The impact of technological development on human evolution
The development of technology matches the history of human culture. Consider how the interaction mankind with technology has changed. And it can be divided into several stages.
Facilitating the struggle for existence
The creation of instrumental artifacts was designed to remedy the lack of human capabilities. In essence, part of the evolutionary process was shifted to technology. A separate part of man, technology, began to evolve, allowing him to evolve less on his own. Modern man is not as strong physically and has a weaker immune system. At the same time, he has the means to move mountains, survive in the Arctic and space, live longer than his distant ancestors, and even destroy the planet.
Exemption from physical work. The advent of mass production and information-computer technology
Humankind has gone through three industrial revolutions. Each time people have adapted better and better to changes in their environment. At the same time, they have been less and less willing to endure these changes without technology. One way or another, these revolutions did not encroach on the exclusive human advantage of the ability to think and create. We begin to learn about technological progress in school. Others go on to study the subject in more detail at university. Many students pay for essay if they do not have time to complete all assignments.
The first industrial revolution (the transition from manual to machine labor) freedman from physical exertion. The second promoted the emergence of flow production with electricity. The third brought information and computer technology.
The era of the Fourth (digital) Revolution has arrived, bringing radical transformations. For example, it threatens man with the loss of exclusivity of the mind.
Claiming our intelligence
This era has been the basis for the development of new digital technologies: artificial intelligence, machine learning, robotics, blockchain, cloud computing, etc. If before the advantage of intelligence and creativity was left to humans, now machines can have it. When robotic welding appeared in assembly-line production, a machine with an electronic “brain” did only routine work. It didn’t make decisions, it didn’t set goals. It was the person who set the terms of what should happen and how it should happen. Under the new circumstances, artificial intelligence could do without humans in its decisions.
Partnership with machines
Despite all the dangers to its exceptionalism, man chooses an “alliance” with technology. The singling out of technology logically culminates in a merger with it. Greater humanity, greater humanization, is expected of machines.
Software products that could act as partners to humans are in demand. For example, programs capable of playing chess.
They began to write them at the dawn of programming. The creators of the chess machine sought to develop a mind capable of independent learning and creativity. And today the machine can already beat a man at chess. It has become his companion in the game.
This is seen in the example of modern computer games.
Computer games – simulation, action, shooters, RPG (role-playing game). In which physical activity has become expressed through psychological association with the game avatar. An entirely new sphere has been constructed for humans. The boundaries between virtuality and reality have been erased. The player behind the monitor can, in the form of a virtual simulation, run a field, control a ship or an airplane, and command an entire army. Feel themselves in two worlds (physical and computer) at the same time.
The games reproduced the structure of relations in society. And also form their laws and ethics, creating a new reality, in which you also need to eat, drink, train, etc. for greater credibility.
Feelings for the machine
Technology is becoming more and more anthropomorphic, copying humans. It provokes an attitude of treating itself as a human being. It gives its wearer existential experiences, becoming an interlocutor and friend, and replacing “significant others.” For example, if you need to write an essay, you can always use the best writing service to save a lot of your time.
It is indicative that more and more different IT “consultants” and “partners” are appearing. For example, a holographic voice assistant has been created to communicate and simplify routine operations. But it reproduces human emotional reactions and therefore begins to evoke emotions and even feelings of affection.
In essence, a new kinship with the machine emerges. It is no coincidence that the owners of anthropomorphic robots describe them as family members. And transhumanist currents advocate the recognition of robots’ rights.
Creation becomes equal to the creator
Mankind is trying to make life easier for itself and to diversify the experience. In this way, he will increasingly distance himself from the role of creator, transferring this function to the machine.
The process of parallel development of humans and machines is moving toward the logical bifurcation point when creation becomes equal to its creator. Globalization, automation of routine work, technological advances, and digitalization require new skills. This process is logical and not new – the obsolescence of specialties and the emergence of new ones happens all the time. So the professions of telephonists, machinists, and elevators are a thing of the past.
What can we expect in the relationship between humans and machines in the future?
Owing to improvements in artificial intelligence systems, as well as their hardware base, humans are increasingly integrated with machines. It is like clothing or a stick digger that has become an extension of our ancestors’ bodies, increasing their stamina or physical strength. Modern smartphones are equipped with social artificial intelligence tools such as a search engine, a social networking app, a photo processing tool, etc. If you take the phone away from a modern person, you can observe symptoms that resemble a traumatic amputation. This does not mean a slowing down of evolution. It may only mean a change in its direction.
Mankind has many times interfered with its biological evolution with the help of technology. For example, the invention of fire. Thanks to fire, we learned how to cook and roast food. So, humans no longer needed such massive jaws. Evolution used free space, among other things, to increase the volume of the brain. Today we intervene in the biochemistry of the body with medicines. We use surgery and prosthetics. Our interference with our nature is limited mainly by our capabilities.
However, this does not mean that many difficulties do not await us on the way to this glorious prospect. First and foremost, there are the social problems that technological progress creates. These include unemployment, progressive inequality, the problem of the “digital secret court,” and the other challenges of an algorithmic society. Nevertheless, humanity is capable of overcoming these problems. They can be turned to the detriment of society, and the more powerful the technology, the greater the harm can become. This is why, paradoxically, the era of rapid technological development and machine sophistication places greater demands on the best human qualities.