Are We Headed For A Robotically-Controlled Society?

Are We Headed For A Robotically-Controlled Society?

Technological breakthrough.
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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.

Cover Image Credit: http://www.trbimg.com/img-5582bd1d/turbine/chi-inc-robots-doing-more-office-work-bsi-hub-20150617

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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Millennials LOVED Vine, There's No Reason For Them To Be Skeptical Of Tik Tok

Recently, the video-sharing app Tik Tok has been gaining popularity among Gen Z kids. Why are Millennials wary towards this app, which produces content similar to that of the beloved late Vine?

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Millennials, people born approximately between the years of 1981 and 1996, grew up in an era of rapidly evolving technology. Many millennials feel as if they were literally raised on the internet. Millennials who grew up in the United States share common memories of Youtube before ads, Instagram's first (and uglier) icon, and a time when taxi cabs outnumbered Uber drivers.

Vine was one of the most popular apps during the late childhood and adolescence of Millennials. The app was originally intended to be used for artistic purposes, but comedy ultimately overcame this original use. Vine, released in 2013, grew quickly, reaching its peak between the years 2014 and 2015. This success was short-lived, as we all know, and Vine was taken down in 2016 due to financial issues. The famous viners were scattered to the wind, many of them creating Youtube channels in order to hold viewership.

While Vine was dying, an app called Musical.ly was on the rise. Many Millennials had become invested in the lives of their Vine-turned-Youtuber personalities or were too busy with school or work to be interested in this new app. Gen Z, people born in the early 2000s, gained interest in this new app, in which users lip-sync to downloaded songs. Like Vine, Musical.ly gave birth to a new generation of influencers, like Jacob Sartorius and Loren Gray.

It's no lie that many people looked down on Musical.ly. Not only did the app produce a lot of cringe-worthy content, Millennials simply didn't understand the point of the app, as users weren't able to create original content. While Gen Z kids pounced on this new app, millennials wept over compilations of archived vines with titles like, "Vines That Keep Me From Ending It All," and "Rare Vines to Show Your Crush." Rumors of a "Vine 2" were spread across the internet, but there's been no progress made on the second coming of the video-making app.

On November 9th, 2017, Chinese internet technology company Bytedance bought Musical.ly for $1 billion dollars and merged the app with Tik Tok, an almost identical platform that had shown success in the Chinese market. Tik Tok began to gain popularity with Americans, particularly among teens and young adults interested in cosplay.

The app's users recently have been producing content similar to vines. The users have been breaking away from the typical lip-synch platform, and begun to produce short, funny, and unexplainable videos that emulate "vine energy."

So, will Tik Tok become Gen Z's vine? This has been disputed. Many TikTok-ers have amassed large followings and fanbases, similar to that of popular viners back in the day. The app itself is easier to navigate than Vine, as you can view the content of a user in a grid, similar to Instagram. But many millennials feel as though nothing can ever replace Vine, especially not this weird Musical.ly replacement.

For now, Tik Tok is viewed in a mainly negative light by most millennials, which is understandable. Tik Tok gained fame when multiple youtube commentators like Cody Ko and Kurtis Conner critiqued the cringe-y content posted on the app. Tik Tok "cringe compilations" also go viral on the regular.

Over time, the older generation will probably come around to the app. Some Tik Toks that have gone viral have been held in favor by the masses and compared to vines. With the financial backing that Tik Tok has from tech giant Bytedance, it is certain to say that this short-video app will definitely last longer than Vine's 3-year life span.

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