7 PM, March 14th I patiently waited for the new Samsung Galaxy S4 to be unveiled. I had actually been eyeing the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 for a while, but unfortunately my plan had not expired and obviously the Samsung Galaxy S4 was going to be the “Next Big Thing”. Unveiled was a phone .5 inches taller than before with new technology such as gesture recognition and eye tracker.
It dawned on me a while later how excessive this technology was. The eye tracking system allows videos to pause when the user looked away from the screen; I guess if I really were too lazy to tap on the screen it would be avery useful tool. The smart hover technology only works .5 mm away from the screen, another useful tool when my fingers are covered in Cheetos powder. Don’t get me wrong, I still think the smartphone is AMAZING, but it feels like technology is debilitating us more and more.
Moore’s law states that technological progress will advance exponentially which means that in the next few years we might have holographic phones or hover boards. Google has already made computer glasses and technology has become so advanced that “robot journalist” can write better articles than a human reporter. Slowly, but surely robots will be taking over people’s jobs and in 90 years, automated machines will replace 70% of today’s occupations, which bring us to the question- should we be worried?
Kevin Kelly, senior reporter, at Wired Magazine imagines a future in which everyone owns their own “workbot” that will heed, without complaint, to every need and command. Although I would love to imagine a world where everyone owned a their own robot, I question how that would really work. Even now, without robots, the economic disparity is significant. There are still people without access to clean drinking water or electricity, so how in the world will they be able to afford their own robot? In the end, only the rich will be able to afford “workbots” which will only worsen the economic gap.
Human productivity is another major concern. With robots preforming simple tasks will humans become even lazier? I admit that if I had a workbot, I would probably be in bed watching TV all the time (don’t judge). If robots can solve everything what will happen to the education system? There would also be no need for genius since IBM Watson is clearly more knowledgeable than all of us. Even skills such as driving will be rendered useless as cars become automated. Is this going too far?
In optimistic outlook we should embrace the rise of robots. They will perform tasks more efficiently, without a need for rest, producing more GDP than ever before. Robots will also perform tasks with uniformity lessening errors in machines such as vehicles. Lastly, the will be able to perform tasks that that are unsafe for human employment due to hazardous materials. Although many jobs will be lost, professionals still maintain that just like the past, when industrialization eliminated many agricultural jobs, news jobs will be created.
Although I am weary about the negative consequences of complete automation, I still welcome progress. If the people in the industrial era said, “enough is enough”, we might still be stuck in an agricultural state. Progress has driven us this far and I anticipate more groundbreaking advancements in the following years.
So what do you think? Should we embrace our robotic overlord or should we call it quits? What do you think the future of human life will be like? Comment Below!
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