What the information age truly offers.
It is human nature to resist change and feel threatened by it. There has been excessive discussions on how robots and machines may lead humanity to extinctions and how machines will take our jobs. The purpose of this article is not to analyze the merits of these claim but rather to offer an alternate perspective.
Lets start by asking ourselves some questions. How many of us have put our families and our lives at pause to tend to the constantly demanding work? How many of us have been putting away that start up idea because we don’t have enough time or the resources? Or how many of us are tired of the monotony industrial work offers? How many of us miss the excitement, impulsiveness and freedom of our childhood?The answer is an overwhelming majority.
Then what is stopping us. Whilst the industrial age revolutionized the way we live, it made wrong assumptions about human nature which we over the tyranny of time have unconsciously accepted, the idea that human beings at large can be conditioned and disciplined. It brought with it a flurry of mundane tasks which robs us of our very inherent creativity. The father of industrial revolution himself said that over the time a person working in an assembly line becomes as dumb as humanly possible. We are expected to behave as machines: productivity, punctuality, constant availability and predictability are the desired characteristics which are by nature contradictory to our human nature.
So i say if machines want to take these jobs, they can have it. Once we embrace the change, we can see its true potential and achieve remarkable things not possible before. Lets be clear, machines are computationally super fast yet shockingly dumb. While the media has a knack for blowing things out of proportion, i assure you, as someone who employs machine learning daily at work and religiously follows all the developments in the field, to date the best machine learning algorithm is no where close to the smallest mammalian brain. We humans posses such a beautiful and remarkable brain that its mechanism to solve the simplest day to day task still eludes us.
It is indeed this potential of the brain in harnessing our inherent creativity that this new digital world offers. In a few decades we moved from taking days to reach a single person through post cards to reaching millions of people all around the world instantly. We tend to give the credit to machines for these revolutions when it was in fact the workings of the same remarkable minds we all possess. To truly appreciate our potential we need to stop acting like machines and be humans again, or better yet go back to our childhood. Start asking questions, start exploring and getting amazed, start believing in miracles again and be foolish enough to think that we can change the world, embrace uncertainty and the remarkable potential of an awe moment it offers. Lets channel our inner creativity and art to leave a mark on the world. And yes let the machine do all the mundane tasks for us.
Think of all the possibilities in the world where innovation is not just driven by a selected few but all of us, where we all decide together what future we want and make it happen.