Technology & automation – Impact on human evolution
By Kaustov Kashyap
Technology-driven automation is pervasive and permeating our lives like never before. From robots and chatbots to virtual / augmented reality, machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI) and beyond, the physical space is littered with digital influences.
The impact of increased automation is already on us and is influencing our lives in every way possible. So far, the adoption of technology has never been so rapid, versatile and secular, but the presence of connectivity has enabled this growth. The goal of this story will be to explore how exactly human life is affected due to these inevitable technological trends. Six of these changes appear imminent.
New technologies allow embryonic evaluations at an early stage, thus reducing the need for morphological evaluations when a high degree of human skill is required. The problem is that human morphological classification leads to great inter and intra-operator variation. These long-standing difficulties can now be improved using advances in AI. Thus, mathematical variables derived from time-lapse images of the development of the embryo can now be used so that an algorithm can automatically classify the images of the development of an embryo and thus remove the human variable from the crucial task of morphological evaluation.
This was also highlighted in a study presented on July 4, 2017 at the 33rd ESHRE Annual Meeting in Geneva. Start-up Deep Genomics is using AI to help decode the meaning of the genome, and its learning software is developing the ability to try and predict the effects of a mutation based on its analyzes of hundreds of thousands of examples of other mutations – although there isn’t already a record of what those mutations do. Another example is the case of actress Angelina Jolie where she had a recessive gene in her genome which was predicted using deep learning algorithms on her DNA sequence using study data. earlier, which predicted she was susceptible to breast cancer. She had a preventative mastectomy to protect herself from cancer. The confluence of medicine and technology will bring unprecedented transformations in human life.
Another biological victim of digital automation will be the ubiquitous writing skills. Already, most of the content produced and published is digital. Handwriting skills have already suffered as most of the content is digitally typed and then printed as necessary in the physical format. Dematerialization has already inflicted damage on the physical copy. It is now rare to write something on paper except when it comes to your own signature, which is also available digitally now. Handwriting is almost nostalgic now. More and more people are digitally posting content online with handwritten notes becoming virtually non-existent. When was the last time you wrote a letter or a handwritten note to your friends? The growth of virtual assistants like Apple Siri, Google Assistant or Cortana, able to translate verbal instructions into written words, will further deteriorate the practice of physical handwriting, which remains so far. This can impact the anatomy of the hand, including the fingers, which may become less flexible and thinner to make typing easier. Perhaps in the future the joints of the metacarpels and carpels will undergo significant changes as they are no longer used for writing purposes.
The third biological influence will be on the eyes. The large amount of information flow that occurs comes from social media apps, devices, digital screens, or the web, putting enormous strain on the eyes. Reading has multiplied exponentially, as is typical of the information age where the status quo is constantly challenged. The explosion of knowledge that is occurring is fueling the information fire. With faster and better technology, development and evolution become possible in all spheres of our life, be it medicine, law, science, engineering, education, so there is a need constant upgrading and updating. The concomitant impact of it will be largely borne by the eyes. With so much to read and ingest, the shape of our eyes can adapt over time; they may become enlarged or may be more bulging. In fact, the underlying neural system that powers vision can also undergo subtle changes due to the way things will be perceived and seen in the world infected with virtual reality and augmented reality.
Another impact is going to be on the neck and the spine. With the advent of the smartphone, the average time we spend on the device is around 180 minutes. Yes, that’s right: three hours a day. We continuously stretch our necks for longer periods of time, which is therefore bent most of the time. Now, most items can be auctioned, watched, or searched over the phone, reducing physical movement at all times. For example, you can monitor your employees working remotely on your phone using GPS and camera, avoiding the need to physically move. This not only forces your neck to constantly engulf the data ejected on your smartphone screens, but also increases your sitting time, making you more sedentary than ever. Sitting continuously for long periods puts pressure on the spinal cord and vertebrae. Therefore, all of these lifestyle changes will have an anatomical impact on our spinal cord and neck in time to come. As a result, the spine may become more rounded and shorter. In the future, humans may have little additional movement in the neck due to some additional joints in the cervical spine.
With the abundance problem, memory will be the most affected. As more and more information is produced collaboratively and cooperatively on social platforms, less and less will be withheld. Plus, with advanced search algorithms on our side, who needs to care about remembering anything? Rote learning will be turned off in the future. It will impact the memorization of human beings as less effort will be put into remembering anything. The incentives that existed in the past to learn math tables or country capitals have ceased to exist. The company now rewards people with application skills, who can combine their expertise in multiple topics to gain insight and solve layered business problems. The demand for people capable of uncovering the facts has completely evaporated. The processing required to memorize things will weaken over time, leading to a complete adaptation of the neurons and brain functions that govern memory.
With so much data floating around and machine learning algorithms analyzing it, AI is adapting day by day. The rich data that is ingested only leads to smarter choices and better decisions. The role of luck, or the unknown, is being subsumed by intelligent analysis or processed data that was not previously available. Traditional belief structures rooted in the religion of God are being replaced by a more data-centric or âdataismâ approach, as Yuval Harari calls it. So much structured and unstructured data is generated, be it location data, emails, OCR processed reports, Facebook posts or likes, WhatsApp messages, tweets, and more. , which enables algorithms to analyze data and decipher underground trends, patterns and phenomena. underlying these datasets, paving the way for a better understanding of society and the things around us. As more and more compelling evidence becomes available for our actions, the needle of our belief will continue to pull away from the universality of God.