The only constant in technology is change – Marc Benioff

It’s a known fact that Artificial Intelligence has already surpassed the human brain, and that statement probably doesn’t even come as a shock. Truth be told, an allegation like that is completely absurd because AI is merely an accumulation of data that was contributed by the human kind. So why even compare AI with our minds when our minds are the sole reason for its existence?  

Despite all the advancements in technology, it’s still continues to fail us everyday. You set up your laptop for a presentation and your operating system crashes unexpectedly. You get lost and that’s when the GPS isn’t working or your so called “smartphone” has no network. You’re standing in the subway and reach for your hands-free to listen to some music along the way; the wires come out awfully tangled and you’ve already reached the station by the time they unwind. Wireless earpods/earbuds are a thing, but easier to misplace; also, they play no part in rescuing your phone during unexpected falls.

You plug your phone to the charger before going to bed and next morning the battery is still low. Turns out it was never charging; you unplug and plug in again, then it’s charging. You’ve hit the deadline for submitting an important assignment and suddenly the school printer won’t respond. You’re at the cashier with a week’s supply of groceries and no cash on you; only to find out that the credit card machine isn’t working. You’re getting late for work and your car’s engine doesn’t stir or the elevator in your building shuts down without warning. You urgently need to access a file on your computer and it suddenly decides that it’s time for an update that will last a couple of hours.

Every now and then technology becomes an obstacle or delays the task at hand just like that. Most of the modern technology receives frequent upgrades to improve its performance. The question is “will there ever be a final form or version?”. Yes, but only if the mastermind behind the whole idea decides to leave his invention the way it is. This kind of approach is considered regressive because competitors in the market will continue to offer contemporary features. Stagnant technology will naturally fade out because we crave for change.

All humans are imperfect beings, so how come the technology they design could be anywhere near perfect? If we kept that in mind, we wouldn’t expect so much from machines. Sadly, we have grown so dependent on technology that we consider it superior to ourselves.

It’s not a faith in technology. It’s faith in people – Steve Jobs

We blindly embrace its miracles, either unaware or unconcerned of it’s flaws. A classic example is the ‘Internet’ which is regarded as the biggest library of information. This is logically correct, yet not everyone realizes that everything on the internet isn’t true. The world wide web is platform that provides ultimate freedom to its users. Literally, anyone can contribute content and usually nobody is required to certify it or give reference. As a result, a lot of the things we see online are often fabricated and misleading.

Theoretically speaking, technology is the culprit, but practically we are the ones at fault – the ones providing false info and the ones accepting it, no questions asked. To be precise, we are cheating ourselves and putting the blame on technology. It is nothing on it’s own and only what we make of it.

I just invent, then wait until man comes around to needing what I’ve invented – R. Buckminster Fuller

The quote above accurately represents the ideology of technology founders today. Human tendency compels us to be infatuated with things that are unusual and diverse. That’s the bottom line of every new piece of gadget thrown our way. Many of the things we cannot breathe without right now were once never part of our lives. We see an advertisement or a peer using ‘it’ and all of a sudden we assume ‘it’ as a necessity.

It’s not wrong to say that many people having the upper hand in matters of technology are intentionally tampering with it. They’re making it weak and vulnerable, so that there is demand for more and better. Just by providing the slightest modification, they will label their product as ‘new & improved’ and you’ll pay them ten times more than what it’s worth.

The human spirit must prevail over technology.–Albert Einstein

Sometimes we fail technology, rather than the other way around. Every form of technology is man-made and therefore cannot possess immortality, the lifespan relying on the quality and value of the product. Whether you’re buying a TV, air conditioner or a tablet – they are all born with a warranty. On average this might be 5-10 years after which the item needs to be replaced or rejuvenated. For example, the compressor of an air conditioner can be substituted instead of buying a whole new one.

The life of every technology is also proportional to how you use it. Suppose you’re extremely clumsy and keep dropping your tablet on hard floor, even a high-end one will get damaged way sooner than anticipated. All computers need to be serviced regularly as accumulated ‘filth’ will negatively impact their performance.

Same goes with cars and other complicated machines – they all call for maintenance. Just like living creatures, technology needs fuel to keep running. If we treat technology well, it stays by our side longer than expected. When we expect technology to function optimally against our own negligence, we are just overestimating its capabilities.

Technology has become as ubiquitous as the air we breathe, so we are no longer conscious of its presence – Godfrey Reggio

We have let technology take over our professional and personal lives. No work can be done if the internet’s down, we’re isolated without mobile devices and social apps, we can’t get from one point to another (cars, elevators, GPS etc.) and we cannot entertain ourselves – unless there’s WiFi.

The Conclusion: In our minds we will always believe that technology is failing us and continue thinking this way for eternity. However, there’s no desire to escape because we have learned to live with it.

 

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