As our world becomes more connective via the rise of the internet and the growth of computerized resources and technologies, we see a change in the pace of the advancement of human life. With concepts such as artificial intelligence, the internet of things, and big data, our society has become consumed by the idea of attempting to fix that which is not broken or seemingly impure, through a “technological fix.” These fixes range from the genetic modification of plant-life to the enhancement of vocal communication with technology. Yet while these technologies attempt to increase the ease of everyday life through their capabilities, they may eventually create a comic-book-like society that contains more problems than solutions. As technologies become more autonomous and humans more reliant on their abilities, our world begins to succumb to the call of the robot, thus depleting human sovereignty.
Tesla Motors CEO, Elon Musk, has created a breakthrough technology that gives cars the ability to control many burdensome aspects of driving, as well as those that pose dangers to human lives behind the wheel. Potentially offering a “fix” to the problem of the statistically high number of car crashes drivers face out on the road, the use of autopilot in cars essentially surrenders human control to a machine. While these functions may seem a bit juvenile and expected as a “fix,” they give full autonomy to the machine that controls the vehicle. With the power of spatial awareness and control of a motorized object, the “fix” positions a threat upon the lives of those behind the wheel, as a release of control could prove to be fatal should any malfunction prevail.
Similarly to the idea of Tesla’s self-moving car and the fear of the rise of the power of the machine is the creation of robots that possess the ability to communicate with one another through the “Million Object Challenge.” While the idea is simplistic in nature, as it is simply teaching robots to share information on how to lift various objects, it has the potential to lead to something far greater and more daunting. Giving robots the ability to communicate with one another via the data they stream from human activity allows them the freedom to share knowledge that otherwise would not have been programmed into their software, which essentially can lead to human-like power.
As we begin to learn more about our world and the increasing capabilities offered to us by technology, so too does technology begin to learn of its own feats and strengths. These breakthroughs that are so revered that seem to make living easier and less burdensome offer impracticalities which cannot be fully understood until they are in full effect. In an attempt to, as was relayed earlier, fix that which is not broken, we have begun to create that which cannot be destroyed; a new species of intelligence far beyond our own.