Human Obsolescence

As I was driving down a highway on my way home from an eventful night out, I got to thinking about how much I enjoyed driving. The freedom of getting in my car, driving down any road I imagine either to get away from the noise of back home, or enjoy the fresh air of the outdoors (blasting my music, of course). It’s quite therapeutic for me. Losing my licence would be like losing my thumbs. Sure I can still function, but not only is life slightly harder, but I also can’t engage in activities that I found joyful. It is not enough for me to just be in the passenger side, I have to be driving. I have to be stepping on the gas, changing gears, steering. All or nothing. It’s the mechanics of driving that I enjoy. So when I had a conversation with a friend regarding self-driving cars, I had a very made up opinion. As did he. He said that in exactly 30 years, self-driving cars will be the norm and that people-driving cars will probably be removed by the government to reduce traffic and collisions. I scoffed. Loudly.

I will never trust a self-driving car. I will never willingly drive one because I love driving, but I will also never trust them. I cannot put my trust in a machine. Machines run on algorithms, equations, sequences of arithmetic operations and frankly, we are nothing like machines. Sure, our neurons work on the same binary principle, either fire or don’t, but our brains are illogical. We voluntarily engage in behaviours that are self-destructive and irrational. Unless the computers are directly programmed to be defiant, they will always conduct logical processes. How could machines possibly predict irrational human behaviours when those machines themselves have never been programmed with irrational algorithms? My friend objected all cars on the highway will be self-driving and they’ll be able to communicate. One will communicate to another what move it will make that way they’ll never collide. It’ll be like one giant automotive network.

Although an attractive concept, I just can’t get behind it. Are we expected to allow all of our human activities be stolen from us by machines? At which point will it end? When will we have gone too far? Are we going to reach a point in life that humans are outdated? Frankly, that’s not a world I’m prepared to live in.

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