While there is no shortage of claims of how there will be nothing a human will be able to do better than our AI counterparts in the future, the real question is, what is the actual overarching goal of technology today?
I'm not addicted
Whatever happened to technology enabling us to better live our lives, by keeping us better informed, connected and empowered? Instead, I feel we are heading down this path of acceptable addiction, where I download an app to help manage my apps. Where I use a SaaS (software as a service) that helps me use another piece of software as well as offer a service. Where I jump on Facebook to 'connect with loved ones' and find myself sucked into a number of rabbit warrens littered with cat videos, conspiracy theorists, memes, birds with arms and generally content design to keep me clicking, watching, consuming all while my details are pawned off to the next advertiser.
Our addiction is so real but we can't quit, won't quit! We need to see this through, just one more scroll down, let me refresh, hang-on, yay another 6 followers, if I can just get to 3K, I could totally become a micro-influencer, oh look, another notification. You. Can't. Stop. We. Can't. Stop. Unless, we did it together, though without a social network how would you really know everyone stopped? Maybe just one more 'quick' look then...
Are you a cyborg too?
In 2012, I wrote about an incidental digital detox I did on a trip away, the reality is these days, we can't possibly detox from something that is a part of us, it completes us. Yes, I admit to being a cyborg, the only difference is, the integration between my physical self and my tech gadgets, isn't quite seamless or complete yet.
I'm holding on to this boyhood notion that technology is used to empower me, the truth is, it's working really hard to replace me.
Just as the industrial revolution created the 'working class', as will the technology revolution create the 'useless class', or at least that's what best-selling author Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens - a brief history of humankind & Homo Deus - a brief history of tomorrow) will have us believe.
We are increasingly becoming 'useless' because we have based human society on fiction. In order to organise masses of people together, you need to convince everybody to believe the same fiction, the same mythology. The entire global economy is based on fiction stories, be it about money, corporations or things that exist only in our imagination." - Yuval Noah HarariYuval then goes on to say how technology won't make our mythologies or fictions irrelevant, it will actually make them far more powerful than ever before!
Help Ms. Politician, you're my only hope
I don't buy into the notion that many futurists will have us believe, where human jobs will come from maintenance work, caring tasks and generally replaced with jobs that don't really even exist yet. I believe that government must and will protect our right to undertake in meaningful work. Without intervention, that is likely to become increasingly difficult as we'll be expected to drive 4 hours for Uber, then come home to be a concierge to our Airbnb guests and finish off by doing crowdsourcing work on Airtasker et al.
Technology has the power if we let it, to become so complete in its structural addiction, that it will physically become us, in one way or another.
THE MORAL: MOVE AS FAST AS YOU CAN, BE CREATIVE AND STRIVE TO SOLVE MEANINGFUL PROBLEMS THAT MATTER TO YOU, ME AND YOUR CUSTOMER, AND WE MAY JUST AVOID SKYNET TAKING OVER.