Monday, June 11, 2007

Conspiracy 2350: Destroy all intelligent life forms!

Yes, technology has helped make life easier in more ways than one. Or has it? Think again. It could ultimately prove to be the biggest curse on mankind...

It’s 2025 and Marie’s 3-year-old has been into a bad accident. An already vexed Marie’s worry is compounded when all she has for assistance is her domesticated robot – who dials the automated ambulance service. Marie also realises that when she reaches the hi-tech hospital in the neighborhood, she’ll be greeted by a bunch of machines again, and one of them will operate upon her son. Her precious son in the hands of merciless machines that albeit assiduously programmed, will nevertheless lack the human touch. Is this for real?

Well, the way technology moves forward, one cannot discount this possibilitiy. Millions of cleaning robots and myriad tactical robots are already being used all over the world today. By the end of this year, they could be manning some airport lounges & traffic monitoring. Even humanoid robots are a reality; they would even demand rights, according to the British government, years later. And who knows, these marvels of technology could wreak havoc with civilisation. Are we sounding too alarmist? Look around you, and you will realise that technology has already managed to enslave humans. Imagine life today without cars, television, radio, computers, gaming consoles, printers, washing machines, email, Internet, PDAs, cell phones, iPods, credit cards, ATMs & GPS devices. Especially when these concepts were unimaginable a few decades ago. Consider what happened in North America just a few weeks ago, when the BlackBerry wireless e-mail service from Research In Motion suffered an 8-hour outage. Millions of hapless ‘humans’ had their schedules thrown off gear as they could not access their emails on the go.

In fact, things are getting more and more complicated and amusing at the same time. For instance, TV programmes are available on television (naturally!), mobile as well as on the computer via IPTV. That too when the busy, stressful lifestyles of people means they spend less and less time on the idiot box. Music is on the iPod, on the music system in your home & car, on your mobile and again, on your computer! It’s almost like they want us to stay wired to our machines always, whether or not we spend any time at all with our families.

And if that’s this generation, think of the generations to follow – ‘blessed’ by the wonders of technology and living lives that are starved of relationships. It’s a scenario similar to that in the Hollywood blockbuster The Matrix, which is as perilous as it is fascinating. And Morpheus sums up the plight of the people in the Matrix aptly thus tells Neo, “... these people are still a part of that system... And many of them are so inured, so hopelessly dependent on the system, that they will fight to protect it.” And the way we are going, we already seem to be part of a Matrix, that seeks to take over. Can we stop its endemic, or are we indeed doomed to be swept away?


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