“This is perhaps the most beautiful time in human history; it is really pregnant with all kinds of creative possibilities made possible by science and technology which now constitute the slave of man – if man is not enslaved by it.” Jonas Salk
“I like my new telephone, my computer works just fine, my calculator is perfect, but Lord, I miss my mind! “Author Unknown
Some people worry that artificial intelligence will make us feel inferior, but then, anybody in his right mind should have an inferiority complex every time he looks at a flower.” Alan C. Kay
The other day someone was mentioning how little we actually talk to one another and the listening time was even less. The more I thought about it the more I admitted we were so guilty. Most of us send quick notes through text messaging or e-mails. We leave out the flowery words and view them as just fillers. Never do we imagine those fillers are the emotional responses we don’t appear to use anymore. Of course all of the technology gadgets we use tend to fill our time and attention. It leaves most people little time to interact with anyone. No wonder kids and adults are restless at school work or in each other’s company. We are used to a fast paced style and response. We want meat and potatoes without the soupy emotional stuff.
Now I wonder where it leaves us. If we are surrendering our feelings and allow our words to stand alone, how will they survive? Really we are appearing to be more robotic than human. It is as if we have given up humanity for increased engagement with technology. It doesn’t allow for much free time. Cell phones are never ignored and fit bits are worn to work and bed. We are trapped and can’t escape. In the meantime our kids want a simple thoughtful answer to a question that might render us confused and putting them off for a later time. We don’t have but a few minutes and our device needs the attention not our five year old child.
If this sounds familiar perhaps it is time to put the device down and away and see your world for real. Your child is concrete and contains not all brains and will power but the ability to love and care for others. A machine will do as it is told whereas a person will allow feelings to enter into decisions. We can’t help that. Our senses bring another dimension to everything we are involved in. If we give up our human side and continue focusing only on our machines I fear we will lose the capacity to interact in a humane way with other people.
Our devices change the screen quickly and show us an array of colors and photos. Of course kids must get bored with their teachers who don’t move so fast and can’t toss out information so quickly nor change their movements. Their deliverance might be perceived as boring and so the class is lost. One can see why the caring human teacher is becoming obsolete because we don’t have time for those silly emotions. We want instant advice and knowledge without the frills. We are in a hurry and time is relevant. How sad it will be if the only teachers we end up providing will be machines.
Can we not see a problem here? There is no challenge of thought in decisions being made. The human repercussions are being ignored. Yes our kids may be more knowledgeable about everything and they might have more friends as well as enemies but will they be able to stand up and make a moral decision? Perhaps logically and knowledgably they might decide the humans have become the obsolete unnecessary creatures walking the earth. Having no emotional attachments will allow them to push the button on off for all humanity. Somehow that is not an appealing world to me.
I find that we are not making enough time for the kids or for the important adults in our sphere. At one time people finished up the technical work so that they could get home and interact with the family. Now people finish up the technical work so that they can interact with machines in their free time. I know I wait for others to finish their interactions and find the time to converse with me. I have lost to many opponents but to lose to a machine is sad.
Sharing what it is we are reading about is not helpful. Understanding the importance of life is vital. As complicated as machines are to make, they are easier than reproducing one human being animal or plant. Thoughts freely expressed can’t be repeated without understanding the meaning behind them. If we stop looking for the extra meanings in our words and actions we will end up being controlled by our devices. Has the perceived knowledge gain from a machine become more enticing than the mischievous smile or hidden laughter of a child? Can all the lengthy understanding hold up to one kind loving word that changes our attitude and day?
We have so much power in all that we can say and do in the course of a day. What machine has the ability to change someone’s mind with just a look? It seems we must place a warning sign on the technological devices that states, one might become addicted and lose the ability to interact in normal human fashion. One might lose large quantities of time without knowing. One might forget to watch their kids at a park and protect them from danger due to the attraction of their small device. One might even lose control of their car while trying to drive while reading a message, and kids might lose a lot of hugs and kisses because parents are too busy on the computer or cell phone.
I wish I could say this is an exaggeration but unfortunately it isn’t. When I recently heard of someone being killed by a fall while texting I felt so sad. It is similar to a person who is never satisfied and keeps getting more and more. They can’t let the message wait but instead make those they are with wait. Trouble is they have no idea how much time others have been waiting for them. People wait because they care and value your time. Do your feel the same? I am not down on technology but I do wish we could find our humanity and empathy. As Einstein said in so many words, “It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity.”
Technology: “the knack of so arranging the world that we don’t have to experience it.” ~Max Frisch
it keeps up, man will atrophy all his limbs but the push-button finger. ~Frank Lloyd Wright