Wednesday, 31 October 2012

The New Cyborg Society

As you look around the world today it is very clear to see that the world we live in today is very dependent on technology. In the recent years we’ve become more accepting in letting our machines do a lot of tasks for us, and in return us(the users) becoming more free to do other things and, a bit more stress free. Mobile phones today are now completely different to which they used to be like back twenty years ago.  The freedom to now connect with your friends and family on Facebook, watch videos on YouTube, be updated with the latest news around the world and also, to be able to check up on your emails can be done at any time all via your mobile phone. So what does this mean? That we are more dependent on technology? Yes, but I have already given my reasons to think that so, what I’m going to be researching on is, Is technology using us? As well as, how technology is evolving.

A vital person in my investigations is Kevin Kelly born in 1952 is the founding executive editor of Wired magazine, and a former editor/publisher of the Whole Earth Catalog. I find that Kevin Kelly’s words and views on this topic will be extremely useful as, he has written articles and given speeches about this exact topic which will be very relevant to me. I am going to look at his views and thoughts about technology and dissect them to then write about what he thinks, about our relationship with technology today.

I’ll start off by introducing how I think that technology today is fundamentally controlling our lives these days, as most people today find it very hard to live without a piece of a technological instrument. Whether it be a mobile phone or a computer today, humans seems to be so attached with technology it raises questions like how much do we really need? Or, how badly do we rely on our technologies throughout the day?  I know the answer is a lot, as if you look around the whole world presently the answer is right in front of you. You are now able to complete asks which were once before cost time or effort such as; having a face to face conversation now, you can just chat on Skype on the computer with webcams, in the comfort of your own home and, still do what you need to do. Life is so much easier with these gadgets in our lives that I find it completely understandable why we keep coming back to these things. But in reality do we really need them? And how are these new technologies affecting our societies today?

The machines of today are of great understanding of our everyday lives and chorus. We have a wide range of different machines that can easily, recognise our face with only a few seconds. Something that was pointed out to me was that; before even completing your sentence on Google it already has the option up for selection. It is clear to see that the machine are taught very well in predicting what we are searching for, and in time when you try to search the exact same thing again it is on top because it remembers. Technology is becoming more intelligent everyday as we use it more and more. To me it seems like the more personal technology becomes; the intelligent and valuable I see it in my eyes for example; a Samsung touch screen smart phone has, a unique dot linking structure that, the owner of the phone has to repeat every time which then, unlocks the phone and enables it for use.  Most mobile phone use voice recognition now which is also a very clever feature which, use the owners voice to send commands to the phone rather than having to use the keypad. Another example of how personal features to technology such as; voice recognition, unique pin codes and intelligent search engines are very efficient and, become more valuable to our lives’. So to be honest I think right now the machines of today are learning from us and are, not trying to use us. Even though in my eyes technology is very advanced and there are probably hundreds of devices, which I don’t know about but I still think we have a long way to go before the machines start using us. My reason being that technologies that are out now for consumer purchase aren't ones that dictate our lives, they are merely ones that help us with our everyday lives. But something like the Google glasses could be one that could be really dependent on as people will use apps like; the map, communication features and other helpful things all effortlessly without thought. Google could just say for example; ‘For maximum performance wear glasses at all time’. And people would think it’s the right thing to do, and would slowly let the machine control its life style rather than just assisting people.
A video were Kevin Kelly talks about how technology has evolved is very interesting. His views of how technology is growing in correlation to man is clear to see in some stages.

I took down some points what he said in the video and thought they were very interesting and true. For example; How Kevin Kelly refers to organisms as hacking. What he means by this is that everything in the world today has been through a phase to get here today, just as technologies have.  This also leads into another interesting point that he mentions in the video that; every living orgasm living today has evolved to get here. This is true as too technology has evolved to become more entwined with our lives and, make it much easier to use for us. In the video he also makes a great similarity between technologies and, living organisms (just like us) have three key features about us which defines us are; Specialisation, Diversity and, Complexity. This is very true as you look across the world today you’ll find that the world has all three of these things noticeable for example; The specialisation in humans are for instance; we have different blood types and like specific things. This can also be seen in technology also, Kevin Kelly made a good example of how “hammers become more and more specific over time”. A final example is how diverse technology has become there are dozens and, dozens of machines all over the world and, even in your house. From the telephone, television and, air conditioning all what I just listed at least have another type of machine in the world that can basically do what that machine can. And just like humans we are obviously very clear to see that were are very diversity i.e.; colour of skin, hair, body size and sex. So Kelly’s point that technology’s evolution is very similar to human’s evolution is indeed highly relevant.

On a whole technology’s evolution is going to continue and may even accelerate in the near future. Technology brings us some many good things in the world today that I feel, that I would be impossible for us to stop using it. The choices, diversity and options that it gives us in today’s world is actually a blessing to us all and, people will have no shame in repeating that. Also the more comfort we getting using these technologies the more I think, will lead into technology starting to use us and, won’t be long to technology has its own rights.

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