Terminator, Eagle Eye, The Matrix…robots always come back to crush the humans whenever they are given too much intelligence or too much feeling…or at least they make a point to enslave all of humanity.
Where do we draw the line? We’ve begun to see ads for Google Voice and Alexa which champion the fact that AI can do anything for you from scheduling appointments to making purchases online.
With companies already there for ‘home monitoring’ or ‘make everything electronically accessible’, such as locking your door, watching your security cameras or using appliances, how far are we willing to let artificial intelligence and tech giants into our minds and homes?
I’d like to bring up a few points regarding the need for tech in our everyday activities, starting with the most obvious argument, privacy. Hopefully, bringing some things to your attention you haven’t thought of.
Let’s say you want to use Alexa to buy a desk, off of Amazon of course, they made Alexa. It seems harmless, Amazon already has your credit card info online, so what’s the difference? The concern should come from the ‘it’s always listening’ argument. Phones are already doing this, that strange feeling where you’re talking about something with friends and the next time you go on a device it’s being advertised to you; that’s because Google is listening.
This may come to a shock to you, but this is how it is these days and it is being normalized. A lot of apps ask for access to your microphone for this reason, which is why I don’t have the Facebook app, because frankly I trust them the least.
If you’re okay with your Amazon AI consistently listening to you and your family in your home like Scarlett Johansson then so be it, I’m sure the government would never acquire that information if necessary (*hard wink*). At this point I have many things through Google and I’d rather not add more to the list of companies that know everything about me.
Normalizing Non-Human Consciousness
The other day I saw an ad for a robotic dog that actually woke someone up from their sleep, to ‘play with’ it. At that point I decided that was the worse product of all time. Assuming we aren’t far off from making robot dogs soft, squishy and loveable, do we really want to venture into replacing real, living things with forms of seemingly awesome tech for ease, or to replace a loved one so that we don’t have to miss them?
In case you missed it, we can already map a human consciousness into a machine, no not just like a Johnny Depp movie, but some have already done this. It seems very scary to think we could one time incorporate robots into our everyday life.
Should we rely on it for the most human things like loved ones, pets or day to day interactions…
Should We Rely so Heavily on Tech in our Everyday Lives?
I’m sure most of us are comfortable with forgetting GPS coordinates and phone numbers, leaving that up to our devices. What else should we forego? What does this do to an economy?
These are conversations we need to have. Amazon releases a lineless grocery store and boom! There goes what, 50 potential jobs? How much further are we willing to go in terms of eliminating human contact? Because it’s already causing problems in other parts of the world; Japan basically just released a virtual girlfriend-err-assistant which will send you texts during the day.
Korean women are majority not interested in marriage while half of the Japanese youth aren’t interested in sex or relationships. It’s almost like looking into the future reading those articles, as you begin to see what long term use of technology results in: lack of relationships and human interaction. When you replace sex with porn, social outings with gaming and relationships with virtual assistants, the rate of marriage, children and relationships/sex starts plummeting at rates Generation Tinder seems destined to move towards.
Less human interaction being bad for the economy is a topic not to be ignored.
It’s already happening here; millennials are having the least sex, making the least money and are staying at home longer. Maybe a valid argument can be made that all three are tied by the economy’s state, or you can use any number of social-justice positions pushed forward, but one hand seems to wash the other and perhaps we need to ask (or re-ask) the now recurring question: is technology bringing us closer together or further apart?