Essay Example: Is Smart Making Us Dumb

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Wesleyan University
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The past few years have been marked with an overstimulation in technological advancements. A wise saying goes that necessity is the mother of invention and with changing times, the human being is developing the need to improve the function-ability of computers. Computer scientists have outdone themselves in creating modern, complex, and more user-friendly technology. The rate at which the advancements are taking place is so high and unpredictable that the systems and technology that was used five years ago can be rendered obsolete. However, of all those inventions and milestones in technology, one crowns it all; Artificial Intelligence. It is one field of computer science that beats all the odds and is too complex and involving to be real. Although the global community has not adopted its use and applications, it is the one invention that takes technology to the next level. In the physical world, some scientists claim that Artificial Intelligence is an extension of Charles Darwins theory of Natural Selection. Humans are being competed out by Artificial Intelligence, and that could be the reason behind their reluctance towards it. This essay seeks to expound on Artificial Intelligence, its pros and cons of smart technology and a rhetorical critique of the article Is Smart Making Us Dumb.

The author of the article, Evgeny Morozov, selected a very critical topic regarding the influence in the contemporary world. In the recent past, there has been a significant increase in smart technology. According to the author, previously inanimate objects such as cars, trashcans, tea pots, among others have been designed to mimic human behaviors, communicate, and even guide our behavior. Whereas this can be considered an improvement in the modern world, the author is concerned about just how much control the scientists are planning to allow to these objects. How far will they go as far as artificial intelligence is concerned? There have been significant concerns about Artificial Intelligence that are entirely logical and realistic as it deviated from the norm.

Perhaps a terrifying thing about it all is the rate at which it is advancing. Remarkable sources suggest that AI could be on the verge of overtaking the human species due to their slow pace of evolution. It is the one technological advancement that is way ahead of its time and has raised a few eyebrows even among the elite in the society. In actuality, the human mind has not come to terms that the full Artificial Intelligence can happen. The argument springs from the fact that Artificial Intelligence is primed from physical matter and for that reason it is highly improbable that it is capable of producing a whole. The human being is more than just a collection of physical matter put together, and therefore it is highly unlikely to replicate a person by use of physical matter only. There is the subjective aspect of every person that is called the soul. The soul is the very being of humans and gives the human the characteristic subjective experiences that make them who they are.

Morozov's concerns are understandable regarding whether the smart technology is making us more dumb and vulnerable. Morozov indicates the possible dangers of tying our identities to social media profiles. Some of these things might appear harmless and even fun to some extent, but they carry with them hidden dangers that might not be so obvious (Morozov, Evgeny). Morozov couldnt be any more right concerning social media and smart technology. What people may consider being fun and social interaction platforms could be their downfall. It is very easy to track someone in the contemporary world using only posts from social media. Such posts and location notifications can help criminals such as robbers, kidnappers, and murderers. People ought to be careful on the amount of content that they post on social media to avoid over-exposing themselves.

Morozov appreciates the smart technology and how it helps improve the lives of people in one or another. For instance, Morozov gave out a few examples of the benefits of smart technology such as the smart fork that controls eating pace and habits, the smart sensors in cars that warn about speed and careless driving, and the smart toothbrush that encourage people to spend more time brushing their teeth (Morozov, Evgeny). All the above function of smart technology are of significant importance. However, the author points out that these smart devices collect personal information about people and share them with others who might have different interests. If people are not careful, the smart technology might just start dictating our entire lives and alter them without our consensus. The article gives a clear guideline on how to avoid surrendering completely to the new technology. The most crucial way to do this is by being able to distinguish between the good smart and bad smart.

The kind of Artificial Intelligence that we have today is correctly referred to as narrow AI because it is only designed to handle light tasks such as voice and facial recognition, and memory personalization. Meanwhile, other complex human-like tasks remain uncracked. For instance, the Artificial Intelligence is not capable of perception, feeling, and cognition. It is, for this reason, that trial versions and real-life application of Artificial Intelligence should be well-managed to avoid fatalities. People should be careful on the extent they let in the smart technology in their personal lives (Morozov, Evgeny).

Works Cited

Morozov, Evgeny. "Is Smart Making Us Dumb." The Wall Street Journal, 2013, pp. 1-5.

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