The idea of Man- Computer symbiosis involves the interaction and cooperation of a the human mind and a computer in order to achieve to make decisions despite still being independent from one another. The article that Licklider writes describes a few different scenarios that man computer symbiosis would be needed in instances of battle. One situation I found can be described below.
“The other main aim is closely related. It is to bring computing machines effectively into processes of thinking that must go on in “real time,” time that moves too fast to permit using computers in conventional ways. Imagine trying, for example, to direct a battle with the aid of a computer on such a schedule as this. You formulate your problem today. Tomorrow you spend with a programmer. Next week the computer devotes 5 minutes to assembling your program and 47 seconds to calculating the answer to your problem. You get a sheet of paper 20 feet long, full of numbers that, instead of providing a final solution, only suggest a tactic that should be explored by simulation. Obviously, the battle would be over before the second step in its planning was begun. To think in interaction with a computer in the same way that you think with a colleague whose competence supplements your own will require much tighter coupling between man and machine than is suggested by the example and than is possible today.”
The passage that I found describes how the symbiosis would be necessary in times of war, when decisions must be made quickly but must also still be calculated in order to have a positive outcome. The passage states that no such technology exists today but would need to have the same competence as another human being. Sarah gives her view in her blog, pointing out how Licklider compares humans to computers as well. She points out how we are given tasks, and how we process information and even install programs in ourselves
But what if this were possible?
Despite this technology not being in existence yet, there has been a lot of fiction and culture revolving around the idea of computers and other technologies having the same intellectual capacity as ourselves. Such books, films and other stories suggest that having technology that matches our own intelligence would ultimately cause harm to ourselves. One such film that comes to mind is IRobot:
Using this film as an example is probably the biggest cliche I could have used for my topic, but the situation in the film illustrates my point exactly. Will Smith’s character is fearful of robots and does not trust their motives. Throughout the film, there is question on whether the robots are totally obedient to their human masters or if they than they appear. In the end, the program that was created by humans to help in the robots manufacturing determined itself to be smarter than humans and wanted to take control of them.
Such stories like IRobot and other films like The Terminator series illustrate situations on military takeover by machines. If computers are to one day become as intelligent as the humans that create them and help to make decisions in battle, these stories suggest that they could turn on their creators as easily as they help them.
This blog entry calls back to my previous blog of dealing with technology and its effects on us as people. Such over reliance on technology could become harmful if we didn’t have it at all, or could become dangerous to us if we let it get out of hand. We as people need to take a step back from all the technology we use, and try to at least appreciate the times when technology wasn’t around, and people were able to live and survive without it. If we are able to do that, we may be able to realize how much we don’t need technology for every task in our lives. Morgan shares my beliefs in her blog, believing that such control by computers could hurt humans
Katie gives another reason on how Man Computer symbiosis could be harmful. She believes that if humans are not given a choice in a matter and only receive a calculated answer, we will never learn or have consequences for our actions. I feel that he reasoning deepens the issue of humanity in the idea of man computer symbiosis
On the other hand of things, cooperation between man and machine sounds extremely likely and beneficial for society. Popular culture shows a negative outlook on technology, where in reality harmony would probably exist. In my peer Symone’s blog, she questions the possibility of this harmony. Symone indeed believes that such cooperation can change society for the better and I agree with her. If man and machine could exist as partners, only good could come of it.
Gerell also gives an example in his blog with the computer program known as J.A.R.V.I.S., from the movie “Iron Man.” J.A.R.V.I.S. is used in the film to help and interact with Tony Stark, much like the machines that Licklider describes in his article. J.A.R.V.I.S. can communicate with Tony Stark as well reason and understand the situations around him, giving the artificial intelligence human like features
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