We are becoming increasingly dependent on computers. They are used in business, hospitals, crime detection and even to fly plains. What things will they be used in future. Is this dependence on computer good or we should be more suspicious of its benefits?
Barely half a century ago, the concept of computer was alien to mankind. All the calculations were done with pen and paper. Firms use to hire accountants in herds to manage there accounts. Then came computers, in what can be called as invention of the century. The idea behind the invention of computers was to create device to aid human beings in tedious and time consuming calculations requiring pinpoint precision. What was not foreseen was the potential and possibilities associated with this technology. Soon computers could be seen anywhere from industries to shops, from offices to homes, and from desktops they reached our pockets. It came as a service but have now become a utility in many parts of the world.
What sets a computer apart form other path breaking discoveries of its time, namely Radio and television? Why these technologies didn’t reach the same level as computer? The answer to this question is interactivity. Computer is an interactive device. It is customizable that is it can be modified to fit and serve user specific requirements. It reacts to users commands provides useful results, helps its owner increase his or her efficiency. It is this property of computers that creates a bond between it and its user. A computer integrates itself into the life of its owner. Which, unfortunately its counter parts television and radio couldn’t do.
This interactivity and integration also makes computer suitable for a wide range of applications. It can be embedded into home appliances. It can be a one point connection to rest of the devices in a system. A computer can also be upgraded significantly in term sof computational power. And owing to its interactive nature it can perform and multitude of complex functions. This can be observed in diversity of applications for which computers are employed. Computers are used in flight simulation, precision requiring surgeries, space operations, auto pilot, traffic monitoring, manufacturing units and many more. All technological advancement in computers have come in less than half a century.
This frenzied pace of development makes one wonder, where is this technology heading? Are those sci-fi fantasies coming real? Will there be cyborgs sprawling all across the planet? Will those digital mazes as in matrix be a reality in future? Already R&D labs across world are spending heavily on artificial intelligence and neural networks to provide thinking capabilities of human brain to computers. NASA has already send spirit and discovery, its automated probes to scan the surface of mars and provide us with valuable information. These probe can work in inhuman condition without any effect on their logical units. They can run on static source of power for long durations. They can refuel themselves. Defense departments everywhere in the world are busy in developing unmanned fighting machines. US Air force’s Predator, an Unmanned Ariel Vehicle (UAV) is one such example. It can transmit signals across continents, is undetected by radars. It has been successfully transmitting strategically sensitive information in Afghanistan and Iraq. These are but few examples of how penetrating and strong computer based technologies can be.
With human beings relentless pursuit for creating artificial intelligence, One can be in awe as well as fear of the possibilities computer presents. Where, they can be representatives of our civilizations at places where we cannot flourish, they can also be our worst nightmares if they gain complete self control. The dependence on computers need a vigilant monitoring on our part for its good as long as we are its masters but not the other way round.