An increasingly common fear is growing across the world that technology is getting smarter, and humans are getting dumber.
The sheer level of control that technology seems to be taking over our lives can certainly be perceived as daunting, but studies are suggesting that it is simply the nature of our relationships to cognition that are changing, not our level of intelligence.
The smartphones that such a large percentage of the world is now in possession of are doing things that people even five years into the past could never have dreamed of, and the advancements are happening every day.
But how does technology actually influence our ability to think for ourselves? In 2021, this is a question that millions of people are starting to ask – let’s find out the answer.
Smart Tech is Not Making Us Stupid
Contrary to popular belief, technology is not making us stupid. While it is understandable why people may think otherwise, recent studies are suggesting that advanced technology (like a modern smartphone) does not remove our ability to think, but simply changes it.
In the past, accessing information was much harder, with people having to manually seek out information via educational texts like encyclopedias, knowledgeable mentors, or go through informative first-hand experiences.
Nowadays, accessing information costs us little more than a quick Google search before finding out whatever it is that we want to know.
What this accessibility means is that we are given a lot more free time to focus on tasks we consider to be important and apply our energy in whatever way we see fit. From a global perspective, the average intelligence of any given human being is steadily increasing over time.
The Good Outweighs the Bad
To make things easier to understand, here is a list of reasons that reinforce the idea that humans are not getting dumber over time, but actually are getting smarter.
- Complexity – the level of technological complexity has greatly accelerated over the past decade, allowing humanity to create powerful systems that have required great understanding and intellect of those systems.
- Skills and Resources – Advancements in computational technology have enabled data scientists to allocate more of their time and resources into developing new skills as well as understanding data and creating improved systems.
- Flexibility – there is so much information available to us, that we can choose freely what information to retain and what to let go of. This flexibility is an advantage because it allows us to better focus on our priorities and relax and enjoy the real money pokies offers without getting overwhelmed
The Risks of Technology on Human Intelligence
While fear-mongering around the “dumbing down” of humanity has proven to be an unnecessary and harmful stance on progressive technology, that doesn’t mean it comes without any risks at all.
Not only have we become incredibly reliant on technology to do everything from navigating our way around cities to ordering and obtaining important resources like food, we have also started replacing many integral employee roles with AI or computational systems.
With advanced technology comes great power, and therefore great responsibility. Hopefully, society is able to maintain a healthy relationship with technology that aims to elevate humanity’s trajectory rather than dismantle it.