Technology Takeover

By Chelsea Riffe

            Do you all remember Y2K? I remember being so nervous because everyone kept talking about technology and its effects. People made Y2K sound like all computers were alive and would take over the world…okay, maybe I’m the only one who thought it would be that dramatic, but I did have this weird fear of technology being smarter than us. Have you ever thought that?

            Everything is deemed “smart” these days. Smartphones, smartwatches, smart-this and smart-that. It’s a little daunting knowing there’s a car in the works that drives itself. According to Emily Albrent, machines “incorporate big data and algorithms provide the capability to learn what we need before we know ourselves” (para. 2). This directly relates to our class teachings about data analysis. The way we break down data to analyze it, machines can do a trillion times faster. Machines can break down content, code it, create algorithms, and spit data back out in seconds. Albrent provided a chart to explain the history of this evolution of technology. The text might be too small to read, but there are some key points, and hilarious insights from our predecessors, that you should note.

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  • In 1943, Thomas Watson said “I think there is a world market for maybe five computers”
  • 1956 is when the origin of artificial intelligence came to life, the “first foray into computers doing tasks that were previously reserved for the human brain”
  • 1996 is the first time where a computer beat a human, Garry Kasparov, at a chess game
  • In 2008, there were over one billion PCs used in the world, “a number that was predicted to double by 2014”
  • Today, in 2014, it takes “82,944 processors in the 4th fastest supercomputer in the world to stimulate one second of the human brain”

Some of these facts are funny to look at now, and others are extremely innovative and provide insight to our future. But do some sound alarming to you? For instance, a computer beat a human at a game humans invented, back in 1996. With Google’s new car that drives itself, how far can we take technology? There’s so many touch-sensor, motion-sensor, audio-sensitive devices out there, there’s no doubt technology will evolve faster than we anticipate. Much of this technology exists to make things easier for us, like old routines or worn out methods. But when does it just become plain lazy (ex: The Clapper)? With the education and resources available today, it will be very interesting to see how fast these machines change our lives. What’s your take on it?

References

Albrent, E. (2014, June 23). How your machines get smarter. Mashable. Retrieved June 24, 2014, from http://mashable.com/2014/06/23/how-machines-get-smarter/

Amazon Prime Free Trial. (n.d.). Amazon.com: The clapper sound activated on/off switch: health & personal care. Retrieved June 24, 2014, from http://www.amazon.com/The-Clapper-Sound-Activated-Switch/dp/B0000CGKLR 

News Latino. (2014, May 28). Google to build car without steering wheel that will drive itself. Fox News Latino. Retrieved June 24, 2014, from http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/money/2014/05/28/google-to-build-car-without-steering-wheel-that-will-drive-itself/

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