevez is walking from Melbourne to Sydney pondering what people's purpose will be in the future when artificial intelligence makes the jobs of today largely redundant.

Stopping in Morwell over the weekend, the Melbourne-based architect regularly makes the trip to Sydney by plane which made him consider the impacts of modern modes of travel on creativity and ideas.

"I translate that to the theory of evolution, from Darwin, saying for example why we have all these species because they were isolated and isolation created different strands of species. If they were all together they would just be one," Dr Chevez said.

"There is this idea as we push to be better connected, the downside of that is that all the ideas are the same. So isolation can create diversity.

"So what I thought was – the amount of travel increases the number of ideas or reduces the diversity, so we are so connected, Melbourne to Sydney, that you can have many ideas but perhaps they lack originality, or they are not that diverse."

Translating the philosophical to the physical, Dr Chevez is using his time on the road to question how people of the future will find purpose in a landscape of artificial intelligence.

"With artificial intelligence there is this idea that we will be replaced, so the first wave of technology substitution replaced our body, automation, but now with artificial intelligence cognition is the next barrier," he said.

"My work and research is work, how people work and workplaces more specifically.

"Because ... if you are a reporter, your identity [as a reporter] gives you purpose, identity, and it gives you a sense of belonging. If that is taken from you, how are you supposed to find your purpose?

"During my walk I have been trying to [think about] ... what machines cannot replicate from humans ... but perhaps what makes [humans] unique is that things are irrational. So that is perhaps a competitive advantage that we might have in the future that will still remain with us."

For more information about Dr Chevez' walk, visit sg2s.net. 

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