While transitioning to an intelligent life, don't forget the Environment of Things
Life habits have been decisive in structuring our ability to think, affecting how we perceive and manipulate the environment. Over the last thirteen thousand years of evolutionary history, we went from nomadic hunter-gatherers to populate dense agricultural, industrial and urban settlements by altering the earth’s lithosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, and atmosphere [1,2].
The development of tools during this process has been fundamental both to perform tasks as to acquire new life habits, new needs and new ways of thinking . Industrial development has allowed us to move from a predominantly agricultural way of life (≈ 1840) to agglomerate more than 54% of a population over 7,000 million inhabitants in urban areas .
The world's growing urban population has pushed the fragility of its surroundings towards environmental, economic and public health catastrophes. There is an increasing awareness of the global economy's dependence on environmental sustainability with special concern about water balance, climate and the cycling of chemical elements. It is increasingly common to associate "quality of life" to sustainable energy, infrastructure and transportation .
Although scientific, political and social debate has been surrounding global climate change during the last decades, global decision makers now are playing their cards on the fourth industrial revolution, driven by the development of artificial intelligence (IA). Life will change with intelligent automation surrounding us, simplifying tasks in our workplaces, in our homes and even in traditionally "disconnected" places from the world.
From task automation to decision-making automation in all human contexts, these changes will affect the way humans communicate, perceive and interact with their surrounding environment .
There is an increasingly common use of devices with the ability to track and share data through remote networks. Third parties can access this data, not without the risk of invading privacy and increasing human vulnerability to authoritarianism in some political contexts . This phenomenon could generate strong repercussions on human behavior patterns.
Today many ask to what extent functions should be delegated in devices with artificial intelligence. But, what about this question:
Will we lose the perception of our surroundings through this process?
While transitioning to an intelligent life, don't forget the Environment of Things.
 Ripple, W. J., Wolf, C., Newsome, T. M., Galetti, M, Alamgir, M., Crist, E., Mahmoud, M. I., Laurance, W. F., 15,364 scientist signatories from 184 countries; 2017. World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity: A Second Notice, BioScience, bix125, https://doi.org/10.1093/biosci/bix125
 Vitousek, P. M., Mooney, H. A., Lubchenco, J., & Melillo, J. M. 1997. Human domination of Earth's ecosystems. Science, 277(5325), 494-499.
 Diamond, J. M., & Ordunio, D. 2011. Guns, germs, and steel. Books on Tape. Orwell, G. 1949. 1984. New York: New American Library.
 United Nations, 2014. Concise Report on the World Population Situation in 2014. UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs Population Division. ST/ESA/SER.A/354. 30 pp. Link: http://www.un.org/en/development/desa/population/publications/
 Bartlett, A. A. 1994. Reflections on sustainability, population growth, and the environment. Population & Environment, 16(1): 5-35.
 Murphy, W. 2016. Transitioning to the Intelligent Automation Age.
 Laszlo, E. 1984. Cybernetics in an evolving social system. Kybernetes, 13(3), 141-145. Link: https://doi.org/10.1108/eb005684
Author - Juan C. Arias Jimenez
"Interested in the relationship between human development and the environment, especially with regard to its effecton terrestrial ecosystems, from a statistical, economic and ecological point of view".