Future Imperfect: Automation and Humanoids



Debahuti Patel



A few days back when I was discussing about the contents of the bestselling book “Origin” by Dan Brown; I am amazed by the thought process of Dan Brown. Surely it is a work of fiction but the vision made by Dan Brown is going to be realistic in near future. Humans will be replaced by humanoids – man and machine together or machines-embedded-in-the-human-body.
I also remember the book “Future Shock” written by Alvin Toffler and Heidi Toffler in the year 1970. In this work the authors define the term “Future Shock” as a certain psychological state of individuals and entire societies. Their shortest definition for the term is a personal perception of “too much change in too short a period of time”.
Concept of “Future Shock” was not digestible to common persons like us in the 1970s and 1980s, and was appearing as the plan to compete with light years by any moving machines. But a re-read of the book in the year 2005 revealed that every points penned down by Toffler's came true. And in the same line the imagination of Humanoids by Dan Brown is going to be a reality in very near future.
Again, as a common person, I observed some points in Malls and Cinema Halls. Earlier, during our young days, tickets were booked for theatres by standing in the queues before commencement of the movie. But yesterday when I tried to book tickets for a movie I found that there are no more ticket booking counters. These counters are now replaced by interface-computer-screens where you can choose your movie, theater, timings, seats and a whole lot of things. This is so good to the consumers. But then the thought that came to my mind is – what is going to happen to the capable lot of man power who were earlier employed and paid for these jobs. Unemployment will be on rise. How this unemployed populace is is going to cope-up their sustenance, forget about their life styles. I am not able to visualize any solution in near future to this complex problem of automation-vs.-unemployment. These are points to ponder so that psychological state of human being at large is kept balanced and peace in the world can be restored.

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