An Augmented Tomorrow : Is Technology Living With Us, or Are We Living In Technology?
The reality that we live in.
Imagine this, you are commuting to school or work as usual. You take the train or bus, ever notice what most people are doing? That’s right, looking down at their mobile devices. Before I proceed any further, this behaviour is actually no different than 50 years ago. People were also looking down too, the main difference was that they had printed materials like newspapers, magazines or books. The common denominator between the two, advancements in technology. We live in a system where living with advances in technology is inevitable. Mankind is constantly evolving, hence the technology to satiate our thirst for knowledge has to also be accompanied by better technology. Sure, looking down at your phones constantly is a social stigma. But rather than fight it, how should we embrace this inevitable change? How do we harness the power of technology to better our lives and find a solution to this social stigma? New technology isn’t all that bad, we have access to more information at our fingertips than our predecessors. We are constantly getting closer and closer to finding cures to diseases, ending hunger, providing more access to education and much more.
Off-loading past constraints to evolve mankind.
Technology has definitely changed the way we live our lives today. For instance, do you realise that you hardly use cash? Or that it is easier to forget your wallet than your smartphone? Your wallet is slowly losing its purpose as the functions of the wallet is slowly being replaced by the smartphone. This is one of the many examples that technology is now creeping into our lives and slowly making our daily tasks more convenient than it was in the past.
We can also see these in education too. For example, you resident surgeon at a hospital and need more practice in an operating theatre. However, you can’t simply open-up a body for practice and how often does that come by? What if you could ‘simulate’ the experience. What you lack is muscle memory, coordination and judgement of performing that surgery. Hence, why not stimulate the external environment and have your brain ‘practice’ the surgery? Now, we are seeing the advent of such technology in the medical sector. Hospitals and medical institutions are now adopting Virtual Reality (VR) technology into their curriculums and training programs. Students can now use VR to simulate the operating theatre and have that practical experience that they hoped for.
Embracing new technologies for a better world
The advent of technology is inevitable. We can either embrace or resist it. Personally, mankind needs to embrace changes in order to evolve, as we’ve seen and learnt from our ancestors since the bronze age. Having said that, we should not submit ourselves fully to technology and instead, always remember that technology is but a tool and not the goal. The goal should be the betterment of the world and we should harness the power of technology to meet that end.