When I sat down to write this piece, I never thought I’d end on cheesy robots.
I mean, they’re charming and innocent whereas social media can be a nagging disease. But as I started to contemplate the notion of technology, in all its forms, I realized that ever since the human race deviated from face-to-face interactions, we’ve been slowly slipping into a virtual reality.
What followed in-person interactions, many millennia ago, was handwritten correspondence (more or less). Then came the telegraph, the telephone, the computer, cell phones, etc. I’ll grant you that timeline is probably not entirely aligned with history, and I know I’ve left out some tech, but the point is that with each progressive transition came less tangible humanity and more stoic technology.
If truth be told, smart phones aren’t smart. Apps aren’t truly intelligent. They’re computers that receive input and provide output; it’s augmented reality and virtual assistants that are the true stars of the saga. However, if we remain on this path of truth, we’ll acknowledge that we’ve had the means to navigate and turn on lights for ages; as a child of the 70s and 80s, I remember paper maps and timers that would illuminate your living room if you weren’t home. The point is, technology has helped us but it’s also hurt us, and the situation is not improving.
I’m sure when bygone movie producers and writers designed their fictitious robots, they also assumed our world would one day see artificial intelligence integrated into society. But with exception to the extreme futurists, most probably envisioned waitstaff and housekeepers more than an army of time-hopping Terminators. As for me…it’s almost 2018 and some days, smart technology truly scares me. But as for clunky, monotone robots? I just want to hug them and chuckle as they waddle.
© 2017 Joe Blend. All rights reserved.