The plot to many sci-fi films: Technology will doom us all. It’s a great theme for a film, but also a very real danger in our near future.
We, as a modern people, use technology very often. As I write this, for example, I’m using a laptop to type while listening to music on my phone. As we study for those last few test this month, I’m certain we all check our phones way more often than a healthy person should. The fact of the matter is that we are all becoming too dependent on technology.
Can you even remember the last time you had a decent conversation without pulling your phone out to at least to check your notifications? Despite connecting with the entire world, modern tech has impaired our ability to communicate with the person next to you. And that’s only the beginning.
Are you worried that a robot will steal your job? Probably not, but for some, that is very real concern. Take taxis and other driving services for example; companies are actively trying to develop self-driving cars for the purpose of assuming those roles. And if that sounds like more science fiction to you, know that Jaguar, Cadillac, Volvo, and Google are all developing self-driving cars set to be released in the next couple of years, and Tesla already has cars with self-driving capabilities on the road. It is an incredible development in technology, but it’s going to leave a lot of people out of work.
So technology has crippled our social skills and is slowly making the human workforce irrelevant, but surely it doesn’t get any worse than that right? If only. Technology has done so much for us as a society; it has taken us to the moon, to the bottom of the Mariana Trench and allowed us to access the entirety of human knowledge via a pocket-size bit of metal. But what are we going to do when it asks for something in return?
Self-aware artificial intelligence. Now that is truly the stuff of science fiction. But for how much longer?
Social media is already booming about A.I. Sophia, who held an ongoing conversation with a 60 Minutes reporter. Our scientific progress is accelerating faster than we ever thought possible, so who is to say that A.I. is really that far off–the same people who said that humans will never fly, never go to space or never set foot on the moon?
How is it unreasonable to say that an A.I. like Skynet, HAL, or Ultron will exist in 20 or 30 years?
Technology is incredibly great. However, we need to remember that “great” does not necessarily mean “good.”