We love watching and reading science fiction stories. We laugh at how impossible they seem. But is sci-fi actually coming into our homes, invading our lives and controlling almost all aspects of our day to day experiences? Is technology reaching a point where it’s actually becoming quite frightening what it can do and moreover, what we can’t do without it?
Of, course, technology is vital for our survival. And here I’m talking about the basic tools that were invented thousands of years ago to protect and help man. Without those inventions we would probably still be living in caves and hunting mammoths. But how far does technology have to go, before we feel happy with our lives? How many more advances need to be made before we decide that it’s all a little too much?
A few decades ago people actually appreciated each and every innovation. The discovery of electricity really bettered people’s lives; when the radio was first introduced it was an unbelievable achievement; when Bell made his first phone call he really reserved himself a place in history; the list goes on and on – television, the printing press, the computer, the internet… And then it kind of started piling up to the point where no one actually cares who made what. New devices and machines get introduced every day; new functions and options are featured every minute. All our homes are filled with technology – from the toaster and blender in the kitchen, to the new Hi-Def 3D TV in the living room; from the cordless vacuum cleaner to the gaming console which actually takes you into a virtual reality; from the Sat Nav in your car to the smartphone and tablet you use every day. Do we stop to think about what a big place in our lives these devices occupy? We just take them for granted and assume it’s all for the better.
How important is the internet to our social lives? Yes, the idea is great – allowing easier communication between people across the globe. But what has it turned into?! There are entire communities existing online; we rely on Facebook to know what’s happening to our friends; we prefer tweeting something instead of telling it to the people we actually think should know. With online shopping and electronic banking, and profiles all over the web, there is so much of our personal information stored on virtual servers for anyone with enough skills or authority to look at. This is where is begins to get scary.
Let’s leave social networks… Do you know how much your lives depend on technology? Our safety is up to airbags, brakes, emergency response systems, medical equipment and many more every day! If one of these fails, we are in the hands of fail-safe mechanisms. What if they fail too?
The scenarios about smart computers who can think for themselves have long ago become reality. With the advancements made in Artificial Intelligence development everyday, we are not that far away from the ‘robots take over the world’ scenario. We can talk to Cleverbot, ask Siri to write down our appointments. It’s all beginning to happen, right now!
An initial clue that Tomorrow’s World has become today was Google Glasses. Now, with scientists trying to recreate Star Wars technology it is clear that science fiction isn’t fiction any more, it’s fact! And those movies often involve some not-so-likeable outcomes for humanity. What’s to stop them from happening for real if everything else can?
Rita Rova writes about money saving ideas for Love My Vouchers; where you can get discounts on your gadgets, if you dare!