I can remember, less than 30 years ago, one of my first employments was at a department store. I started off on the sales floor, and graduated to director of Marketing and Display. I was, however, still on the sales floor when our company graduated to the world of computer technology, sometime in the early 1980's.
The main thing I will always recall was the HUMONGOUS contraption setup in what was known as..."THE COMPUTER ROOM!!!!!" This contraption was ugly, loud, and generated more heat than the Sahara. But hey...we were proud to say that we were setting the goal standard in retail; being one of the first department stores to march into the world of technology.
Of course, being first isn't always a good thing. The computer controlled everything...from the locks, to the lights, to the registers. And all of the store's info...numbers, data, analytics...was entered into the computer. So when the computer broke down...which was often, the world as we knew it, in our store at least, stopped cold.
A mere 30 years later, this story is laughable. Technology has marched SO fast, it's more like a sprint, not a march. Case in point...items that would be regularly featured in "The Jetsons" 1962 cartoon are knocking on our doorstep...here...TODAY.
Two years ago, an article in USA Today featured futuristic items from "The Jetsons" that were close to becoming reality. That reality is here. Remember "Rosie the Robot?" Well, say hello to "Romo" or "Hexbug Crab" or the "Roomba." While these functional robots may not do everything that "Rosie" did, they are still amazing examples of the lightening fast technological advancements in the last 50 years since "The Jetsons" first aired.
And what about Video Chatting? Nearly everyone has heard of, if not utilized "Skype" or "Google Messenger"...it's almost commonplace now.
Flying Cars...? Absolutely! A U.S. aerospace firm is designing a vehicle that drives like a car, takes off like a helicopter and flies like a plane. Terrafugia's TF-X is scheduled for delivery this year!
But with technological advancement comes the need for ethics and responsibility. As computers make our lives easier, so does it increase our dependency on them, making our world come to a standstill when they falter...as in the case of The Monster Computer at my first job. Another example is basic math skills, that most can't recollect how to do because they've relied on a calculator for so long. Can you remember phone numbers anymore? They're are all stored in our "Smart Phones." But, when you lose or misplace your "Smart Phone"...then what? And what about "Spell Check?" I don't know about you, but I used to be a champion speller in school...not anymore. "Spell Check" has made me lazy.
And, as we put more value in the need for technology, less value is placed on human workers. One can argue that technology creates more jobs. And it does, but in a specific industry; while its advancements eliminate many more in many other industries.
Advantages and disadvantages. Ying and Yang.
What are your thoughts?
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