Video Killed the Radio Star; Will Robots Kill our Way of Life?

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.

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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?

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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!

Read more about automation:

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2012/12/will-robots-take-over-our-economy.html

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7 thoughts on “Video Killed the Radio Star; Will Robots Kill our Way of Life?

  1. I’ve also tried the s4, and I deeply agree that the new features like “the Eye Track” is too excessive. still I think we should embrace the growth of technology, but there should be a limit – the technology is made to facilitate human, not replace.

  2. I too am weary of the advancements in technology resulting in a lazier human race, the loss of contemporary job opportunities, and a widening gap between the rich and poor. I also agree with your sentiment that technology is the key to progress. I believe we should welcome new advancements in technology that do in fact enhance human life, and we should exercise caution when implementing technologies that may cause mankind to regress from productivity. I think this will be the true test of mankind in the coming years because the line between progress and regress is very gray. Deciphering the potential consequences of new technologies will be difficult but necessary if we plan to use technology to enhance human life for all and not just one economic class of human beings.

  3. It is interesting how people have been socialized to believe that continual progress is a good thing. While I support the efficiency new technology promotes in every day life, I can’t help but ask the question is this how society is suppose to be? Or, hundreds of years from now, will people look back on our civilization and laugh at how technology crazy we have become? I guess that is the thing about technological advances, only time will tell whether or not the impacts of such improvements will be positive or negative. I agree with Taylor that how society handles advancing technology today is crucial for its success tomorrow. I also think she brings up a good point: we want technology to enhance human life, not replace it. Society must learn, hopefully with not much trial and error, how to walk this delicate line.

  4. Although I usually support the advancing of technology, there has to be a line. The idea of robots being produced to carry out our daily tasks worries me. I can’t help but think of the movie I-Robot when these robots will eventually try to take over the world. Creating robots to do things for humans is the epitome of “having someone do work work for us” outsourcing/insourcing. I agree that robots with these functions will only make humans lazier. If robots do all of our work for us, what are we supposed to do? Now I think of the movie Wall-E. Are we looking at a future of personal hovercrafts, living in space due to technological waste and a life of dangerous obesity? I think the boundary of new technology needs to be defined otherwise we may not have any say or control in our future whatsoever.

  5. I completely agree with the points you put in the post. When I learned about the release of the new S4 and its numerous new features, I thought who really needs this stuff? When I got the iPhone 4S I thought Siri was so cool, but now I cannot even remember the last time I have actually used it. I am a little bit fearful of the future of technology because as computers become smarter than us and do our jobs better than us, what are we left to do? Will we become a society of lazy individuals who are completely dependent on technology? Or will we remain productive in the face of this new technology? I personally could not image sitting around all day while technology did everything.

  6. The thought of robots taking over the common tasks of humans is not a comforting concept to think of. I agree that with the increase in use of robots for day-to-day activities would cause an increase in laziness amongst the population. By having technology aid people with completing acts for them, it will cause a decrease in the productivity of the next generation. Although I am critical of the introduction of robots into every day life, I do support the advancement in the knowledge of technology in order to create things no one ever imagined to exist 20 years ago. But in my opinion, there needs to be a limit to these advances. Although some may believe that stopping the progress of innovation with technology will set society back, I do believe that the world does need to say “enough is enough” at some point.

  7. Nice post! It has obviously spurred some interesting debate.Your post really speaks to the changing way of the world. As you’ve seen with the outsourcing discussion, the kinds of jobs that are needed in today’s world are changing. Lower level jobs can be outsourced, or to your point, taken over by robots. Therefore, though this is a scary prospect, we have to keep up with the changing times and remember that there are many things that robots cannot do. And again, to your point, the entire world is not up to speed. There are many developing countries who still could really benefit from technological advancements.

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