Toys, not calculators!

The time when only the simple activities were automated is a thing of the past. Today, artificial intelligence is increasingly finding its way into classical knowledge work. The highly qualified jobs of well-educated people are facing upheaval.

If A.I.’s doing our jobs, what are we gonna do?

If artificial intelligence takes rational thinking away from us in the future, what remains for people to do? In the search for the answer to the question of who we actually are, we humans begin to look inside ourselves. Philosophy and the humanities are now experiencing a new flowering, a kind of renaissance. In all places people practice mindfulness, minimalism and awareness.

People play

From birth on we learn all the rules necessary for life in a playful way. No question – man is a fundamentally playful being.

Johan Huizinga did research on games as early as 1956 in his book “Homo Ludens” on the origin of our culture in games. For Huizinga, the gambling person is a fundamental prerequisite for the creation and preservation of culture. At the same time, the game is older than the first traces of human culture, because not only humans play, but also the animal kingdom learns through play. Nevertheless, no other species enjoys playing as much and as intensively as humans.

Playing gives us humans pleasure. What we learn through play is what we do best. Our brains are practically programmed to play.

Our brains are toys, not calculating machines.


“Man is only fully human where he plays” (Friedrich Schiller)

No matter whether parlour games, computer games or games of chance, whether with several people or alone – games are played all over the world and in all cultures. It is our play instinct that teaches us by trial and error. When we play, we improve our motor skills, learn how things work and how we can use them.

We have easily submitted to the world

Why shouldn’t we be able to playfully transform them into an utopian living space?

Our playful intelligence fundamentally distinguishes us from the rational intelligence of smart machines – and at the same time complements them in a complementary way. The playing human being is complex and intransparent connected with what surrounds him: Nature, spirit and society. And yet he is not predictable. Our unpredictability can be seen where human behaviour is to be predicted:

In the criminologist’s crime projections. Often the assessment of future behaviour and the development of an offender is wrong. Man remains intransparent and unpredictable.

Our passion for playing makes us creative

Our creativity enables us to react spontaneously and innovatively to new situations.

This is what man has to offer the world of tomorrow.

In an environment in which artificial intelligence is increasingly helping to determine the playfulness of communication, our ability to play and surprise will become our unique selling point. Computing machines are complemented by the human capacity for creative change and creation.

The future belongs to players, artists and creative lateral thinkers.

They are the ones who are able to discover new spaces beyond technological control. That’s why it’s so important these days to be creative, have fun, and reshape our social environment in the game.

Never before have the conditions for a better world been as good as they are today: thanks to the Internet, we have been given an unprecedented radius of networking. We can unfold inwardly and outwardly and leave behind forever old linear, one-dimensional structures in which we only had to function.

This is particularly true for the working world of tomorrow.

Susanne Gold

Founder & editor of the future and science blog Utopiensammlerin

Futurist, utopian, inventor and social scientist. Seeking utopias and collecting stories. Understands digitalisation as a departure into a new world – and dreams of a better one.

Leave a Reply