Our society is greatly influenced by technology, to the extent of being controlled by it. Almost anyone would agree with this. Technology, which literally means “the “science of craft,” is the accumulation of skills, techniques, methodologies, and processes employed to create products or services or to accomplish goals like scientific research. Technology can be integrated into machines, allowing their use by anyone, even without a thorough understanding of their internal functioning.
The growth of technology is closely tied to the development of knowledge and scientific research. Over the past 50 years, due to the exponential growth of the power of computers and microchip production, the world has seen unprecedented technological innovation and advancement in almost every area of human endeavor, from transport and health to education and industrial production.
Technology in Everyday Life
It’s auto technology driving the current hybrid and electric vehicles and is expected to drive the future driverless cars, hover-taxis, and space cabs. Technology is the engine behind the mobile phones that are now at the fingertips of the world’s most poor. Technology is the basis for hybrid seeds resistant to harsh climate conditions and challenging terrain, resulting in higher yields in less time. The latest advancement in medical technology allows remote surgery, minimally invasive surgical procedures, and life-saving treatments with stem cell transplants. Technology allows spacecraft to orbit distant planets and asteroids and enables us to see new worlds. Technology breaks apart atoms, unveiling their secrets. It also gives us the means to utilize them to produce energy, quantum data storage, and games that simulate reality.
Technological Development: Good or Bad?
Some strongly oppose technology and believe it to be the end of humanity. They refer to those who are aversed to technology as ‘techies’ or ‘geeks.’ On the other hand, tech enthusiasts call these individuals Luddites which is a derogatory term to describe someone opposed to automation, industrialization, computerization, or new technology generally.
Do you believe this? Does technology really have a negative impact disguised as the source of blessing? There is a consensus that merging with biotechnology AI could be the most significant technological advancement ever. You can explore this topic additionally on Studycrumb.
When Technologies Converge
Over the past 50 years, two particular areas have seen faster growth than others, fueled by research and advancements in computing power: artificial intelligence and biotechnology. Numerous benefits have been derived from both for humans as a whole, like self-driving vehicles which can drastically reduce the number of deaths caused by road accidents, and robotic surgery that allows precision, high-efficiency, and precise surgical procedures.
Yet, visionaries such as Yuval Noah Harari, the author of the bestsellers Homo sapiens and Deus, have been warning that the combination between biotechnology and AI will unpredictably and irreversibly alter the quality of life for humans and the challenges it poses in the coming decades. One good example can be seen in the face recognition software that’s currently integrated into all photo management software. The AI included in the program can be capable of seeing faces in every photo and recognizing the individual’s name.
The technology has been developed such that photo apps are able to recognize dogs, cats, mountains, beaches, and even cars. Computers that have AI have already been able to identify human emotions by observing the expressions on people’s faces and body movements. Certain robots can replicate human emotions. This is referred to as affective computing or artificial emotional intelligence. It is the research and development of machines and systems that can detect, interpret, process, and replicate human emotion.
When Computers Become Human-Like
The ability to detect human emotions is merely an eminent step from being able to predict human emotions. For instance, if an electronic device connected to a video camera was able to determine which items a buyer has shown greater interest in or those they are most eager to purchase, various strategies could be used to convince them to buy the product.
The apologists are concerned that computers that can understand and anticipate human needs and needs by studying their iris patterns and their micro-expressions can be programmed to manipulate and exploit them.
Machines that Perform Human Work
One of the most enduring fears of Luddites is that computers would deprive humans of their livelihoods by making their jobs redundant and executing them faster and at a lower cost. In reality, precisely the opposite has occurred. Since computers started replacing repetitive and mechanical human tasks, various new opportunities for workers have been created that require the ability to think and analyze and judgment or human interpersonal abilities. An excellent example is the growing number of call centers.
When drones were first invented, there was a fear that pilots could soon become redundant. However, very few people realize that it takes nearly 30 pilots to fly a drone for military use and 50 people to study and understand the information streamed back through the drone.
The US army is suffering from a severe shortage of drone pilots who are of the highest quality; anyone who masters this skill will be able to get an opportunity. However, an expert in social science warns about the fact that in 10 years’ time, it is almost certain that computers will control drones, and humans will become obsolete. Also, it is inevitable that completely new skill requirements could be uncovered by the advancement of technology and will require the development of new talent.
The development of technology is the product of our human creativity and the result of our evolutionary heritage. We’re not as strong as the tigers or gorillas, and neither are we fast like hawks and cheetahs; however, our brains and thinking abilities have provided us with the best advantage over any other species in the world. Technology can be either intrinsically beneficial or harmful, and it is the way we use it that determines its value. The past has taught us that technology could also be employed to build a nuke that can kill millions or create electricity to light up millions of homes.