There is without a shadow of a doubt that we are now living in a time when there is almost nothing we cannot accomplish. The outbreak of high technology all around the world is soaring, and day by day, improvements on what is already highly intelligent devices are being developed. From computers, to cellular phones, to MP3 players, everything has been made accesible to man. Because of this technology, man can bask in his creations and marvel at the genius that he has invented through the years. Half a decade ago, today’s technology wouldn’t have even been deemed as possible.
Yesteryear’s most advanced technological developers probably wouldn’t have even dreamed of the possibilities of what we now have today. But such is the development of the human mind: our intelligence is further developing and increasing, being able to establish new concepts and ideas to be used for our own benefits. Indeed, with this highly advanced technology, we are further establishing ourselves as the dominant species of the planet. For us, we are in charge of our own destinies, and no species of another kind can tell us otherwise.
But one is lead to ponder about the marvels of our own creations. What if the articifial intelligence we created were able to evolve themselves? What if these computers suddenly became self-aware, and starts acknowledging its own existence? It is true that we are the one who controls the technology, but what if the technology were able to control itself? If it became self-aware, what if, all of a sudden, it starts to refuse to follow its human creators? And if not the computers themselves, what if one person controlling these technologies started using them for their own ulterior motives?
With our main defenses relying on technological advances, what if these advances were suddenly used against us? Would the humans still be able to lay its claim as the rulers of the earth when a something else establishes themselves as more intelligent and dominant? Such is the fear that some of us have: the fear of having our own technology turned against us. We fear the idea that perhaps someday, these computers that we have in our homes would become intelligent enough to start recognizing its own existence.
In the early nineties, technophobia became rampant among the adults, although this fear was largely based on the misconceptions on computers being too overly complicated. Still, for some people, the advancements in technology is reason for them to be cautious about our own inventions. Creating Technopobia in Movies Since early in the 1980s, there have been a string of movies depicting highly advanced technology being used woefully and without any regard towards others. These movies often show state-of-the-art gadgets or creations, which are used against the protagonists to further cause ruin and devastation.
Oftentimes these gadgets are used for the wrong reasons, and with its infinite possibilities, it creates the fear that maybe what we have created may not be totally beneficial to us, and could possibly create more harm than help in the long run. Perhaps the most popular among the movies that came out during the eighties that depicted this theme was the 1984 movie Terminator, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger as a human cyborg sent back in time. In the future, Skynet, a computer system fights a losing war against the humans who built it, and who it nearly exterminated.
Just before being destroyed, Skynet sends a Terminator back in time to kill Sarah, the mother to be of John Connor, the Leader of the human resistance. The terminator can pass for human, is nearly indestructible, and has only one mission: killing Sarah Connor. One soldier is sent back to protect her from the killing machine. He must find Sarah before the Terminator can carry out it’s mission (MGM. com). This movie portrays Skynet as a super computer, one that is capable to making decisions for itself. The super computer becomes self-aware, and recognizes the human race as a threat to its existence.
It therefore wages a war against all of mankind, which almost led to the anniliation of the entire planet. In 1998, the movie ‘Enemy of the State’ provided a different insight on abusing highly advanced technology. Robert Dean, the main character of the story, is just a successful and gutsy labor lawyer when he runs into an old college friend who was a big hurry. Unknown to him, that friend secretly drops a disc and viewer containing footage of a political assassination overseen by the senior advisor to the National Security Agency.
Unfortunately, that politician soon learns what Dean has in his possession and secretly uses the vast resources of the NSA to find, investigate and stop him before he goes public. Soon, Dean finds himself on the run, with his assests frozen, his loved ones watched and actively hunted by NSA agents using all the survellience technology they have available. Not knowing what is going, Dean must stay one step ahead while trying to figure out the cause of this mess (Yahoo! Movies).
This movie dwells on the idea of government surveillance and the invasion of our personal privacy by the government. We see from the movie that these technological advances could be easily used against us, and just as it could make our lives easier, it could also make it extremely difficult. We also find that if technology were to be used the wrong way, then those in power could have a commanding control over our very lives. Another movie that depicted computers going against humans was the highly acclaimed ‘The Matrix’. Thomas A.
