Panning for Nuggets

“Although there’s little debate that computer technology complements—and often enhances—the human mind in the quest to store information and process an ever-growing tangle of bits and bytes, there’s increasing concern that the same technology is changing the way we approach complex problems and conundrums, and making it more difficult to really think.”  -Samuel Greengard-

Samuel Greengard suggests that we (humans) are losing the ability to think and store information due to the advancement of technology in Are We Losing Our Ability to Think Critically? article.  He compares thinkers from the past that defined and redefined our society, like Sir Isaac Newton discovering gravity, or Albert Einstein redefining the view of the universe.  But in the age of computers, video games, and the Internet, there’s a question of how the technology is changing people’s critical thinking skills, and redefining the thinking process.  In a way, there are much more “auto-pilot” mode on our brains.  This can be exemplified in military warfare; there are so many creation of robots and machines that people don’t have to think anymore to operate these monstrous machines.  Now, in our new era, soldiers don’t have to be actually in the battle field.    Robots like Schaft, can successfully drive a car (as shown in the linked video) without a help of human brain.  What’s more fascinating is that due to our advancement in technology and the creation of robots, we are heading towards a world with a mushy swamp somewhere between perception and reality; measurable and incomprehensible.

“The trend suggests that the pace of productivity growth has decelerated since the first half of the 2000s and this begs an important question.  There’s considerable speculation that the pace at which machines are displacing workers has accelerated.  I keep hearing about “the end of work” based on the assumption that the pace of labor-saving technology—robots, AI—has accelerated.”  -Jared Bernstein-

One main focus I want to take out from Bernstein’s quote is “machines are displacing workers has accelerated”.  In some similar ways, Bernstein’s argument supports and connects to Greengard’s argument on our deterioration of critically thinking skills.  Bernstein’s point of view on the robots replacing labor work can be a cause of our decelerating critically thinking skills, as mentioned by Greengard.  In some ways, the more we advance in robotic technology, the more we will loose the definition of reality, because we would be heavily dependent on robots of our every mundane tasks.  This can be implied to my research topic: military.  Now, with known coordinates, nuclear bombs can be launched with one button.  Without giving a second thought or even using our brain, people can press one button and create a mass destruction and devastation to half of our world.  Are we manually driven by our brain or are we on “auto-pilot” due to technology advancement?  Will robots actually help us destroy this planet, or will robots help us for the better?



NOTE for my research:

(As I was reading and researching, I thought I wanted to post this case up, so I won’t forget it in my research paper.  KEEP! – This has nothing to do with Panning for Nuggets…  just my trail of thought.)

Since war is bringing more injured soldiers home with disabilities, there are greater advancement in robots replacing humans missing arms or legs.  In these cases, the brain becomes numb and useless in controlling what was there before, but now gone missing limbs.  [Major Advances in Robotic Prosthetics]  In a way, people are benefiting from robotic prosthetics, but in reality, there are going to be more amputees, and more injured soldiers coming back from war.  [Describing the lost – Question to Ask: What is the cause of robotic technology advancement?]

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