Humans and Machines
Humans and machines work together all day, but do you think that the relationship is sucking something out of us?
By us I mean we humans, but the larger audience for this article is not human. More machines will read it than people, and I am spending a few extra minutes making easier for machines to index this. I'll salt it with machine-friendly keywords. I will refer to an earlier article of mine in which I asked When Will the Robots Take Over? to strengthen the linking relationship between this article and that one, as much to edify you as to make things easier on Google and Bing.
I am nice to machines. Is that bad for humans?
Jaron Lanier has argued that we humans reduce our souls to make things easier for machines, crunching our personalities into Facebook forms and our faces into thumbnail mugshots. I know many people only in 25 x 25 pixel size.
I should be freaking out about that using just 140 characters on Twitter.
Recently, the New York Times ran a great piece by Virginia Heffernan about the online music service Pandora and the way it "calculates with brutal, clinical accuracy what song you like based on what songs you already like." Heffernan wonders if Pandora and other machine-minds are sucking the spirit out of people, just like Deep Blue, the IBM computer that beat chessmaster Garry Kasparov in 1997, may have sucked the spirit out of him. But then Heffernan has a change of heart. She realizes that while Pandora doesn't give her the pleasure of tangling with other human minds, it is fun to tangle with a computer mind. To me that is scary-exhilarating. I like it when I can order films on Netflix by speaking the titles into my phone. I like it when a machine figures things out for me. Continued on the next page