|Year : 2016 | Volume
| Issue : 2 | Page : 95-96
Technology evolution and its cyclical relation with us
Editor-in-Chief, Journal of International Clinical Dental Research Organization, India
|Date of Web Publication||15-Jul-2016|
Editor-in-Chief, Journal of International Clinical Dental Research Organization
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Dhir S. Technology evolution and its cyclical relation with us. J Int Clin Dent Res Organ 2016;8:95-6
In preparing for impact of emerging technologies on tomorrow's adaptability, recourse, and employment, the cliché- 'Change, the evident constant' seems to be the answer to this adaptive process!
If we are changing, we are growing. If we are not growing, then we are not living. Thence, it is important that we keep changing/adapting to the technological requirements being driven by the newer innovations. In the age and era of the human quest for knowledge and the desire to unfold the mysteries of nature (which is always self-challenging), technology and human life cannot be separated. Technology brings with it both shades: positive and negative.
Society seems to have a cyclical dependence on technology. We use technology inadvertently in all walks of our life; depend on technology in our daily life and our needs and demands for technology keep on rising. In a way, so as to say, are now shackled in the chains of the same. We use technology to travel, to learn, to communicate, to work, and to live in comfort. Come to think of it, I guess, there is no act of human kind today, where technology does not intrude or is not depended on us!! The advancements in the field of technology and its deployment to serve humankind (as per design and intent) was a good idea, but getting tied up in knots of it has also caused us concerns, besides the phenomenon of cyclic upset it brings with itself, in the process of its evolution. The biggest challenge looking at us in our faces is to determine the type of future we need to have and then create relevant technologies which will simplify the way we do things.
Besides the plethora of challenges, which poor application/misuse of technology and its over-dependence pose to human kinds, the one I would like to focus on in this note is the impact of technological development/evolution on employment and education empowerment. Technological innovation will squeeze many people in the short term but will lead to overall higher levels of wealth in the long term. This period of uncomfortable maladjustment and dangerous concentrations of wealth to a handful of a lucky few can be minimized if educational leaders accelerate the changes necessary to adapt.
Vividly, there are many examples of technological advances, which have upset employment, prior to creating more opportunities by virtue of its proper deployment. As I mentioned, the relationship between human and technology is cyclical. The travel agents closed shops when web enabled applications got popular. Train tickets, cinema hall ticket bookings, airline ticketing, and paying bills got so much simpler, but many (offering agent services) lost their jobs. Cyclic as I mentioned, these applications returned the jobs to human but only to the adaptive and skilled, in the form of employment opportunities, in the form of call centers, data centers, research and customer support, and service in the applied fields connected to the application. Even an article in Fortune Magazine reports that “Data-driven healthcare won't replace physicians entirely, but it will help those receptive to technology perform their jobs better.”
Ever wondered, what does a doctor (physician) do? The entire activity of a physician (physical checkup, laboratory tests, diagnosis, prescription, behavior modification, modulations, etc.) while interacting with his patient, if broken down at macro level, comprises data collection and analyzing (80% of the effort) and applying the acquired knowledge and experience in diagnosis (20% of the effort)!! Hence, is a doctor data sampler? The doctor's main role/value addition (and was correctly realized by technology) is to absorb all that data provided by checkups/tests and evaluate/analyze the same in context of the latest medical developments/reports and findings including the patient's history and figure out if something is wrong, which is called “to diagnose.” Technology interestingly recognized this and deployed sensors, data analyzers, laws of probability, and the intelligence of the processor to collate the patient information at a snap of a finger and report for diagnosis without any error (while considering more options and making fewer errors). This interestingly reduced 80% of the efforts put in by a doctor and gave him more time to fruitfully do what he is primarily chartered to, wiz “diagnose.” While this (technological advancement in the process of diagnosis, which did take a toll on employment, in a way to say and sieved out nonadaptive/nontech savvy professionals) was happening, telemedicine came to existence, and further challenged the balance as most of the average doctor's medical knowledge is from when they were in medical school, while cognitive limitations prevent them from remembering the innumerable diseases known to humans. Technology snuggly filled in this gap and allowed the doctor to do justice to his main agenda: “diagnose” and see more patients in a day. This, brought in more (and fierce competition), and thereby lesser opportunities for many doctors practicing privately.
Change is inevitable, and adaptability (honing the skills, designing futuristic education at par with technological advancements) is the key, to tide over the cyclical perils of technology over humans.
The future demands that the professionals be trained, keeping adaptability in the focus and forefront. As said above, educational leaders should accelerate the changes that will allow the education system to arm the future students with the followings:
- To use creativity and flexibility unflinchingly, using trial and error path to build machines with improvisation in processes
- To explore offbeat professions that are emotive and beyond the realms of machines (at least as of now)
- Entrepreneurship building and harboring newer ideas should be a habit
- Build cognitive dexterity or the ability to adapt to unique and complicated problems as they arise.
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McGinn RE. Science, Technology, and Society. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall; 1991.