Monday, May 07, 2012

Is Technology Exceeding Humanity?

It takes a lot of chutzpah to say this … but I disagree with Albert Einstein. Specifically, I disagree with his quote: “It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity.”
On the contrary, there are lots of examples of technology that have unleashed our humanity. For example, members of the social network site, Reddit, raised $65,000 in less than 24 hours to protect the children and staff at the Faraja Orphanange in Nairobi from machete-wielding thugs.

Technology and the internet are part of nearly everybody’s lives today…not just members of the Millennial generation, nearly 95 percent of whom are Internet proficient.

Seventy-eight percent of U.S. adults — some 245 million of them — currently use the Internet; and that number is expected to grow. Last February, President Obama called for a National Wireless Initiative to make high-speed wireless services available to at least 98 percent of Americans. If he succeeds, it would mean that more Americans have internet access than own an electric coffee maker.

I would contend that as we increasingly become an extension of technology, the human connection becomes more — not less — important. We must not succumb to the lure of the PDA and mistakenly substitute that for the human-to-human relationship.

When it comes to certain technologies — for example, the development of new tools for warfare — Einstein was absolutely correct when he said, “Our technology has exceeded our humanity.” On the other hand, I hope it never becomes true in the case of communications technologies. If so, we will truly have lost a great opportunity for humankind … and our business.

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