OII Professor Luciano Floridi discusses how ICTs have become not only tools to interact with the world, but also environmental forces actively creating and shaping the planet as well. He first conveys his interpretation of the main phases of societal development, from prehistory to hyperhistory: prehistory lacks ICTs and therefore a means of recording the present for the future; history has ICTs that are controlled primarily by the state, the principal agent of information; hyperhistory deals with multi-agent systems (e.g. EU, IMF, WTO) unconstrained by any particular force. Floridi then states that in recent years, robots are now enveloping the environment and creating an AI-friendly infosphere, thereby blurring the distinction between reality and virtuality as well as that among human, machine, and nature. Design, therefore, is crucial in this context and he argues that society should devise solutions that lower anthropological costs and raise environmental benefits.

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