Saahil  



http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2008/07/is-google-making-us-stupid/306868/

Never has a communications system played so many roles in our lives as the Internet does today.

The Internet, is taking over most of our other intellectual technologies. It’s becoming our map and our clock, our printing press and our typewriter, our calculator and our telephone, and our radio and TV.

Frederick Taylor, lead developer of scientific management  said “In the past the man has been first, but in the future the system must be first.

Google’s headquarters, in Mountain View, California—the Googleplex—is the Internet’s high church, and the religion practiced inside its walls is Taylorism.

Google, says its chief executive, Eric Schmidt  says ‘What Taylor did for the work of the hand, Google is doing for the work of the mind.’

Google’s mission is to  organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”

Last year, Larry Page who founded  Google told a convention of scientists that Google is “really trying to build artificial intelligence and to do it on a large scale.

Though it is said that Google has made our life easy, but there are few disadvantages in this regards as mentioned below:

  • We tend to become lazy and do not work hard enough to polish our brain to face other challenges in life like social networking etc.
  • We don’t use our brain as much as we used to, Google helps you with the answers.
  • Sometimes we just use other peoples work and make it our own.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oOnjnb8NgG4 Is google making us stupid?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&NR=1&v=EKJWJAyncyI Fail Google

Based on the above arguments the question I have for the class is Is artificial intelligence as planned by Google beneficial?

Why Abundance Should Breed Optimism: A Second Reply to Nick Carr

 Shirky’s second blog also tries to disprove Carr’s findings he presented in his article Is Google Making Us Stupid? The main reason being is that he believes, from looking at the past technologies such as the alphabet and the telegraph, that since they have all been beneficial to humanity and not harmful, that the current technologies will only aid us more. By this he means that according to our technological track record, it is safe to presume that our technologies will most likely benefit us.

Shirky also suggests that there is truth in Carr’s ideas; that there will be more writing available however with more distractions, that there will be a movement away from the classical and that previously respected professions will struggle under the pressures of keeping up to date with the technologies for example the library (Library 2.0) however there has been previous complaints such as these as each new technology was beginning to develop.

Shirky criticizes the anecdote Carr uses to make his point, that reading has become more difficult since the internet. Shirky says that using a friend’s personal opinion of the book War and Peace does not adequately illustrate this point since the person does not have an engagement with the technical literature. If he would have asked someone who has a deep connection with the book, War and Peace maybe then he could have used it as evidence however because this isn’t true Shiky dismisses this as evidence to prove his point.

 Carr’s example of Nietzsche’s writing, was taken into account by Shirky as a more rounded piece of evidence, however he argues that the use of the pen and paper is still an example of a technology, and that the pen and paper cannot be compared to the typewriter as more “natural” since writing isn’t an evolutionary adaptation such as language but a technology. Carr’s reference to Nietzsche, “under the sway of the machine”, according to Shirky seems to be dismissed as well since wouldn’t that have meant that beforehand he was under the spell of the ink and paper? Shirky also questions whether, the change in his writing was for better or for worse. An example in modern times could be the transition from letter writing to Facebook messages (Lost Art of Letter Writing). Letters took more time; however had more content, while Facebook messages are instant but are a lot shorter. Therefore both can be seen as beneficial and neither can be said to be better than the other without introducing personal opinion into the argument. Maybe Nietzsche’s writing did change but as Shirky highlights comparing his typewritten book Beyond Good and Evil to the hand written Human, All Too Human isn’t substantial evidence.

Shirky does not believe “the ‘ability to concentrate’ will return as the Net change”. He argues that the reason we cannot go back to the way it was in the past, with more concentration as compared to the current times is because in the past, our environment was relatively empty, while now having all these technologies that we cannot live without, makes it impossible to recreate. Also in my opinion we do not feel the need to go back to that kind of living. We are so used to our lives being intertwined with technology that we don’t even notice, or recognize that before that time people lived differently. There has to be a collective need for change in order to recreate past and so far people do not have that need; the benefits of technology outweigh the alternative.

Do you think Google and new technologies are making us stupid? Or are we just altering our intelligences? Give an example.

Mina

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