Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Do you think that electronic devices can ever replace man?

Do you think that electronics can ever replace man in different fields in the near future?

This question, or a variation of it, has been asked at every different technological age in the history of man on the planet Earth.  Can machines replace man?  Will man be redundant?  Will machines take over?

From the earliest days of the inventions that used the power of water, then steam, and later electricity,  and most recently, the power of the microprocessor, the answer has been and will be very similar; in many areas of our lives machines, in this case, computers, will do most of the work.  If you visit a car plant in England or Japan, you will find that the worker is largely absent.

In the body plant, most of the work is done by machinery; parts of car bodies are transferred from one machine to the next by either conveyor belts or robots, which
play an important part in the assembly of the car body  

Likewise, in the spraying of the body of the car, and in the machining of the different parts of the engine, computer controlled machines do most of the work.

These machines are controlled by computers, and all these computers operate using programmes written by computer engineers.

Computers can do anything, or so we are told.  In the world in which we live our lives: whether we are shopping, withdrawing money, or writing to our friends in Australia, everything is helped by the use of electronics.

The answer to the question in the title is most definitely,  "Yes,  electronics will replace man in most fields."

However, computers cannot feel, cannot love, adore, worship, and nor can they hate, dislike, detest or get even near to having emotions.  If they cannot feel, they cannot judge.  They cannot decide between two arguments on the basis of right or wrong, at least not in any real, human sense of those words.

All machinery,  electronic or otherwise is,  as the English poet Kipling once said, nothing more than the child of our minds.  It is our servant, not our master.

Robert L Fielding


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