Chapter 7 is about the trade-offs that comes from smarter and more widely available internet technology. These new technologies can be exploited to spy on user’s personal information, from email to using the internet, companies can track you using cookies and other spy ware. The Internet and the cyberspace was created to help all of the human race, not the few elite, but in reality a small elite has formed which can subject all other users to their inspection, and judgement. Large corporations, and the government can trace your email and can ruin someones career when they find something on some one’s post that shouldn’t have been typed.
Another fear about this new human-machine symbosis is that we’re losing our humanity, and our morality as a consequence. This cuts both ways because we also gain a lot more control in the process because we can take care of our everyday problems with increasing speed and efficiently through cell-phones, computer.
Another potential problem is that we can experience overload, and we simply drown in a sea of information and messages. I find this the most ridiculous because why would we suddenly combust? Just because we become lost in it and we lose our humanity to the machines? This sounds like something out of the Matrix and we can’t become disconnected from machines entirely in the modern world.
Another worry is alienation, and the fact that learning agents might confuse our children into thinking that robot friendships are just as good as real friendships. I understand this one because once machines get to the point where their mimicry of human social actions is pretty good, it could have a profound effect on the learning mind. Though I’m sure these worries were present when the TV was invented, but no child thinks the TV is a substitute for real social interactions.
I think the downsides and fears from an increasing presence of cyber technology is not unfounded, but humans are hybrid creatures and we crave new experiences. Culture, technology are important things which builds the human character and we’re constantly thinking of ways to become more social and communicate with each other, so this new technology will become a part of us sooner or later.