Research round 2

The effects of computers and automated machines on today’s world and the public view of these machines…

In the last research round, I looked at innovations and some of the many brilliant minds that have helped the computer get to where it is currently. In this research round, I’ll look at how computers help shape our lives and how it influences us. I will also look at some opinions and bust a few myths…

The automated society…

Today’s world is growing increasingly automated with machines now capable of doing more things than ever. They can freeze out foods, turn on our lights, cook our food, tell us the weather and current events and do many more things. It is definitely an understatement to say that computers have changed the way we live our lives drastically (1). Many industries are being radically changed by automation and as a result, we get a robust device that does the functionality of many things. For example, most people do not carry a radio, a camera, a GPS, a telephone, a torch, a compass, and a music player at once if they have one smartphone that can do all of these functions and some more in a form that is small and can easily slide in a pocket. Take the DSLR cameras as an example, you see these cameras used professionally in weddings and reunions and festivals and other events used and handled by expert photographers. At one point, sales of these cameras were drastically rising and were highly competitive and were shipping millions of units each year until it hit its peak in 2010 selling 121 million cameras (2), currently, the DSLR camera took an 84% decline in sales and is continuing to shrink as smartphone photography gets better and is now beginning to make these dedicated cameras an artifact of the past (2). Vinyl is also another example. Despite vinyl sales growing ever so slightly, vinyl has also taken a big hit from modern, digitally produced music (3). So its fairly obvious that our lives are being changed by intelligent machines that can change their environments and to take in various instructions and carry out the task effectively.


ITS TIME FOR MYTHBUSTERS (Starring your host Josh Vas)

Myth 1: Computers mess up

I was watching a youtube video where two private investigators interviewed someone and asked questions regarding the relationship the subject was involved in. When the test determined that a few of the questions were a lie, the subject went ahead to claim that the test did a small “mess up”. This is very much false as computers are perfect in execution. they can execute a specific task perfectly multiple times. However, it is the person who is instructing the computer that tends to go wrong. Coding is still highly tedious and hard and requires great attention to detail and be extremely specific on the smallest of details and so it is really easy to make a mistake.

Myth 2: AI will take over (terminator)

This is a very popular one as every so often, people think that there will be a day in the future where we are mere slaves or maybe even bred out by our own creations…but this is not really true because robots simply do not have feelings and cant make decisions on their own accord unless instructed upon by a person. While it is possible for a terminator like situation to happen where a group of humans sabotages the machines to take over, but however this is near impossible as no one had the skills and speed to accomplish this feat so a terminator like situation will never happen…or will it?!

Myth 3: CPU’s are not smarter than humans

We have seen computers beating people in mentally challenging areas like the time in 1996 where one of the best chess players in the world named Gary Kasparov gets beaten by Deep Blue, a machine developed by IBM designed to play chess and analyze a staggering 208,000,000 moves…per second! (4) The invention of the computer has also proved its superiority when it comes to solving complex math and logic problems with ease (5). So does that mean that our creations have finally caught up to the one thing that separates us from the rest of nature? On the contrary, not even close. Being intelligent is more than simply being able to logically solve math problems and play chess. The ability to recognize patterns, learn and adapt to mistakes, and respond to unfamiliar situations are all factors that come into play when measuring intelligence and our machines are simply not good enough in these areas (6). So computers are mainly “one-trick ponies” where it does amazingly well in one area, but fall behind in everything else.

Trying to not be tardy is one of my many new years’ resolutions that I will not be able to live up to…but otherwise thank you for reading this post!




Leave a Reply