The Dangerously Advancing Robots
Our modern human paradigm has become all about constant quantitative growth, individual profit accumulation, based on ever increasing productivity and efficiency. Our proud technological advancement is also behind serving this paradigm.
As a result even today the mainstream of production, organization is already guided or completely taken over by robotics, and very soon artificial intelligence is going to control the higher, more complicated aspects of our lives and our decision making.
This relentless artificial advancement recently started ringing alarm bells in many circles. Politicians, philosophers, scientists, public figures started to warn is about the different dangers associated with handing over our lives to robots and artificial intelligence.
While some of those predictions, warnings focus on the science fiction like human enslavement to robots, there are much more serious, immediate implications we should be dealing with.
One obvious, widely publicized consequence of such technological advancement is human beings losing their jobs to the much more effective and reliable robots. Unemployment is a great problem which goes way beyond “simply” losing sufficient income.
Human existence, our self-esteem necessitates that we feel needed, useful for human society. Our actual worth is not measured by zeros on bank accounts, quarterly-yearly growth figures or through Forbes listings, but it is measured by one’s useful, positive contribution to society.
It is this usefulness, positive contribution what people miss most when losing their jobs. And this loss leads to depression, substance abuse, family and social breakup, even suicide as a human life without a purpose becomes inhuman, not worth living.
The Human Added Value
There is an even deeper layer to the “excessive”, robotic efficiency, “sterilized” production/consumption cycle. Contrary to our modern belief human life is not about material worth, it is not about ensures consumption, accumulating material possessions, pleasures until we drop.
As we are inherently social creatures, constantly needing, nurtured by “human touch”, our life is actually about building, fostering positive mutual human interconnections. Our truly Humane existence, “life force” is sensed as a unique flow of circulation, communicating streaming through such mutual connections.
Initially trade, product or service exchange in between human beings used to be tools, facilitators reinforcing, strengthening the positive, mutual human interconnections. In each product, service there used to be, and in certain places still is the “human added value”, the “heart and soul” of the craftsman creating the product or providing the service. One who travels to “poorer” places like Samoa, India or even Eastern Europe can still observe that “human added value” in action.
When a person purchases a carpet knotted together by a few craftsman for several month, buys beautiful marble inlay work, looks at, takes an extremely detailed miniature painting devoutly worked on by their artists for long weeks, when we eat pastry, bakery kneaded, formed and baked lovingly, when one plays on a hand crafted violin, designed, cut, shaped, fine-tuned by an authorized master day and night fire months, with the product the new owner receives an eternal and deeply emotional connection with its maker.
And it is the same through services like being served by traditional, professional waiters in old restaurants, guided by enthusiastic tour guides around historic sites, or watching how harmoniously orchestrated musicians play classical music live on stage. The waiter, the tour guide, a shoemaker or the family running the small grocery shop become friends, who we keep returning to, not necessarily for the service provided but for the human connection built, received.
Seeing the human interaction, smiles, nods, mutual approvals of the musicians, being part of the performance ending ovation makes the musical and emotional experience much deeper, much more unforgettable than listening to the same music from recordings.
Returning To Human Life
We have become so technologically advanced, so productive and efficient today that at the same time we have lost our humanity in the process. Even our close, friendly or family interactions are conducted today virtually, giving up physical contact.
Apart from the more emotional regions of the world – which are usually the “less developed”, economic crisis ridden ones – we tend to look down on, shun hugs, embraces, kissing one another on the cheeks in public. We don’t even dare holding each other’s hands any longer.
It is not enough that robots are taking over our jobs, our useful contributions and the emotional “human added value”, but we allowed ourselves to become robotic and emotionless too, forgetting who we are, how much we need the real, positive human interconnections.
We have to urgently revive our old priorities, remember what the primary values, purpose of our human lives are, using productivity, efficiency and our technological advancement as simple aid, facilities keeping our emotional, positive, pulsing mutual human network in the center.