The Distinction Between Man and Machine
The Distinction Between Man and Machine
The comparison between man and machine has always been controversial, whether in area of work or entertainment. A common question, “How different are they from us?” We would used to say looks, movements and thoughts are what would differentiate us from them. As technology advances, such differences are less likely to exist, further blurring the distinction between them and man. However, no matter how machines become exact replica of man, it always lack that human touch that we possess. Overall, I would agree that the distinction between man and machine is being blurred. Some would argue that man naturally would have the creativity and innovation, which machines would not have. It is indeed true that man do possess such creativity, but creativity needs to be expressed to be visible, and not all are able to do so. In fact, most would follow orders from their bosses and finish their work in a systematic manner, which is similar to the way machines function.
In addition, some would add on that machines lack the human touch that humans have, which include feelings like love, compassion and empathy. Although it is true that machines do not have such feelings, it is not necessarily true that we humans possess such feelings. In the past, no doubt we are more compassionate and sympathetic. However, with the increase in pace of society and the advent of smart gadgets, man not only work longer hours, but also become cold and unfeeling to others. Their breaks during working hours become maintenance and repair for machines. Their faces that used be cheery and happy has become emotionless, making them no different from machines. Moreover, shootings and killings at Sandy Hook would not have occurred if man had feelings for others.
Thus, not fully embracing the use of creativity and being indifferent to others has blurred the distinction between man and machine. I would agree that the distinction between man and machine is being blurred because it is indeed true that machines can pass off as a human as long as it is able to project a “human image”. With such ability to do so, people would tend to forget the distinction between them. Hatsune Miku, a famous holographic pop star in Japan is an example. Her image or hologram is generated by a machine. Although she may be fake, she has managed to gain many fans. Fans who would literally fill up her music concerts, and fans who would craze wildly after her as she sings, as though she is real.
Another example would be chatbots. Chatbots are machines that have been programmed to communicate with new members of their websites to make them feel more welcomed. They can literally pass off as real humans with a human-like profile picture because the way they are programmed to communicate with the other party is exactly like a human. Hence, the distinction between man and machine has not been as clear as before. I would agree that the distinction between man and machine is not clear because machines start to play a part in man’s life and at times, remain unnoticeable.
In the medical industry, artificial limbs have been implanted into people who have lost their legs during war or in an accident to help them walk again. Pacemakers are also a form of machinery that is commonly used in the medical industry to control abnormal heart rhythms and enable him to resume an active lifestyle. In addition, a team from Harvard University has also created what it calls “cyborg” tissue, which is half-man, half-machine. All these blur the distinction between man and machine because a man with mechanic body parts can be considered either a man because of his feelings, or a machine because of its mechanic body parts.
University/College: University of California
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 22 November 2016
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