Imagine your home wherein you are controlled by your own IPod. Imagine a classroom that you are controlled by your laptop computer. Imagine a canteen that you are controlled by the vending machine. Indeed, this is a scary vivid picture that we can paint in our mind when the topic of technology and its advancement is on the focus. The popularity of science fiction stories and movies had helped in the formation of irrational fears on the advancement of technology. Science fiction films such as the Matrix and the Terminator had convinced us that the technology that we created which is supposed to be our slave is the one who enslave us.
In this presentation, I am going to try to erase these irrational fears in your heads by citing and analyzing real world facts, findings and researches on the topic of technology and its advancement. Primarily, it is important to define what technology is. Simply said, technology is any tool or method that is created by man to help and assist him in his everyday work to make his or her life easier. This kind of definition is so encompassing that it can manage to accommodate the early advancement of man including the discovery of fire up to our current advancements in space science and genetics.
These advancements of technology with the incredibly fast phase that it has today are those that are feared by many that can enslave the humankind that created it. The question is simple? Is this fear rational or not? It is important to note that even its early days, the invention of technology itself was aimed to help humankind. I would argue that up to now, this is what is still happening. Technology even to its current status and prestige are still aimed to help and assist the humankind rather than dominate it. Take for example the field of robotics.
Robots are aimed to perform tasks and works that are dangerous and hazardous in nature. This includes heavy construction works up to the defusing of bombs and charges which are definitely delicate and complicated. When these jobs are employed by human, a human life is at stake at every second he or she is exposed on the work. With the help of robotic technology, we can perform the same task with the same efficiency without putting the life of a human in danger. Thanks to technology. Genetic technologies and medical science also perform the same function.
Advancement in genetic engineering and medical science had managed to provide its subjects an enhanced inner mechanism that can heal and resist diseases and abnormalities. Formally diseases and conditions that are beyond the control of humans are easily reached with the help of this technology. Again, thanks to technology. Advancement in artificial ‘procreation’ also assists humankind in a very great deal. Former couples that are biologically limited to bear child were given a chance to conceive an offspring.
With the help of technologies developed today, a formerly dead genetic line can be resurrected to continue its existence on the world. Thanks to technology. When examined in a realist and factual perspective, technologies that we have today still coincides with its original goal that was conceived even in our primitive years and that is to help mankind. The fear in technology and its overtake of the dominion in earth was invented and exaggerated by some people that it managed to brought a great deal of inconsistencies and danger to our living.
No one can deny the benefits of technology and to deny the use and development of technology will definitely deny the benefits of being human. From here, I am encouraging each one of my audience to be more vigilant in the ideas feed to us by the media especially on this topic. Let us examine each one of them in a framework that is unbiased and scientific for us to be able to make a right choice and decision. Thank you. With the rate that technology is constantly improving many questions 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.
University/College: University of Arkansas System
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 23 September 2016
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