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The Human Thought Will Never Be Lost

By nadjaxx Feb 27, 2014 1373 Words
One can genuinely say that all humans are “inventors, each sailing out on a voyage of discovery, guided each by a private chart, of which there is no duplicate. The world is all gates, all opportunities." (Waldo 1) These days, people happen to follow an automatized lifestyle where using life simplifying technologies on a daily basis is absolutely natural. Critics such as Nicholas Carr claim that our overuse of electronic gadgets is leading to an absolute automation, which will have adverse consequences for our society in the future (2). But are not machines more dependent on humans than vice versa? People invent technology and machines in order to accomplish great tasks in fields of science, medicine and various other sections of work, and primarily to improve their quality of life. Besides there are other fields in life where social competences and creativity are the key qualifications and technology is not needed at all. The following outline on human superiority over technology in the form of human flexibility, independent thoughts, scientific effort, art and social work will examine the importance of humans and prove that they have never been and never will be inferior to machines. Ever since the Industrial Revolution we communicate with all sorts of machines in our everyday life: In the morning, the alarm clock we have set the night before awakes us with the song of our choice and while we are staggering into the kitchen we expect the coffee machine to create a perfect espresso, cappuccino or latte macchiato in no time. All these machines optimize and simplify our lives because they free us from the routine part of our work. They enable us to focus on the essential tasks and what is even more important we have more free time to follow our pleasures. In the past people had to work just to survive, we also work to finance our hobbies. Despite all the obvious advantages of technology, people are having fears that machines will substitute for humans one day. Nevertheless, these fears are baseless, because if we do not operate machines, they will not work. If an author writes a book on his laptop, the computer will not know which part of the text is intended to be the next paragraph or which word has to be highlighted. Machines will never substitute for whole jobs because they can only solve problems if they meet the following two criteria: The information that is necessary has to be comprehensible to the computer and secondly the task has to be so routine that it can be defined as a series of rules. As soon as a machine is confronted with a complete new situation it is unable to cope with it, so our main advantage over technology is our flexibility. At the same time, people tend to forget that the advances in computerization have also created new jobs. In 2012, 3.5 million persons worked directly in creating computer infrastructure - software developers, system analysts, people who optimize the placement of web-based ads. According to Frank Levy, professor at MIT and Richard Murnane, professor of Education and Society at Harvard, it is safe to bet that the human labor market will center on three kinds of work in the future: solving unstructured problems, working with new information and carrying out non-routine manual tasks (3). Accordingly machines and technologies are part of our working life: we use them as a human aid by developing medicine, advancing science or even to create new machines which reduce the work on many different fields of inventions. People want to refine their potentiality; improving existing technology to make our lives more comfortable is a common ambition. A high intellectual level is needed to devise new strategies, for instance in the field of cancer research, to find new medicine and inspect tissue samples by using technology. In this regard, scientists and doctors all over the world worked on for years and are still finding ways to improve their efficiency. Without our technical equipment chemotherapy, the most widely spread method to combat cancer, is inapplicable. It needs substance to damage cells in a radiation that is labored in medical laboratories. To bring progress in medicine and other fields, there are prizes offered to keep the scientists work, make the improvements flowing and to motivate. With the fame and the gained financial support, new investigations can be made. Without a good basis of education and the use of our human skills, every technology would be useless or inexistent. This conclusion bears on the variety of technology being used every day and where the control and programming by humans is necessarily needed. A radiation cone could not know where to exercise if a doctor would not analyze the clinical picture. There would no medicine be arranged without the long examination of a disease and definitely no medical ultrasonic’s be used by pregnancy if nobody had ever invented it and accordingly had utilized his competences. We are the ones determining the progress by using the technical aids we created and will create in the future. Undoubtedly, apart from inventing and monitoring over machines, people have a certain skill that no machine will ever be able to imitate or simulate: the human thought. Nicholas Carr criticizes the human implicit trust in technology, because it makes us overly dependent on these intelligent machines and in this way, as time goes by, absolute automation turns us from actors into observers and decreases our skills and knowledge in life. However we should question the idea of technology being so well-developed, that it could replace humans in every area of work and life with caution. Machines will never be able to replace humans that easily. It is simply not credible that the human species, which invented and built machines, will be dependent on these very same one day. As aforementioned, humans have this exclusive feature of thinking on their own, machines will never have. In this manner, humans are able to accomplish astonishing things such as paintings, songs, dances etc. They are even capable of making up whole new universes and worlds by simply writing books. One hast to admit, that for instance the production of certain groceries operates automatically. The food passes through a chain of machines and finally the complete product comes out and only has to be packed. This process appears as a total automation, but still the machines need to be checked, programmed and clarified by humans, which are the ones trying to advance the existing material. Certainly, it is true that computers can also create music, more specifically, just beats, you can even program them to produce digital pictures – and that exactly is the keyword – you, the human, can program the computer, a machine, to perform a function. No machine will ever be able to create a masterpiece such as the Mona Lisa, a painting of a young lady, whose smile has kept millions of people mesmerized, dazed and confused over the ages. Neither will a machine ever be able to produce your favorite song by itself, which perhaps will bring back old memories, and move you to tears. Nor will a computer ever be capable of writing a book as fascinating and interesting as Harry Potter and cast a spell over the whole world. --------------------------------------------------------------------Those are the features that distinguish humans from machines, the things that make us to who we are: we can think autonomously, and we have our own, unique personalities, no machine will ever be able to imitate.

Finally, if we want to reply to Nicholas Carr's question, whether our essence still lies in what we know, we have to face the fact that we must trust in our exclusively human strengths and features as creativity, social skills, cultural knowledge, memory, flexibility and especially our unique personalities. We, the people, are inventors who try to improve our lives, and everything that belongs to it, continually. In our daily routines or at work, technology is an essential source which offers us safety, assistance, and more spare time. If we accept optimization and simplification as a great improvement, without losing a slightly critical view, there is no need to fear that our essence will ever be defined by anything else than our knowledge.

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