The I, Robot Generation

Increasingly our technology is advancing and rapidly becoming a way of life, but is it time to draw a line under advancing and creating new technology or should we keep pushing the boundaries?

After watching the BBC news whilst eating my breakfast I quickly realised where I stood with this question; it’s time to draw the line. My reasoning you ask? On the TV screen I was confronted with an eerily human face attached to a series of tubes and wires. In the following few minutes I was informed that the creation being showcased had an artificial heart, lung, spleen and even artificial blood running through the tubes connecting it. I don’t know about you but to me this sounds like the first step towards an iRobot style takeover. Admittedly it is unlikely to happen in the immediate future but I am skeptical about how much we really understand about the function of these things we are creating. If we can’t understand the world that is already around us, should we really be throwing our own creations into the mix?

If we can’t understand the world that is already around us, should we really be throwing our own creations into the mix?

I will concede that individually all of these technologies provide a lifeline to some individuals, for example those injured in accidents or conflict, but put together to form one ‘living’ being paints an altogether terrifying picture. Specialist Richard Yonck stated “I totally believe that very seriously enhanced and augmented abilities are going to be available to human beings both in the general public and certainly at the military level.” Where do we draw the line in using these technologies? Do we decide that they are only to be used as a means of restoring original function to people who would otherwise lose a function? Or is there a risk of technology being implemented to enhance individuals, for example in the military, or indeed to create robots to fight wars? If we do that is it possible that these bionic creations will harbour resentment and turn against those who made them?

While these questions may seem ridiculous, and granted, I do feel my sci-fi watching experience may be influencing them somewhat, they are to some extent valid. I for one definitely don’t favour my chances in a Terminator style rebellion, and fear the answers to these questions if we do continue to push our technological boundaries to the extremes.

Emma Drabble

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Image: Bethan via Flickr

One Comment
  • Tim Winstanley
    24 February 2013 at 16:59
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    That is one view but what also has to be considered is the huge potential of improvements to the body. Technology could make people stronger, heal faster and live longer life. A ‘terminator style rebellion’ could only occur if you had an artificial intelligence at its heart which isn’t required if you are just improving the human design.

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