IT and society

So not long ago the new development process lasted long time before mass consumption while it is being spread really quick at present time. Though let’s not forget about responsibility which developers should bear by introducing new projects to a society.

Do you reckon it’s good or bad?

Let’s start from the very beginning.

What is the information technology? Or IT? This is the process, which uses the population of program-technical methods and means in order to collect, process, save, transfer and represent information with the purpose of getting the info of new quality, decreasing difficulty and increasing effectivity of the informatics resources use.

Brief history:

  1. 1950-1960. Only professional developers could access electronic computers. Their main job was to ease machine cycle and decrease RAM value being in use.
  2. 1960-1970. Time to process data is reduced though there’s still a problem with time consumption to develop and maintain programs. As a result UNIX system was created so developers could be more effective. The effectivity significantly increased with the appearance of i8086, Z8000, М68000 microprocessors.

The main advantages are:

  • Simple text files are being used in order to manage system
  • The use of several programs each of which executes one specific task
  • Broad application of utilities being launched from command line

3) 1980-1990. Computers’ personalization for reduced algorithmization time. From then people could enjoy laptops, graphic operating systems such as Windows 95, OS-2, hypertext, multimedia, etc. Telecommunication comes to be a way for people to communicate between each other. All human activities experience the generation of databases in respective regards. It is called society’s informatization.

IT have changed modern society in a way that cultural leisure was prioritized with respect to material values. As long as in industrial society all forces were directed to the goods production and consumption, informational society turned towards the production and consumption of intellectual property and knowledge.

Main features of the informational society are:

  • NO more information hunger
  • Information is above other resources
  • United information space for the whole humanity
  • Free access to the information resources from all around the world

Have a look at different life spheres:

ECONOMICS:

Information becomes a resource, a product. Electronic business starts its development.

Services, which provide information about exchange and brokers companies and rates, currencies fluctuations, state and consulting companies, flourish. The range is huge so you can evaluate it yourself.

 

POLITICS:

An opportunity to share your opinion on different matters free. You can create a group of like-minded people or leave your comment on a website. Kind of “communication bridge” is being created as a mediator between state and society (or “electronic state”). The role of electronic state is huge. It is designed in order to simplify state services delivery, to decrease expenses on state apparatus maintenance, to increase the quality of state resolutions. The great example is South Korea. This country took serious approach towards government informatization as far back as in the middle of the 80th. Civil servant’s number was dropped in 5 times by today – there is just no such a necessity. Another example is Estonia where electronic elections are running since 2005.

SOCIETY:

Here we can observe an improvement in life quality. In some cases, for example, it is not necessary to visit a doctor in person. It is enough to lodge documents through the portal and get connected with a doctor at appointed time. Students can simply download the literature they need instead of going to the libraries. E-study is also very popular. Video and multimedia materials may be used as an additional resource or be Your savior if you missed a class. Thoughts and knowledge visualization is actively implemented as a systematic practice.

CULTURE:

Now you can enjoy art masterpieces online. You can even virtually visit some expositions. Great example here is “Art Project”. Virtual tours to Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam – ok, Ufficio gallery in Florence – simple! Maybe national London gallery – you are very welcome.

New trends in art and culture became possible due to the digital paintings. We are sure if you are not Instagram user, you had a look at it for sure. There are so many filters and correction tools which may be done in seconds. That’s amazing!

All this is marvelous but I have one question to ask. If society’s computerization may affect our intellect in a negative way?

Navigator will pave us a way to the desired destination, right software will correct our text mistakes. This is good on the one hand because it frees us a time for other activities but there is a concern on the other hand. Where will it take us if technologies will be more and more involved in our lives by solving our tasks and making us more and more free from using our own thinking? Have you ever thought about it?

Manfred Spitzer assumes that our brains are progressing only when we adopt an information. And our memory volume alongside with information handling effectiveness directly depends on such adoption. Therefore, if we heavily rely on electronic devices it makes us to remember less. This is already not rare to see doctors pinning their hopes more on electronic devices than on own experience and knowledge. Architects use graphic software instead of drawing boards to design new projects.

Harald Hutter – professor in developmental neurobiology – believes there’s nothing to be scared of as far as PCs are the machines without own intellect (at least now, while AI is still under development) and thinking processes. They just transfer date, which we demand from them to us while we frame the questions in our own minds.

Martin Korte – Deutche biologist – has similar to Hutter opinion and this is why: our brain is not asleep even when we use a navigator to get to the desired destination we still estimate the most convenient option, we think on how to make a right inquiry, how to operate this or that device. Therefore, even when we use technologies, we keep on resting upon our cognitive abilities and our brain continues its incredible development.

Neglecting our own thinking, constantly using Google & Wikipedia as our assistants we wipe out the borders between inner and outer information. American psychologists Daniel Wegner and Adrian F. Ward conducted research. They asked respondents questions with an opportunity to use the internet and without such opportunity. Then, respondents could evaluate themselves. And you know what happened? The ones who chose to use the internet appeared to have higher self-esteem. What does it mean? That people actually believed that the internet became a part of their cognitive skills by using it or relevant app. So internet creates an illusion of information possession while they don’t know these things indeed.

To sum up, I want to add that we become a part of “internet consciousness” and probably we will create a common world intellect leaving alone the reminiscences present just in one brain. Maybe we will even create something bigger than cloudless future with unbelievably powerful information resources. But isn’t it the ambiguous question about AI?

We’ll be glad to see your comments and discussion on the matter.

Author: Georgy Ilyin

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