Quo Vadis -where are you headed ?

Original article was published by Mahesh Shroff on Artificial Intelligence on Medium


Technological advancement has always been both a boon and bane. Innovations that addresses our physical well being has been a boon to a large extent. Thus microwaves, dishwashers, launderettes, lawn movers have all contributed to making our lives easier. Computers brought in an all-around sea change in education, business, economy, industry & commerce & fuelled exponential advancements. Technology thus resulted in progress and greater availability of time for us to pursue life fulfilling engagements. So far so good.

Technology then presented Social Beasts like FB, Insta, WhatsApp etc etc to engage our leisure time, to make us ‘happy’.

IF YOU FEED THESE BEASTS, THEY WILL DESTROY YOU

Our getting wholly entrapped, entrenched. and ensnared by the overpowering Social Media is something to really worry about. The engagements, majorly serve as an escape from the present moment for some imaginary short term high. These apps have created tools that rip apart the social fabric. The short term dopamine driven feedback loops are destroying how the Society works. We curate our lives around a perceived sense of perfection as we get rewarded by hearts, likes, thumbs up; and we confuse these for value or truth, for something that really is fake and brittle popularity. There is no civil discourse, no cooperation, and simply misinformation. Bad actors keep floating fake news and present a disturbingly dangerous situation. And like puppets we too contribute and compound the problems. All this is not localised in a country but is afflicting humanity globally.

Summing up, Social Media has made us imbecile and has virtually stunted our maturity and mental growth. It has undermined the core foundations of how people behave by and between each other.

If we continue to feed these beasts, they are sure to destroy us. We need to do some real soul searching and hard brake on these tools that we so heavily rely upon 24/7 for entertainment. Only if we push back on it, we could eventually control and rein it in.

Apart from the frightful prospect of us turning utterly insecure and psychological wrecks, the impact trajectory of these social media tools is more frightening. The mad race among big tech corporations for incorporating Artificial Intelligence & the collaboration of this with bio tech algorithms, pose humanity’s truly dystopian future. As Yuval Harare has often observed we are on the threshold of having our minds hacked and would lose our unique individuality and independence. The big tech will surveil us -where we go, whom we meet, what we buy or eat, our political alignment, etc and the tech companies will know us far better than we know ourselves. A sure-shot roadmap to make us puppets & guinea pigs

Except that you stop using these tools, there is no other solution. This could make you temporarily suffer certain withdrawal symptoms. It would also create a sort of a short lived tension among your friends. These will but be a very very small price to pay for remaining really free and independent in the manner God created us.

Take your call !!