Dispelling the fear of new technologies is a challenge, especially in today’s intellectual landscape

When exposed to any new technology, people tend to react with some caution and, in extreme cases, a bias toward the dystopian. In this regard, Hollywood and mass media sensationalism are major contributors, along with social networks. Covid-19 is spreading through 5G is an excellent example!

Deep-seated claims that technology is inherently evil and clearly a direct threat to humanity are hard to dispel. And if rational thinking could put this to bed, it would have done so long ago, based on history and described by just three axioms:

  1. Without technology, we would not progress as a species and know and understand almost nothing
  2. The biggest threat to humanity is humanity
  3. If technological progress stops, civilizations collapse

The industrial revolutions successively improved the lot of mankind with better housing, clothing, food, health care and education.

There was never any malicious technology or machine

And there was never a malevolent technology or machine, the benefits always outweighed any subsequent negatives. Also, the continuous flow of advanced technology has allowed us to see further, understand more, and create ever more impressive solutions to our problems and condition.

So how come we have people (in the West) tearing down cell phone towers, refusing to take proven medicine, and generally reverting to baseless belief systems promoted by “Mary on Facebook”? The deterioration in the general level of Western educational attainment, compounded by a growing distrust of politics and capitalism, appears to be three key elements.

But it is also reinforced by a declining interest in science, technology and engineering, with a growing inability to rationalize situations and a general bias towards panic and hysteria.

Recently, robotics has been cited as the future creator of mass unemployment, while AI has been identified as humanity’s biggest existential threat. By whom, you may ask? Well, how about a few famous celebrities who have never built a robot or designed an AI system! Sadly, rational public debate seems to be a distant memory and these predictions have lit up Twitter, WhatsApp and more. as the ill-informed focus groups began to work and it was all organized by self-styled gurus of all things technical and philosophical.

There seems to be no limit to the madness and it is costing lives as blue light services are now dependent on mobile networks and those who refuse modern medicine clog up the healthcare system in days of death or long illness.

No matter what evidence you present, people seem unable to rationalize known facts. They seem to inhabit wells of ignorance, constantly reinforced by thousands of like-minded people on social media.

Paradoxically, they all communicate on the Internet using mobile devices, which are both marvels of modernity while allegedly cooking your brain!

What these people failed to realize is that robots and AI are not technologies of the future, they are here and now and we are totally dependent on them for our heat, light, power, water, gas, communication, logistics and delivery of our food, products and artifacts!

Unfortunately, it’s also obvious from the many public debates between politicians, scientists and philosophers outside of technology that they don’t get it either!

The reality is striking: Humans can no longer deal with the degree of complexity and non-linearity inherent in the problem sets that confront them, but machines can. In design, manufacturing, supply, materials and energy management, medicine and services, machines are already largely in control.

And there is no going back!

Peter Cochrane OBE is Professor of Conscious Systems at the University of Suffolk, UK


Previous articleSiC MOSFETs provide low on-resistance
Next articleGlobal Cloud Services Spend 33% to $62.3 Billion in Q2 2022