All weekend I had issues paying for purchases with any of my cards. Then finally today in a packed shop after collecting a basket of goods the ultimate happened and I had to walk out empty handed with everyone thinking (hahaha or poor sod, down on his luck). My cards decided to stop working. Nothing obvious like a damaged chip they just wont work. This rendered me cashless (unless I can get to a branch, a what????) and i'll be this way for a few days.
Anyway this got me thinking how much have we become reliant on technology and automation to make life easier? I am not saying we are building a world for robots like Skynet (terminator) or the film eagle eye (could totally happen - I also watched iron man between the snooker yesterday - I want to be Tony Stark sometimes) but are we setting ourselves up for extinction?
The flip side to this and just really scratching the surface are all the wonderful things cognitive computing is allowing the human race to do. For example managing thousands of bits of data from a children's ward in a hospital and giving accurate combinations of drugs to predict cures, or developing an app to predict when a diabetes sufferer may go into hyperglycemic shock three hours before it happens (something never possible before).
Anyhow my point is technology is wonderful when it works but when it doesn't is it more of a hinderance and a way to numb our brains?
The following articles cites examples of different industries that are either becoming automated or where the "decision loop" (the continuing process of action, feedback, and judgement making) is being phased out.
Food for thought? (Just pop in a stick of 3 course meal chewing gum) Don't do it with food, please!
We do not have to resign ourselves to this situation, however. Automation needn’t remove challenges from our work and diminish our skills. Those losses stem from what ergonomists and other scholars call “technology-centered automation,” a design philosophy that has come to dominate the thinking of programmers and engineers. When system designers begin a project, they first consider the capabilities of computers, with an eye toward delegating as much of the work as possible to the software. The human operator is assigned whatever is left over, which usually consists of relatively passive chores such as entering data, following templates and monitoring displays. This philosophy traps people in a vicious cycle of de-skilling. By isolating them from hard work, it dulls their skills and increases the odds that they will make mistakes.