Droids…Are we Moving Towards Utopia or Dystopia?


As I was surfing great spaces of internet, I came across an interesting video title – “Are droids taking our jobs?” I, as a person liking technology quite a bit and also being a computer science major (in addition to BSBA program), was really curious about the content of the video. This is how I decided to write about Andrew McAfee. McAfee is currently a principal research scientist at the Center for Digital Business in the MIT Sloan School of Management. His research investigates how IT changes the way companies perform, organize themselves and compete. He also investigates how computerization affects competition, society, economy, and the workforce. He is famous for his book Race Against the Machine.

Andrew McAfee, in his TED talk, is talking about the extremely high rates technology growth, which we, humanity, are not keeping up to it. That rapid growth is a phenomenon based on Moore’s Law, which state that computational power doubles every 18 months. Inventions, he claims, have always replaced human labor in some areas, but, at the same time, created new jobs in other areas. However, due to the extremely fast growth nowadays, new areas specifically designed for humans are not being created. Hence, labor force is losing opportunities, whereas new ones have not originated yet.

As technology evolves, it is able to perform tasks that are considered out of computational reach. Andrew McAfee mentions Siri and Watson as examples. One would think that communication and pattern matching would always be an area where a human being has advantage over machine. However, technology surpasses our expectations and, alas, is taking the advantage from us.

I was actually also concerned with this upcoming issue, which is why I abandoned my initially chosen math major and decided to try management and computer science. Management is something technology is not capable of doing yet and is still an area where mankind excels. Computer science is a field of study in which, unsurprisingly, computers are studied. Creation of computation is a basis for all devices we possess today, and therefore understanding fundamentals might also give a clear view on the current situation, described by McAfee. Perhaps, I would learn the limitations of the technology and would apply that knowledge to the resolution of issues, mentioned in the TED talk.

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4 thoughts on “Droids…Are we Moving Towards Utopia or Dystopia?

  1. I definitely would come to see Andrew McAfee if he came to speak at Bucknell. The rise of technology in the business world is no secret to anyone, however exactly how this will affect the business world is more commonly the question that is being asked. I think that it is a serious problem that technology is advancing quicker than humans ourselves. This is scary because humans are the ones making the technology. How does that make sense?

  2. I discussed Moore’s Law in my Information Systems class and it is very astounding how our technology improves so vastly. Think of Macbooks, every year they grow thinner and thinner. I know the recent ones don’t even CD drives anymore because they are pretty much useless these days. But Moore’s Law describes how technology in the same place, maybe a microchip that held 64 GB of RAM will hold 128 GB of RAM in the next 2 years. That’s the twice the computing power in the same amount of space. Even now, laptops are being replaced by iPads, simply because they got rid of the keyboard due to the fact that they can make tablet have a digital one instead. Simply because they have more power in the same amount of space. It’s really scary to think about, but more incredible to talk about.

  3. Pingback: 2013 BGS Blogging Academy Awards | Biz Gov Soc 6

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