Thursday, November 4, 2010

Day 779 (Tidbits)

Okay, I have to admit... Day 779 on The 800 Days blog has caught me off guard... Plainly speaking, the information on this post for Day 779 actually freaks me right out!

Artificial Intelligence is the main topic here and, well... I've had enough of a problem with human intelligence going awry, according to our history books... the idea of robots and similarly "intelligent" machines is something that makes my blood run cold and sends prickly shivers up and down my spine.

Sure - some say I've watched too many spooky movies, read too many strange and scary tales. I probably have. But even after a good, full night's sleep and in the middle of the daylight hours, the topic and possibility of artificial intelligence frightens me a great deal.

Partly, it's because I have observed "machines" in our day and age... and the overuse of and the human reliance on these same machines. With some machines doing "work" and "tasks" that human beings used to do, we've inadvertently allowed many healthy human activities to fade away.

ie: microwave ovens can now defrost and cook our food - and also tell us the time and be used as alarm clocks. Our way of cooking has forever changed with the invention of and use of microwave ovens... Gone are the healthy activities of many kinds of food preparation - sometimes tasks done with multiple members of the family. Instead of families preparing a meal together - now one only has to go to the freezer in the kitchen, take out a packaged meal, pop it in the microwave - then sit down and eat it after the microwave oven beeps. No real food handling is necessary (will we forget what the food looks like while in its unprepared state?), no food "prep" is necessary (how many more generations or years before we forget how to safely use a knife to cut a carrot? Or how to do the simple task of shucking corn?), and worst of all... "community" decisions/family decision making (what should be on the menu?) and practice with compromising is almost not necessary anymore.  And those are the details of just one extremely (almost universal) item found in most modern homes... There are computers, besides... and washing machines, dryers, dishwashers, home security systems (have we forgotten how to be good neighbors? so much that we must lock the whole world OUT?), video games and cell phones and more...

Are we forgetting how to have conversations? It's easier and quicker to text a friend these days than to pick up the landline phone, dial a number and have a conversation.

Whoops, but now I'm really side-tracking away from the content on The 800 days blog.

Mind you - there is more of the same in topics on the Day 779 post...  where the content turns attention toward cell phones, the sci-fi novel "I Robot" by Isaac Asimov, South Korean "robotic laws," and tech gadgets or "tech-toys." As well, the concept that robotics will be used to replace humans for the tasks of warfare... Hmmm

I'd better let Blake do the explaining on these items...

Day 779 was on Tuesday November 2, 2010.

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