Man + Machine = Match made in Heaven?

Before I write this post, I would like to acknowledge the fact that after reading Licklider’s article, I had to see when this book was published, because the way it was written, I thought it was easily published in the 1980s. Surprisingly to me, it was published in 2003.

This article got me thinking not only about all of the improvements we’ve made with computers, but also everything else that we can still accomplish. However, I am worried that if we give computers not only the resources, but the knowledge to almost work alongside with humans, we will slowly give away our ability to think for ourselves. Granted, in the article, the only reason people want computers to have these abilities is to sort of cut out the clerical work and allow the humans to spend more time coming up with and executing solutions, and basically allowing the computers to arrange data and present it to the humans when ready. What I found interesting is that it was determined that when humans start making decisions, or decide to make decisions, it takes them 85% of that time just to sort of mentally prepare themselves to make a decision.

Licklider also mentions that the way he chose what to attempt in his experiments was really by what was easier to organize and understand, rather than pushing his intelligence to the point where he was discovering new things about himself. This reminds me of how our society has become so dependent on the Internet and technology in our day-to-day lives, that the more computers can function and think like humans, the faster we will become equals with machines. And the last time machines became like humans, millions of jobs were lost because machines were able to replace humans in factories. Is this what will happen the more we “train” computers to do our little tasks so we can accomplish greater intellectual feats?

However, there are multiple things holding computers back from becoming our equals, such as the speed component, language clarification and barriers, and most importantly, storage and display. People think that computers cannot keep up with the speed our brains work at, but in a way, computers are faster than us because they are programmed to work on a one-track wave, instead of humans, who have multiple actions going on in their brain at once, so we are more likely to get sidetracked when working on tasks. Language is a big deal because not only do computers have technical language to work with, but they also have to learn our words as well, and in the article, they talk about how a 2,000 word vocabulary is more like a 1,000 word vocabulary in computer language, and 1,000 of our words. I also feel that a lot of people think that storage on a computer is never-ending and that they can just store information upon information on a computer. However, that isn’t true, and in a way, storage components are a very recent development in the technological world because, in all honesty, computers are still very young and there is so much room for improvement.

What people who don’t study technology don’t realize is that there is still a lot of gray area when it comes to meshing humans with computers in a way that somethings we can do, they can’t and vice versa. This article helped me to understand why technology isn’t advance as I think it should be, but it also let me know that a lot of planning and other things go into improving what we already have, and sometimes, our society as a whole isn’t advanced as it needs to be to have a huge breakthrough in technology.

Cyber culture and New Media

The reading we had to do not only gave me a new outlook on the Internet and how everything gets tied back together, but also that there are so many little things that need to be clarified. The argument concerning cyber culture and new media at first confused because I always thought they were the same.

I also thought the comparison between the soldier and the scientist was a new way to look at how the new medium works because there are so many ways for this to be researched and understood. I never thought of it this way before because I’ve never really looked into the formation of the new media, and when I was born, the Internet was up and running. I guess I’ve underestimated what really goes on within the web and that so much can be found and done on there, that I’ve never really been able to explore its capabilities. In my mind, everyone needs to step out of their comfort zone on the Internet and just see what’s out there.

The one thing in this reading that really shocked me was how many different ideas Lev Manovich proposed for understanding the new media, such as it being a distribution platform, which made the most sense to me, and new media being used to execute algorithms, which, to me, was the most confusing because it was far too technical for me and that just comes back to my lack of understanding of the deep dark secrets of the Internet and technology as a whole.

Unfortunately, I cannot continue on this blog because 1) class is starting and 2) without further knowledge as of now, I don’t want to bore you all with this.

WWTID – VT Cognition, Learning, and the Internet

For my first blog post for Virginia Tech’s Honors Class, Cognition, Learning, and the Internet, I thought I would discuss my impression of some of the things discussed during the first class meeting.

When I added this class, I thought we would be talking about how the Internet and social media has changed multiple things, especially education. However, this class goes much deeper than I thought it would. Yes, we will be discussing social media and how education has been affected by it all, but this class will go much deeper. For example, there are multiple ways people describe “new media” and “cyberculture” and I never knew there was a difference until this class.

At the first class meeting, I learned that I would be blogging, tweeting, adding websites to delicious, etc. Little did I know, this wasn’t going to be easy because I’ve never taken a class like this before, and when I did blog for a class, I was just talking about my progress in a class project. For this class, shortened to VTCLIS12, I am really going to have to step out of my comfort zone on the Internet and search things I never thought I would be looking up.

I’m sure you’re wondering what my title means. “What Would the Internet Do?” comes from the well-known phrase, What Would So-and-so do? I felt that this suited the purpose because of how dependent our society has become on the internet. With Google, Yahoo!, and the other various search engines, I couldn’t imagine not using the internet for any school project just because it helps me figure out where to start.

To end this first post, I would like to say I’m looking forward to this class because I feel that it will not only be interesting, but enlightening on how the Internet has become a dominant player in today’s society.