Sanders: Threatening technology

March 27, 2018

Over spring break, I visited the Grand Canyon state of Arizona. Over the course of my wild weekend, I noticed something Toledo didn’t have that Phoenix and Tempe possessed.


What I was introduced to was self-driving Ubers. I was mesmerized by this new technology I’d only seen on the internet.


The Ubers held what looked like radars on top with metal support beams encasing the SUV.


According to Uber’s website, self-driving vehicles are outfitted with different types of radars, laser scanners and high-resolution cameras to map out the environment. The device is placed on top of the vehicle to communicate with the satellite, and it’s believed be safe. However, how safe is it?


Sunday evening in Tempe, Arizona, a self-driving Uber struck a pedestrian attempting to cross the street. The 49-year-old woman was quickly taken to the hospital where she succumbed to her wounds.


This tragedy made me contemplate how far we’ve come in this era of technological advancement.


The self-driving SUV was a wakeup call for me. Technology is quickly advancing every day. New technologies are continuing to be invented for tasks to be quickly and safely completed, but what types of risks are we taking?


Technology is moving so quickly, ideas that were once science fiction are now a reality. Today, we have machines that can grade our bubble sheets so that professors can spend more time on other tasks. Tomorrow, AI could be grading our essays and papers.


Though, a machine grading my paper sounds disheartening and unfair, a computer in this time can’t measure reasoning, or completely capture well-performed sentence structure.


Unlike a machine, a good professor can fully capture and critique flaws in a collegiate paper. Humans provide informative feedback to improve student’s writing. Most writing is subjective and holds an emotional message only another human being could comprehend.


However, a computer is objective, ignoring witty jokes and silly banter.


Tests are a computer’s specialty. A true or false answer analysis, right or wrong, black or white is what a machine understands. I feel that once AI has advanced far enough that it evolves to a point of science fiction, my viewpoint may change.


According to Forbes, hardworking Americans are afraid of losing their jobs to AI, and that assembly line positions and other types of factory work are believed to be the beginning.


Soon enough, jobs that require coherent and advanced thought could be stolen. Human beings prove obsolete compared to advanced AI. 


What’s next? Where does it stop?


I warn those who have a solidified career to be wary of the evolution of technology, not only how it could surpass humans in workplaces but how it could endanger people’s lives.


Companies should hold off on advancing technology so quickly and be sure AI can’t harm Americans.


The age of robots and self-aware AI is on the horizon and we should be more proactive than reactive.




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