“Technology is a useful servant but a dangerous master” Christian Lous Lange
“When you think of the good old days, think one word: dentistry” P.J. O’Rourke
Cars can drive themselves with or without people. My co-worker Katie and I had a brief discussion on the morality of self-driving cars. How will they decide moral issues like avoiding the children crossing the street or adverting into the Oak tree which destroys the passenger? Will the car eventually favor sustaining itself over human life? And if we program self sacrificing attributes into a car’s OS does that in itself constitute new life? It’s complicated!
A computer can read an X-ray more precisely than a human, diagnose and recommend treatment in a fraction of the time (were leeches really so bad?), schedule trains, vacuum the house, monitor temperature, manufacture just about anything from cars to computers. AI systems are developing as rapidly as a two year old (think Alexa with attitude), augmented realities whisk us off to Neverland where the pirates are real, and devise mobility is trending.
Technology is creating music, art, and new forms of photography. An OS can run the entire home more efficiently then I ever could and alert you when someone approaches your front door. It’s uncanny how fast technology is changing our lives.
“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you” Anne Lamott
Seth Godin challenges us to consider this question: What can I become quite good at that’s really difficult for a computer to do one day soon? How can I become so resilient, so human and such a linchpin that shifts in technology won’t be able to catch up?
I start to panic because clearly making waffles, replacing the toilet paper, and spewing facts to highly intelligent students can all be achieved with technology. I grab a cup of warm coffee and head to the back deck. Staring blankly at the mesmerizing lake allows the calm to wash over me. Breath in breath out.
“He had to focus on something important that would hold him to his mortal life” Rick Riordan
I like (okay, love) making observations about the world, the people in it, and the circumstances we create in this marvelous playground of life. That’s kind of unique. I want to understand why we’re here, what is our purpose, and what’s next. Like my eight year old self, my not so thin fingers are still busy striking a keyboard. I’m hopeful that my words will have a purpose in our future but quite possibly I’ll be outsourced by a well designed program that can spit out an essay on the mechanics of life in a nano second. I’m not sure writing robots have the ability to enter into the humane perspective, express optimism, or convey hope but maybe they have a great sense of humor?
What can we do that is uniquely human but also unprogrammable? And while we’re on the topic, how do we get rid of all those pesky software engineers? It’s worthy of our consideration (I’m talking about developing your loftier skills, not recruiting assassins). I think poets are pretty safe, dog walkers, nursing moms, psychics, plumbers, and maybe comedians. I don’t care how well you accessorize this life. Other than that you’re toast. And if you ingenious types would leave a few suggestions in the comments we would all be grateful.
“Science and technology revolutionize our lives, but memory, tradition and myth frame our response” Arthur M. Schlesinger
What will become of the human who has finally mastered the art of folding the paper directly down the middle and perfectly centering the rubber-band? If my hands are empty, my skill obsolete, how will I prove my worth?
- I like originals
- Vacuuming is not a skill
- I miss the sound of my Dad reading the paper in the morning
- Billy you owe me $10
- Blogspot comments are meant to test your endurance, you have to copy your comment before posting because trust me it will get lost, you will have to try at least three times to publish, stop whining, just do it.
- I’m on a brief hiatus to France ~ if a 100 of you could share this post on your social media sites ~ that would be swell!