Categories
Culture Productivity & Work Tech

Does automation make us less human?

How much of our thought process do we want to relinquish to artificial intelligence?

Even Gmail’s auto-replies takes the burden out of typing in two-word responses with pre-populated text likes “yes, great,” “sounds good,” or “awesome.” Soon enough the computers will be the only ones conversing and high-fiving each other.

Just as the painter imitates the features of nature, algorithms emulate human memes. The problem is the tendency to abuse these recipes to avoid thinking altogether. Bathing in such idleness set the precedent for laggard times.

Without thought and action, our memories will starve. When we type, we produce pixels on a screen. Auto-reply forfeits the experience of being there. But such detachment may not be as harmful as we think. 

The symbiosis of man and machine begs for innovation. AI may free up cognition for other more intensive tasks. In other words, having a dependable personal assistant may compel us to do even more great work. 

The only fear of AI is complete human dependence. We need elements of crazy to keep creating. We’ll die off as soon as we stop winging it.

If you're a WRITER or aspiring blogger, I highly recommend creating your own blog and publishing something new every day (read my post on how to set up a FREE blog on Wordpress).

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Categories
Tech

Predicting the multi-screen world in 1967

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Following in the footsteps of Charles and Ray Eames fascinating look at the future at the 1964 World’s Fair, cartoonist Rube Goldberg further envisioned the prospect of screen culture years later in 1967.

What he didn’t foresee was that all of these individual devices (TV, phone, radio, camera, etc.) would converge into a single device: the smartphone.

Today’s obsession with multi-screen entertainment and multitasking behavior was only a matter of time. Screens are second-nature, as people prefer to be distracted all the time to make the outside world easier to cope with.

Meanwhile, electricity is still providing the pipes.

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Categories
Creativity Culture Productivity & Work

Learning to think again

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Humans are thinking creatures. Otherwise, the only difference between humans and other animals is that we have bigger brains that also allow us to speak.

But we use less brain power every day because we use calculators, Google, and self-driving cars. We’re not lazy, but we prefer to do the things we want so we can carry on with the business of living. What we risk skipping though are the lessons in between, which give neurons a chance to make new synaptic connections.

When we want to recall a statistic or a dig back into our vocabulary, the brain runs past its library of facts and pictures and jogs the mind’s memory.

Thinking is a bicep curl for the mind

Yet today, we’re more likely to outsource our chance to think, choosing exactitude rather than admitting to our weaknesses and coping with uncertainty.

Nevertheless, what most digital naysayers don’t realize is that new technology, whether it’s the rise of machines via the industrial revolution or smart computers driving artificial intelligence, will always birth other things to learn like coding. Coding feeds the machines and tells them what to do. However, we should resist becoming the tools of our tools, as Thoreau admonished.

We’re both and winning losing it at the neurocognitive level while advancing society at the same time. The hard part will be holding on to ambiguity, the space in between the strange things, as the data will always feel the need to identify and fix things. Most importantly, what thinking teaches us is that it’s ok to be wrong.

Categories
Psychology Social Media Tech

Hooked on artifice and spin

Twitter’s removal of millions of fake accounts reminds us that not everything is what it seems. The internet is full of bots, replicating humans, even programmed to act more human than the humans themselves.

We too are conscious automata, no more authentic than the droids themselves. People are just savvy editors. We present our best selves online to increase our self-worth and to make other people envious.

Artifice defeats authenticity in all chess matches of the irreality we crave.

Yet, the push to be at our best could be the resolution to our proposed mediocrity. Why shoot ourselves down when a quasi-celebrity lifestyle sits at our fingertips.

Fame happens to the mobile holder. Stuck in a ludic loop, we are the host of our own Truman Show. Attention captured, republished, and released. We’re neither superior to bots nor are we consciously behind.

If you're a WRITER or aspiring blogger, I highly recommend creating your own blog and publishing something new every day (read my post on how to set up a FREE blog on Wordpress).

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Categories
Culture Tech

Faulty attention

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We cultivate boredom the same way we incubate attention, that is, we latch on to things until we no longer see them. They camouflage into our awareness.

The internet user runs into the cornucopia of visuals on Instagram. Liking becomes desultory, numb to the perpetual sting of dopamine. Are we not entertained?

We are sloppy internet users

But we are also creatures of habit, where behaviors online and off are one of the same. In reality, we visit the same people, talk to the same friends, and share similar viewpoints. Yet, simplicity is often in the sophistication of an opposing view.

Challenges make us reconsider our everyday perceptions. We don’t need to keep refreshing into a ludic loop of variable results. Instead, we need to expect completely different answers. Such novelty is how we stay curious, albeit sane.

gif via Katy Wang


Categories
Culture Life & Philosophy Tech

Dreaming in digital

Run into the sun

We take the screen for granted, assuming it reveals the real world. But the phone format only offers an exterior point of view.

Our screens fool us. All it takes is a few swipes at the Instagram Stories palette to give ourselves wings. Digital life is an activity of the most unfettered imagination.  

Augmented reality is still nascent — there is still no good way to combine the digital and physical worlds. In the meantime, we toggle between reality and irreality to arouse the nearest attention.

Rarely bored but always on — we project ourselves into the future, trying to bring new content into the immediate evidence of the senses.

gif via Popsicle Illusion

If you're a WRITER or aspiring blogger, I highly recommend creating your own blog and publishing something new every day (read my post on how to set up a FREE blog on Wordpress).

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