The age of abundance makes us believe in the power of technology to solve all of the humans’ problems. Curing diseases using nanobots, preparing cellular regeneration to stop the aging process or modifying the genes of the crops to cultivate the food to feed everyone on the planet; these advancements make us trust almost blindly in technology as our best tool to enhance humanity.
However, this overconfidence in technology as “the savior” could also be our perdition, creating several problems:
- Addiction: We can have a glimpse of the future by looking at the rehabilitation centers for video game players in Korea. They have to pass through a psychological torturing process similar to the one suffered by the main character of the “Clockwork Orange” movie. Their dedication on the virtual reality made them lose their own sense of reality and life itself.
- Influence and control by the corporations: The data is offering to the corporation’s new means to exert influence on the consumer and change its habits and necessities. Our excessive dependence on our technological devices could also be negative because our “free will” would not be as free as we thought. It could be a product of science and marketing applied and does not always align with what we truly want. The most recent example is Facebook’s “Celebrate pride” tool, which right after the Supreme Court made same-sex marriage legal in the USA. They promoted a filter for Facebook users to show their support. With this information on how people reacted, they could understand our behavior patterns and then use this information on how to change people’s minds.
- Social interaction: With more interaction but less physical contact, the new generations are changing their paradigms. Babies and kids in their young age need physical contact to fully develop their brains, emotions, and skills. Mobile devices bring new skills but also are affecting the most basic social skills such as eye-to-eye contact.
Elon Musk’s and Stephen Hawking are worried with the possible cataclysm that could be produced by Artificial Intelligence evolution in the next few decades. I see the millennials assuming the moral responsibility to always keep control of technology. They would be able to adapt technology to their necessities. The managers of the future need to interiorize that the best friend of the humans is the technology. However, technology without humanity is a predicament.
Even though the concept of “human” has changed through time, we have always kept one characteristic, which is unique in our species: “adaptability”.
We have adapted to the changes; it would not matter if we were trapped in the middle of a concentration camp or if we had to survive after a tsunami destroyed our hometown. We as humans always adapt to the current conditions and find the best way to overcome the situation and learn from it.
So, let’s create a brighter future, together as a new race.