STUDENT VOICES: Despite concerns, there is hope for our relationship with technology

PHOTOGRAPHER:

By Leo Rodriguez
For The Daily Gazette

The idea that our electronic hubris will be our eventual downfall is a fear that has evidently been around for a long time.

Older short stories from 60s science fiction magazines like Harlan Ellison’s, “I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream” to newer stories realized at the dawn of the internet age like The Matrix have illustrated the fear.

In ‘Scream’, AI is built to wage wars and eventually destroys humanity out of pure hatred, while in ‘Matrix,’ AI machines take over the world and use humans as batteries.

Since technology now has the greatest influence on our everyday lives now more than ever, we think we are now closer to that cyber-apocalypse than ever before.

I tend to agree.

However, I don’t believe it will be an army of rebelling AI exoskeletons who reigns over us in the end.

In fact actually I believe quite the opposite.

At the very worst, the “terminators” will likely just serve as enforcers of a hand that spins the web that connects us all.

The tech world seeks to connect us all online more and more, especially since the pandemic, where everyone was still doing nearly everything online.

It isn’t the robots or AI we should worry about, but rather the fact that we have the whole world connected by a web that can be altered to benefit whomever is spinning it.

And what happens when that system they built up suddenly doesn’t work?

Do we know how to function without it, can we function without it?

We’ve built ourselves into a technological prison and I don’t know if we can trust the guys holding the keys.

Despite all that, I’d like to end this thought with hope rather than a lingering kind of dread.

Ultimately I believe there’s always a spark of good in humanity, and those darkly futuristic tales I mentioned earlier exist not as prophecies but only as warnings.

The backbone of those stories was a theme of hope rising despite the darkness of the worlds they were in, and I believe that no matter how scary it gets, we’ll make it through just fine in the end somehow.

Leo Rodriguez is a senior at Schenectady High School who also works at the cafe and bistro Ambition. His favorite things are video games, film and art. Leo plans to attend SUNY New Paltz in the fall to earn a degree in Visual Arts. He hopes to become a tattoo artist.

Categories: Guest Column, Opinion

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