31 Aug Technology vs. People
Are We Just Another Cog in the Machine
New technologies are instituted daily, and the young are ready to incorporate them instantly. New phones, apps, and games, seem to appear overnight, and keeping up with them can be difficult.
Not only do we rely on technology for the fun stuff, but more and more smart machines are taking over menial and sometimes difficult tasks for us. From vacuuming the floor to planning and harvesting rice, we rely more on technology than we ever have before.
But are we becoming lost in technology? What effect does it have on us? Are we losing our humanity by relying on machines, and how can we keep from being just a cog in the machine?
Not so long ago, we looked forward to opening a letter from a loved one. Letters that would sometimes go into great detail about how they were, their family, and their lives. These were letters from people we knew or were related to. Now, the bulk of our correspondence is through e-mail or social media, usually, with people, we only know online. If we are fortunate, we may hear their voice or see their face on a Zoom call, but connection, human connection, is no longer necessary. In some cases, it’s not even viable.
Our world has grown. The days of sending your kids outside and whistling for them to come home don’t exist anymore. They have cell phones, and most adults can track their whereabouts. That’s if they even bother going outside.
We wake up in the morning and look at our devices. We go to bed at night falling asleep with our devices. We are lost in technology all day long, and this is an issue.
Employers need to produce goods and services to stay in business. Human workers with what some may consider as an addiction to their tech, are a liability. Not only are they often less productive, but the incidents of workplace accidents have increased with people getting less sleep or paying less attention.
Companies are looking towards technology to replace people when it’s more cost-effective, time efficient, and provides them with a better bottom line. Robotics is being used more in manufacturing to take over either repetitive tasks or intricate ones. Software programs for everything from designing a cell phone holder to planning a residential development are utilized to accurately design without paper, pencil, and a drawing board. Even the entertainment industry relies not on colorists, stunt workers, or orchestras to produce animation, movies, and music, but on computer programs to create instead.
Soon the only people working will be those who can feed the machines. Making humankind subservient and making Skynet and the Matrix more fact than fiction.
The world around us is amazing. We have become such a global society that we forget about what’s right outside our doors.
Technology isn’t all bad. Those same robots that can put together a flywheel for an automobile can be programmed for surgeries where a shaky hand isn’t an option. Those same programs that design a toy figurine can also design a model of an artificial heart, and those same technologies that are used to create a movie without people can also give a voice to someone who no longer has one.
In the latest incarnation of Top Gun, Top Gun: Maverick, Val Kilmer’s “Iceman” was given a voice. “Sonic co-founder and CEO John Flynn said they “generated more than 40 different voice models and selected the best, highest-quality, most expressive one” for Kilmer.” Kilmer who had previously suffered from throat cancer was unable to speak the words himself, but AI, allowed us to see his character in the movie, and hear his voice as if he was speaking the words.
While technology is evolving faster than we can keep up with at times, it can be hard to see the forest through the trees. But maybe that’s the point.
Technology can give us more time to enjoy the world around us, our families, our homes, and our friends. It can give us the ability to stay connected, through any crisis. Technology provides us with the tools to fix the problems the world faces, as well as the problems we face as individuals.
Adapting, and updating ourselves is the key to staying relevant. After all, we’re only human.