“In one sense of course, any man-made system is intended to help man, to help a man or men outside the system. If we focus upon the human operator within the system, however, we see that, in some areas of technology, a fantastic change has taken place during the last few years. “Mechanical extension” has given way to replacement of men, to automation, and the men who remain are there more to help than to be helped. In some instances, particularly in large computer-centered information and control systems, the human operators are responsible mainly for functions that it proved infeasible to automate. Such systems (“humanly extended machines,” North might call them) are not symbiotic systems. They are “semi-automatic” systems, systems that started out to be fully automatic but fell short of the goal”
In J.C.R Licklider’s, “Man-Computer Symbiosis”, the author delves into the relationship between man and computer. On one hand, men made computers and are always trying to find ways in which to incorporate them into our daily lives. On the other hand, computers have taken on a lot of roles that man once did. What I also found interesting is that the author has noted that the word “computer” has started to encompass all things but it is hazardous because technology is changing every day. He also compares that to generalizing all of mankind, which is hazardous as well. Nevertheless, the relationship between Man and Computer is one of complexity but also one of astonishment because neither can thrive on its own (of course in this day in age). What I also found interesting is that the author discusses how man is a computer as well. We process data, we can take on different tasks at once and we can program ourselves as well. Some of the main differences have a lot to do with the fact that we have emotions. Symone talks about this really well when she asks the question of “the logical mind vs. the emotional heart. Would we accept the rational answer or ignore it?” Again, emotions is what seperates humans from machines, machines think rationally while humans sometimes think with there heart.
However, another notable and crucial difference that Justin (Just an Average guy blog) stated is that it is not so much that humans do not have the intelligent capabilities of what computers can do; it has a lot to do with time. If humans can find a way to shorten time for tasks, they will do it.
Another one of my peers, Justin, from “Justin’s Thought Vectors” has also opened my eyes to a new perspective of what we humans have. We have imagination, we have the ability to produce new and fresh ideas that no two people can have exactly the same. Computers are limited and a lot of the limitation is due to the computers more logic way of thinking and the fact that we limit what technology is capable of doing as well.
What this reminds me of is a reading that the Focused Inquiry program assigned us to read, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K. Dick, in which one of the main themes is the defining line between human and android.
Just as the excerpt I chose above, it discusses the replacement of man which is what the androids were for in the novel. As well as the statement “they are semi-automatic systems that started out to be fully automatic but fell short of the goal”, which also reflects the androids in the novel because humans still succeeded farther than technology.
However, not to say that computers have not helped or even have advanced humans, Justin, makes a valid point that the many hurdles the author mentioned have been improved or solve. We are now moving towards technology that is blending human characteristics with computers, thus forming the all famous Siri on Apple products, this idea of artificial technology.
One of my classmates, Katie, talks about Siri a little further, she explains it helps her mom text because she cannot see the screen very well. Now that I think about it, Siri was truly a great addition to the Iphone, it has the capability to not only speed information up but assist with people who may be disabled or like my mom, cannot see the screen very well either.
However, what I also find is that there are still a lot of people who like the more traditional way of finding directions or looking up information. My mom, for example, is quite overwhelmed and scared of the new technology because she finds it to be a little too complicated. I am not going to lie, it is complicated, I just so happen to grow up during the time when technology was blooming. So I am thinking, what about technology that is more advanced but at the same time simple and easy.
I took a look at Gerell’s post as well and she talks about something similar to Siri that was in the Iron Man movies, the system J.A.R.V.I.S. That system is incredible but how realistic? Again, I think about individuals such as my parents who are a bit intimidated by new technology. Will we teach the next generation to rely heavily on technology?
What this nugget also reveals is that in the past years, it is true that technology has started to replace humans. If you take a look at factories, much of factories are machine operated and does not require as many humans. On one side of the spectrum, this is fantastic because we are moving away from needing humans and less contamination or mistakes (arguably) would be made. However, on the other side, this results in a loss of jobs and a high dependency on technology which can result to an unhealthy relationship as well. Where is the dividing line between what is for humans and what is for computers, must all things have to use technology nowadays? Although this is a rhetorical question, it is still one to think about.
Here is an article that discusses the positive and negative factors about machines/computers doing our jobs. http://www.technologyreview.com/news/428429/when-machines-do-your-job/
Everything In this article and in the nugget is mind boggling because we are truly moving towards having technology take on more human capabilities. For example, cars now have the ability to stop and to parallel park without our help. There are cars that will soon have the ability to drive itself. So I am sitting here wondering if the relationship between Man and Computer will eventually dissolve. What I mean is that, if we are starting to have computers even help us with driving, do humans even need to get a license. The relationship will soon be to the point where computer will dominate man.
That scares me because I think about the future and what will come of technology taking more responsibility for things that were once deemed for only human capabilities.
Making this also interesting because then one could say computers are humans as well and the line between what makes us human or “man” is blurred.