Cyberpsychology and How AI Affects Humans
Cyberpsychology and How AI Affects Humans
AI and machine learning, not humans, are teaching computers more and more. As technology becomes more human-like, we need to consider how AI fits into our society.
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Computers are incredibly fast, accurate, and stupid; humans are incredibly slow, inaccurate and brilliant; together they are powerful beyond imagination.
Connection: An ancient word. The meaning is “a relationship in which a person or thing is linked or associated with something or someone else.”
We use it in every walk of life — when we were kids, we formed relationship bonds with our parents, siblings, and friends; we learned about physical and emotional worlds by forming connections using our minds. We learn the connection between cause and effect — falling off a wall was connected to a resulting injury. Hugging a person caused an increase in happiness and a connection with that person. Back then, we were the masters of what connections happened. Connections were with people and the world around us, so they were bound to our psychology.
We are now in a period of seismic shifting in one of the chief currencies of our everyday world: Connection. In the big data world, there are three parameters used to describe data: Variety, volume, and velocity (the 3 Vs). We can also apply these to how connected we are. With the Internet of Screens that has happened in the last decade, the proliferation of apps means that we are becoming more connected through technology ...but are we? The first wave has seen us build digital connections via mechanisms to stay informed of other people's lives. It has offered people more options, convenience, and, to a certain extent, comfort. But what cost is associated with this accelerated connectivity? Do we understand this cost?
Thus far, the proliferation of connected devices and apps has very much evolved in ways that would replicate what would be considered left-brain operations (logical, analytical, sequential). We get a certain number of connections, we scroll through feeds. But now, we are entering into a wave of innovation that will require these devices to replicate right-brain operations such as intuition, emotion, and empathy. We use the left side of our brain to perform the control aspects of our lives, while the right side is used to connect the dots between disparate societal occurrences.
Understanding Why It Matters
There is an important evolution in our mindset that needs to occur. We have blindly accepted technologies based on trends without truly understanding why it is required and without an appreciation for why we should develop more human-like relationships with these connected devices — with trust and emotion being of high priority. There is a huge excitement for how humans and technology will work together in the future. It can be said this excitement is born from realizing that as we evolve, our understanding of what it means to be human outweighs anything that technology alone can deliver. People have always been at the core of innovation, and this has led to an evolution in how improved our lives are. However, now, the evolution of our minds is now not only dependent on genetics and learnings in the natural and emotional world —we also have accelerating inputs from the technology age. Children are seeing technology enter their world at much younger age than the previous generation. What effect is this having on how they evolve and pass the genetic baton to future generations?
Now, as we move from the Internet of Screens era to the Internet of Things era, it is important that we work on developing our understanding of and psychological relationship with this technology. Not only will there be devices in our possession — we will wear them directly and they will be added to our very genetic makeup (read more here from Elon Musk on Neuralink). And it won't stop there. Our ecosystems will become more digitized, with smart sensors in everything from household appliances to objects we encounter and use in our daily lives.
But We Aren't Seeing Connected Experiences
As the volume of these devices hits the trillions, it is much more important that we evolve our Experience of Things rather than simply build a huge mesh of connected devices in our everyday world. We are seeing this accelerate. Empathy is starting to play a larger role, such as Alexa speaking to us and creating a more human-like interaction to artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies being utilized to teach computers how to learn by themselves (a basic part of human evolution) instead of us teaching them.
Other technologies are evolving such as augmented reality — and we will soon see other forms of augmentation — touch, hearing, taste — lead to a reduction in dependence on screens and an increase the experience of using the technology. Once the technology begins to exhibit more human-like emotions, then it becomes a question of how they are positioned in society (check out this article from Bill Gates on robots and taxes).
As a race, we need to understand what we expect from technology and what we expect from each other. These expectations will be critical in ensuring that the evolution of technology and humans together can indeed be optimized.
Published at DZone with permission of Denis Canty , DZone MVB. See the original article here.
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