Anderson is a man living two lives: by day he is an average computer programmer and by night a malevolent hacker known as Neo. Neo has always questioned his reality but the truth is far beyond his imagination. Neo finds himself targeted by the police when he is contacted by Morpheus, a legendary computer hacker branded a terrorist by the government. Morpheus awakens Neo to the real world, a ravaged wasteland where most of humanity have been captured by a race of machines which live off of their body heat and imprison their minds within an artificial reality known as the Matrix.
As a rebel against the machines, Neo must return to the Matrix and confront the agents, super powerful computer programs devoted to snuffing out Neo and the entire human rebellion (Whatisthematrix. com). The movie is almost identical to the concept of the Terminator, in which there is a computer mind that becomes self-aware of its own existence. Knowing that it has the power of technology, it sees the human race as disposable, and decides to take over and control the entire world. When Neo met Morpheus, he was awakened to the fact that they were being used by the computer systems as mere batteries to continue sustaining their own power.
And it was up to them to reawaken the rest of the world from this nightmare that is the Matrix. The Fear of Control What these three films had in common was theme of technology taking over the human lives. The films shared similar highly advanced technology that in one way was very helpful, but at the other end caused problems that were catastrophic. This is what we are afraid of; that maybe perhaps at some point, our own creations would backfire on us and cause a lot of harm towards society, and it would perhaps be unstoppable when it happens.
Perhaps what motivates the persistence of these kinds of themes is the fact that we all know that this fantasy that they try to present could and might become possible in the future. Fifty or so years ago, our technology today wasn’t even thought of as possible. A lot of things are being developed today that our predescessors couldn’t have possibly dreamed of back in the day. Nowadays, the sky is the limit. The human race is making every dream come to life, developing newer and better technology every single day.
So deep inside, we know that this threat of computers taking over is not a long shot. We see that perhaps someday, artificial intelligence would become this advanced as to be self-aware. And if this happens, what’s gonna stop them from taking over the world and eliminating the human race? In terms of humans going against fellow humans using technology, we ourselves could be comparable to this technology. Donna Haraway mentions how we are like the cyborgs, which are both part machine and part organism. She further states: In short, we are cyborgs.
The cyborg is our ontology; it gives us our politics. The cyborg is a condensed image of both imagination and material reality, the two joined centres structuring any possibility of historical transformation. In the traditions of “Western” science and politics—the tradition of racist, male- dominant capitalism; the tradition of progress; the tradition of the appropriation of nature as resource for the productions of culture; the tradition of reproduction of the self from the reflections of the other—the relation between organism and machine has been a border war (Harraway, 516).
With the peer-to-perr capabilities of networked computer communication today, it is likely to have a major impact on both the film and music business. Depending on how this technology is used, it could have either a postive or negative effect on these industries. Everything could be made easier with technology, films and music could be produced with relative ease, and everything to be made more accesible. On the other hand, changing the sytems could mean doing things a lot different, which could cause a chain reaction among those who are involved.
Business could be done more efficiently, but it could leave people out of jobs. Human work might be replaced by much more efficient computers doing their jobs, and that could have an effect on the economy of the country. Looking back, technology has certainly come along way since back in the old days, when all of this conveniences didn’t exist. It is easy to picture people being intimidated by these advancements, due to its infinite potential. Depending on how it is used, it could be very good for all of us, or it could be catastrophic to all.
Only time will tell whether these technological improvements would come back to haunt us in the long run. Works Cited Enemy of the State. Yahoo! Movies. Retrieved 3 June 2008 from http://movies. yahoo. com/shop? d=hv&cf=info&id=1800021531 Haraway, Donna. “A Cyborg Manifesto. ” The New Media Reader (1985). pp. 515-541. The Matrix Trilogy. Whatisthematrix. com. Retrieved 3 June 2008 from http://whatisthematrix. warnerbros. com/ The Terminator. MGM. com. Retrieved 3 June 2008 from http://www. mgm. com/title_title. php? title_star=TERMINAT
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