We Are Used to IT 국민리뷰 보기

8-1

We Are Used to IT

Ji-Hae Yoon
Associate Editor

We are university students living in the 21st century. We rely on techn

ology. Everything is in our smartphones. Without our smartphones, we can’t go out to work or study, and our regular daily routines will be ruined. Even though there is no doubt that technology has replaced human labor in many areas, the idea that advanced technology will ultimately deteriorate people’s ability to think for themselves is still questionable. In terms of mechanical calculation, the ability of pre-programmed machines surpasses that of human beings.
In February 2011, two champion contestants on a popular American quiz show were easily beaten by a computer; the IBM machine, named Watson, won in three special editions of Jeopardy (Jeopardy is one of America’s oldest and most popular quiz shows). The program was named ‘man versus machine’. It was amazing how a single giant piece of hardware could think and operate by itself. Watson was also able to notice nuances in varied English languages and all different kinds of accents.
But at the same time, some people are worried about the future of humankind. We can imagine a future time where humans are referred to as dumb ones. As we rely more on technology to solve any problem, the ability to think for ourselves will surely deteriorate. However, when it comes to creative minds or spontaneous judgment, no machine can supersede the human ability to imagine.
Of course, the spectacular development of artificial intelligence has allowed human beings to have more leisure time since machines can work many times faster than men. A substantial amount of data analysis that perhaps would require many hours to calculate manually can be processed in a few minutes or even few seconds by super computers. And in many cases of super rocket science projects, without machine support, men could not have dreamt of such state-of-the-art ventures.
But in the case of human beings, the situation is much different. In other words, humans are the ones who are supposed to control technology; but in reality people are controlled by technology. In the name of a new generation, we are too obsessed with technology. We instantly check anything on display monitors, either on smartphones or on laptops. Some professors in Kookmin University have set their in-class rules to have any electric device turned off during lecture periods. Students are not allowed to take notes or view PowerPoint slides either on laptops or on tablets. If caught by the professor, the student will immediately lose one point of their final grade in the course. Some students assert their opinions against this idea of banning electronic devices in class as it is so hard to stay away from them for the three hours of lecture time.
It is sad that some of us are addicted to mobile phones. Mobile phone addiction is an enormous issue in current society. The issue also impacts personal relationships, as some people are replacing face-to-face conversations with cybernetic ones. In a survey conducted by Gazelle (European Union’s interoperability and conformance testing for e-health), we learn that “more than 25% of research respondents reported that they ‘almost always’ use their phones while in a social setting such as during a meal or during a party”. Technology is causing a serious psychological dilemma. 
It was men who developed technology, which is a double-edged sword prepared for people to make judicious use of it. However recently, human beings have not been wise enough to take proper advantage of this technology, and thus have caused many serious environmental, pathological as well as physical and mental health problems. With the concern of the indispensability of technology, which has become a core part of our daily routines, it is only when that technology is sensibly used, it will be able to prevent the rapidly increasing problems we are experiencing in our everyday lives. 


jhyoon0701@kookmin.ac.kr

 


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