Humanism is a non-religious and values-based worldview. Humanists aim to promote reason and science, free thought and free speech, tolerance and understanding, kindness and compassion. Humanistically Speaking, launched in the UK in 2020, is an online magazine for humanists, atheists, rationalists, agnostics, sceptics, and everyone who wants to make the world a better place through human effort and endeavour. We are an independent monthly publication but we see ourselves as very much part of the global humanist community. In January 2023, we said a fond farewell to our PDF format and went fully digital. You can now comment on our articles - just sign up using the 'log in' tab top right. Thanks for visiting!
This Month's Issue
Welcome to the March edition of Humanistically Speaking.
Our theme this month is Artificial Intelligence and Robots. Mike Flood, Chair of Milton Keynes Humanists and Chair of the Future of Humanism Group has been raising the alarm about AI for some time. Now I know why! I may be biased, but I think our writers and contributors this month, including the AI chatbot called ChatGPT, have done an outstanding job at informing us about AI from every conceivable angle. I'm especially pleased to see a humanist profile of Alan Turing whose work in the 20th century helped to lay the foundations for modern computers and AI. But less happy to see him quoted as saying that 'At some stage, we should expect the machines to take control.' Daniel Dancey treats us to an absurd vision of the future in which an AI machine decides to do that by converting the entire universe to paperclips. How could we stop it?
I welcome the new, up-to-date textbook for schools and universities called Understanding Humanism. The book is excellent, but it did leave me with some questions about the identity, bias, and possible blind-spots of humanism. I explore these questions in my response to the book. Please send me your views.
I hope that you will enjoy our offerings this month and that we will succeed in deepening and broadening your knowledge of our chosen topic. As always, we look forward to hearing from you if you have an opinion, or comment, or news to share.