The prevailing theme throughout Henry’s Take is indisputably the corporate implications of advanced technology. As early as August, concerns about the replacement risk surfaced in the blog; in the final day of classes, I brought this up to the group. Unsurprisingly, it continuously rests in the back of my mind and may influence my perspective on digital progression. For instance, subsequent posts reference the social costs as accompany GIFs, the harm that Facebook has caused across Fake News and radicalization, algorithms’ ability to shorten our attention span and tank financial markets, and an Ai that has the capacity to replace all workers. Despite these doomsday projections, each post discloses the merit to each technology and the “redeeming factors” that justify its existence. Ultimately, from algorithms to Ai, these innovations, as far as consumers believe right now, have benefits that exceed their costs. Whether or not we fully understand the risks that such advances pose remains to be seen, but currently we are reaping the rewards while suffering only the immediate consequences.
While the trend has remained constant and the analysis corporate pro/con related, airing on the side of cynical, my final post offers some signs of life. It espouses the positive effects of a potentially “benevolent” Ai that provides for humanity and makes working superfluous. This could signify the culmination of all technological advances, and perhaps the final chapter of a future DIG 101 class. In light of this sudden positivity, it may be the generally cynical approach I mentioned above that constitutes my biggest surprise. Perhaps the fact that technology’s benefits are somewhat more common knowledge and make for less exciting “journalism” steered the content towards doom and gloom. However, throughout class time and the pursuant blog, as much a function of our own pessimism as anything else, an underlying point of the “Community and Class Order” surfaced infrequently. Namely, that new technology inevitably spurs change across every element of our lives: social, economical, psychological, and even transcendental categories all endure massive upheaval as a direct result of the implementation. Moral outrage invariably follows, and calls for a reversion to simpler times accompany the adjustments that many find unsettling. Rarely does the moral outrage affect any kind of lasting change, as the technology’s benefits set in and overwhelm skeptics. The consistency of this type of reaction suggests that the cycle will continue, with advances overcoming perhaps the last human qualms about innovation, to the point where the future is unrecognizable.