With the rate that technology is constantly improving many question the state of humans in the future when technology might possibly overtake human development. However, those who believe that the future is a place where humans will be enslaved by technology and man will no longer be enjoying the liberties now enjoyed might be in for a surprise because technology is currently designed to assist humans and improve the human quality of life.
Humans and technology are set to become partners in the future because man created technology for his advancement and advantage, technology was designed to support human existence and technology was designed to improve life. The first programmable computer was invented in 1938 which was followed by the development of many other types of computers through the years. (ComputerHope) For many, this was the beginning of technology; but the fact remains that technology is the use of existing materials to improve or enhance the performance of a particular task.
So based on this concept of technology, then such a concept existed as early as the time that man discovered the use of fire or when the Chinese first developed the wheel. Technology has been around for ages and for all of these instances its objective was to make the performance of a task easier. This means that the task performed is done by a human and the addition of technology simply makes the task performed by the said human much is easier to do. Technology was never intended to replace humans because it is there to exist side by side with its creator to assist in and to enhance the performance of a task.
On this premise, it is easy to gather evidence that in fact, in the future, humans and technology are set to become partners to ensure the efficient and effective delivery of many things from services to products, and to the more mundane conveniences in life. One proof that humans and technology are most likely to become mutual partners in the future is the fact that technology is created for the advancement or advantage of man. Robotics is one of the aspects of technology that proves this particular point.
There are suppositions that “the accelerating pace of technological change allows us to build machines like cyborgs (machine-enhanced humans like the Six Million Dollar Man), androids (human-robot hybrids like Data in Star Trek) and other combinations beyond what we can even imagine. ” (Carnett) These innovations in robotics are set to blur the distinction between man and machine, making man perform in ways that are beyond what one can conceive. With robotics man will be able to raise a two hundred pound weight as easily as a forklift. Mike Harden once commented that, “in robotics, I want to do it.
It’s because I’m a magically different person in robotics. ” (2010) Such a comment simply shows how this kind of technology can improve even the way humans view themselves in the context of technology – that man is empowered by technology and technology exists merely as a means of improving what man is able to normally do. Robotics is the best evidence that technology simply exists to make tasks easier for humans. This fact is validated by current situations where “Robots already perform many [dangerous] functions, from making cars to defusing bombs or firing missiles. (Singer and Sagan)
These tasks can be lethal to humans and with the purpose of keeping humans away from risky situations, robots are utilized. Which brings the discussion to the second proof that in the future humans and technology are bound to become mutual partners – the technological purpose of human life support. Technology is designed to support human existence which is why it cannot be perceived as something that will ultimately destroy and/or cause the extinction of the human race.
Medicine is the field of science where technology ultimately plays a role in supporting the existence of human life. For instance, “Dr. Howard W. Jones Jr. , the surgeon, along with his wife, Dr. Georgeanna Seegar Jones, helped to create the first test tube baby born in the United States” (Epstein) These scientists insist that human reproduction is not as efficient as it would first seem to be so technology needs to assist humans in the matter of procreation. Epstein) This basically shows the purpose of such a controversial technological advancement as ‘in vitro fertilization’ is not to smite the laws of nature or to cause the extinction of the human race but on the contrary, to support such existence so that reproduction will be more efficient when compared to natural reproduction which can be affected by other, more risky influences and may result to abnormal conception or childbirth.
Even scientists who are involved in such questionable technological advances like cloning accept and concede to the belief that even these kinds of scientific procedures are intended for the betterment of future generations, hence, Dr. Margaret McLean (2010) asserts that, “The question is not whether we ought to ban or applaud cloning but why would we choose to go forward and whether our choices bode well or ill for present and future children and our relationships with them. (Sterns) This basically shows how scientists themselves agree to the role of technology in terms of ensuring and supporting the existence of the human race.
This particular belief is connected to how technology is able to improve and enhance the quality of life of human beings. From the ordinary toaster to the microwave oven to the more complex capabilities of the newest models of cellular phones intended for mobile communication, the future of technology is quite clear to be a future where humans will most likely live better lives because of how innovations can make life easier and more convenient.
However, these are merely the superficial and tangible representations of such a future; other, more complex studies and more world-shattering innovations are on their way. One such innovation can be found in genetics. The most amazing developments in this field can be seen in the development of gene therapy and genetic engineering. “Gene therapy has very real potential for enhancing human health” (Adams) because it addresses the flaws in human genes and corrects these flaws thereby remedying whatever physical or physiological problems are caused by that particular damaged gene.
Considering this capability of gene therapy, then it is not strange if one day a diabetic is able to eat as much sugar as he/she wants to or a hypertensive is able to smoke as much as he/she wants. These effects are the perceived effects of gene therapy where the gene that causes the illness or the ailment is corrected and reintroduced into the human body. Another implication of genetics is in agriculture where food can be genetically engineered resulting in bigger tomatoes, cholesterol-free swine, and eggs or nuts that do not have any allergens!
Therefore, “Plant science and plant gene technology will be critical activities of the nation’s response to many challenges it faces in the coming decades” (AAS) These challenges include the resolution of hunger, the provision of healthier food alternatives, and the sustainability of food stores for all the people in the world. Obviously, as is illustrated in these examples, technology is set to make the lives of humans more convenient. The standard of living for humans will increase with technology taking headway into the future.
This particular aspect of technology is hard evidence that in the future, technology will be a partner of human beings in making the world a better place to live in. The fallacy of machines dominating humans in the future and the development of super-intelligences that will overtake human intelligence is, at this point, science fiction, because as circumstances show, technology is doing nothing nowadays but assisting humans and making life easier.
The image of humans being chained by robots and made to do their bidding or used as fodder for their cogs and screws is an image that will hopefully remain in literature as the future of technology is bright in the context of how it can assist humans and improve and enhance human life. Partnership means having mutual benefit not merely focusing on the benefits of one party and in the case of technology, the benefits are both ways.
The future is when humans will get as much from technology as technology from humans because without humans, technology will remain static and will no longer move onward in development. Evidence shows that as technology moves further away from the discovery of fire and the modeling of the wheel humans are set to enjoy the future with technology as an indispensable partner.
Recent advancements in various fields such as robotics, genetics, medicine, and other fields of science have showed that technology will most likely be a partner to humans in the future because technology serves to make human life more convenient, it exists to support human existence, and it is designed to improve the human quality of life. Technology, while seemingly threatening to some, is in fact moving toward a fruitful and productive partnership with the human race not far into the twentieth century.
Courtney from Study Moose
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