In chapter 4, Lanier makes an attempt to tap into the economical challenges of technological change. One particular subject matter that stood out to me was his point about industrialization. It is true that technology upgraded people from slave status to skilled-workers and even though industrialization promised the possibility of less utilization of human labour it still fulfilled its prophecy at the time. Like anything else cons will always exist, they are inevitable. I understand why people were worried though, the creation of machines which only required an oil change or a periodical “tune up” must have been extremely intimidating for those who encountered technological advancements in earlier times. Luckily, everything worked itself out and humans are not obsolete…yet. At least we’re still needed to do any fine tuning or work at help desks for IT departments. Robots on the other hand, is an entire different ball game, I mean..they are replications of us. They are built to do exactly what we do except they don’t really need to sleep,eat or emote. Therefore once they are infiltrated into the workplace then we are certainly going to become obsolete because you don’t need to pay them they don’t have families to sustain and they certainly don’t get tired. All they need is fine tuning and that’s about it. When you really put a lot of thought into it, robots are quite capable of mastering anything. Lanier claims that they already achieved excellence in areas such as surgery and fabricating products. Robots can eradicate human error, and that isn’t such a bad idea…yes some may run out of a few jobs but the quality of production would increase.

Nonetheless, some people tend to disagree with the notion of robots possibly taking over eventually. This New York Times article : sort of proved Lanier and myself wrong, and their argument relies on the fact that robots can’t reproduce themselves but I have no clue why that is a challenge because we have scientists all over the world willingly producing them, and what about machines that build robots? It very possible, except it’s not going to be human nature and all that birds and the bees stuff.

I personally don’t have a problem with robots because they seem very useful to any growing economy, my problem is the creation of “humanoid robots”, yes, the ones that are given synthetic skin to make them not only look, but feel like humans. That actually scares me more than anything, because with technological advancements which are growing at a fast rate- who’s going to know robot from human?. Soon we’ll be walking side by side with gadgets that look like us. Take a good look at the pic posted in this blog…can you identify the robot from human?



~ by fcalliste on June 22, 2010.

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