Week 4: Humans vs. Machines

After reading Vannevar Bush’s article, β€œAs We May Think,” it is evident that Bush believes that computers are more intelligent than humans. As a result, he believes that machines will eventually take over the jobs of humans. According to Bush, β€œfor years inventions have invented men’s physical powers rather than the powers of his mind.” He argues that if instruments are properly developed, they can β€œgive man access to and command over the inherited knowledge of the ages.” Ultimately, making computers more knowledgeable than humans. Bush argues that scientists are not to blame but that we have all contributed. Furthermore, he defends science and scientists in his article. β€œScience has provided the swift test communication between individuals; it has provided a record of ideas and has enabled man to manipulate and make abstracts from that record so that knowledge evolved and endures throughout the life of race, rather than that of the individual.”

Unfortunately for Leibnitz, his invention, a calculating machine, could not come into use as it was developed before mass production. As a result, his machine was too expensive to be replicated. Leibnitz’s invention is comparable to machines in today’s society such as the iPod. The invention of the iPod has been replicated due to mass production because people in today’s society are able to afford an iPod. However, it could be argued that even if Leibnitz’s calculating machine could be replicated and mass-produced, it would not have been useful in his time. People may not have been ready for a device as advanced as a calculating machine. In today’s society, we are able to prepare ourselves for the newest product because we know that machines are constantly being analyzed and re-developed to create faster and more reliable products.

Do you think that machines are more intelligent that humans? If so, do you think they will eventually replace humans in the work place? Do you think technology in the future will become too advanced for the human mind and as a result, only be beneficial for machines?


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