Smart Isolation: How AI Sets People Apart
Where does the invasion of smart technologies lead us and what should we expect from our lives in the future? Let’s try and find out.
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With global digitalization, technologies are taking over all aspects of our lives. We see the automation of business processes and services, smart homes, and much more. However, what else we see is the gradual isolation of individuals from each other as they have their own small worlds, locked in their smart devices.
In the last few years, people have been investing in social media heavily. The rise of bloggers does not seem strange now, but we did not expect it to be a real job, say, 5 years ago. Today, most millennials dream of becoming a YouTuber or an Instagram blogger (and most of them succeed, to be honest).
As well, we now surround ourselves with more and more “smart” devices that are able to communicate with us. Google Home and Alexa do not bother us, as we perceive them as fully legitimate family members.
So where does this invasion of smart technologies lead us and what should we expect from our lives in the future? Let’s try and find out.
The Problem: People Don’t Need People Anymore
People are social animals, and that’s a fact. Since the very beginning, we have tended to live in groups, socialize, and exist together. Such a way of living was more of a necessity than an option: first, it was a tactic of survival, and then it became more of a habit.
But today, the situation is different. Most of us are becoming introverted and tend to spend time indoors, selectively choosing our preferred activity rather than going out. This can be explained: on the Internet, we choose what kind of content we see and hear, while outside, we have to deal with some things that we cannot control.
We choose who we talk to on social media, and we strictly limit our social network there. We can block users or we can follow (or stalk) unknown people. This cannot be easily done in real life — and that’s what makes the virtual world so great.
The development of technology today is partially aimed at social isolation, too. For example, we see a great boom in robotics like robot pets or drone delivery. Heck, we even have driverless cars — even though they still need a bit of improvement, they are already in action. And we don’t even get worried with smart homes and smart devices like your alarm or coffee machine communicating with you, because this is something we already perceive as integral part of our lives.
No wonder the biggest companies in the world (Google, Amazon, Spotify, Facebook) are investing heavily into the Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence — because they see the potential profit these technologies will bring in addition to high demand from the users.
Smart technologies even dominate our sex lives — one of the primary instincts that always involved another human being in the process. But now we are offered remote control sex robots, and who knows what else we’ll see in the future! Since people are selfish by nature, the opportunity to concentrate on our own satisfaction (with no need to look for a suitable partner) seems like a panacea for the majority of people.
So, the roots of this voluntary isolation lie deep down in our own psychology. The question is: where will it take us?
Neither Good nor Bad
We cannot state that the shift towards isolation is either bad or good, and there are some reasons for that.
First of all, it's the choice of the individual. This is something no one can affect or change except for the person who makes the decision and this is okay. As long as their behavior stays within the social convention, everyone is free to do whatever makes them happy (even though it’s a tickler).
Secondly, the gap between generations. Something that seems weird to baby boomers is totally normal for millennials and vice versa. Therefore, while some people may perceive this “digital loneliness” as a curse, others will see it a blessing that 100% corresponds to their desired lifestyle.
After all, today we are living in a world that once was described by sci-fi authors as something completely unimaginable and strange. Who knows, maybe we’ll soon be living in a world that’s beyond even our own imagination?
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