It is often said that technology and humanity stand in opposition to one another. Despite the intricate design and construction of machines, they cannot replicate the life and energy that characterises living beings. Nonetheless, there is an increasing level of apprehension amongst the public with regards to technological advancements.
There is growing concern around the potential implications of Artificial Intelligence (AI) reaching Artificial General Intelligence (AGI), such as the prospect of robots replacing humans in the workplace and other aspects of life. Such fears, which are often depicted in science fiction media and literature, can be deeply concerning for many people.
However, in practice, people and technology often complement each other. Technology does not possess cognitive or emotional abilities of its own, but it can be used to enhance these abilities in humans.
Kindness on the Job
It is widely recognized that technology has become essential for the ongoing success of many businesses. However, as we utilise technology in our roles, do we always take into account the necessary sensitivity and consideration required?
Medical treatment has seen a great deal of advancement through the use of technology, with a focus on providing the highest level of care and comfort for patients. An example of this is the Mayo Clinic, who have implemented ambient intelligence systems to help doctors sift through large amounts of data, enabling them to provide the best possible care for patients. This also allows for more time for one-on-one treatment between doctors and nurses.
Recent advances in healthcare have seen an increased focus on connecting people through technology, such as remote patient records and telemedicine. These developments aim to promote a more human approach to healthcare.
Bitcoin is often the first concept associated with blockchain technology. However, upon further inspection, it is evident that the underlying concept which powers cryptocurrencies is derived from interpersonal connections. Consequently, blockchain technology can be viewed as having a relationship to humanity.
Conventional financial dealings can be hampered by fees, delays and intermediaries. However, blockchain technology enables companies and consumers to carry out transactions quickly. Time saving is just one of the many benefits.
Blockchain technology provides a decentralised system of ownership, allowing for multiple levels of control. This makes it a secure platform, as the information stored is immutable and cannot be changed. Furthermore, the ledger is open and transparent, making monetary transactions between individuals more efficient. As a result, blockchain offers an improved level of security and efficiency for digital financial transactions.
Using Your Voice To Help You
Voice assistants, such as Alexa and Siri, are far more intelligent than our brightest of friends. They do not give us superhuman abilities, but they do enable us to be more efficient and powerful. This means that our queries can be answered with ease and the knowledge gained from them is invaluable. In short, they support us in our day-to-day activities and can act as an educational tool to improve us as individuals.
When considering the potential for a robotic uprising, this is often cited as a factor. People are worried that robots could potentially develop intelligence that is comparable to, or even surpass that of human beings. However, if we examine the issue more closely, we can see how robots can contribute to and enhance our humanity.
Making a Good User Interface
UX design is an increasingly important field of study that focuses on the user experience. Rather than being a distinct technology, UX design is an amalgamation of techniques and principles that enable people to interact more effectively with machines. It revolves around finding a balance between functionality and usability when it comes to technology.
UX design can be found in many everyday scenarios, such as a conveniently placed button that leads to a call-to-action, a visually appealing animation, or a box that is highlighted when the user moves their cursor over it. It is essential to remember that users are not machines when designing for them.
Connecting with Others Online
By the mid-2000s, social media sites such as Facebook had become a popular way to communicate. In recent years, however, Facebook has been criticised for its potential to distract users from the real world and for the proliferation of bots promoting political agendas.
It could be argued that social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn provide us with a means to communicate with one another. This can result in reconnecting with old friends, meeting potential partners and even leading to job opportunities, all of which could play a significant part in our personal experiences.
The potential for development at the intersection of humanity and technology is immense, and need not lead to a robotic apocalypse. A recent report from the Pew Research Center has highlighted the risks that the future of humanity faces. Experts have provided their insight on the matter.
Juan Ortiz Freuler, a Policy Fellow at the Berkman Klein Center, believes that technologists should put a greater emphasis on diversity and inclusion. He argues that technology should have been used to strengthen the social bonds between people by allowing them to connect and share their experiences, yet instead it has created vast disparities in connection between people, both within the same country and across international borders.
Professor Paul Jones of the University of North Carolina acknowledges the importance of trust in relation to the Internet. He suggests that, despite its open and extensible design, the Internet is highly dependent on trust systems, making it vulnerable to issues such as phishing, false news, personalisation and tribalism. To counter this, he believes that the implementation of blockchain technology could be beneficial.
It is undeniable that the internet has been a key factor in connecting people across the globe. It is thought to have established more relationships than any other technology in history, however, it still holds the potential to help us further develop as individuals. There is still much to be done in order to unlock its full potential.