What happens when technology takes CTRL?
By Muskan Shah and Nafisa Singhsachathet
We’re in a period of time where technology is developing at eye-watering speeds, with some of us rewiring our motherboards and embracing tech trends to avoid falling behind in the growing technological gap. But what about the rest of us who are trying to process this new reality and all of its data? Are we doomed to exist in a state of buffering forever? Masala interviews four Thai-Indians to find out their thoughts on the rapid acceleration of technology and whether or not they’re struggling to keep up!
International Coordination Manager at Smart Arts Jewellery Limited
“We used to say you can travel the world in 80 days but now it can be done in eight seconds because of the plethora of gadgets we have on hand. Technology has come leaps and bounds and just when you feel like you’re about to grasp an existing concept, new innovation arrives in the blink of an eye. While I do commend technology’s extensive capabilities, I’m not particularly savvy and I think many from my generation feel same. We have to keep pace with the younger generations otherwise we’ll be left behind.
“One thing’s for sure, tech has become a game of give and take and as it continues to advance, the sacrifices required will grow alarmingly larger. For example, the climate crisis we’re facing worldwide. As people become more attached to electronics, they’re becoming emotionally disconnected to real life and failing to see pressing issues in front of them. This is leading to a domino effect of waste, water pollution, forest burning and more.
“Technology hasn’t been able to save us from this destructive pandemic and as we to find a panacea, we’re realising we should’ve respected our earthly roots. Undoubtedly technology has helped us stay afloat during this dreary time, but I can’t help but wonder if we could have been better prepared for this situation, had we not been so caught up in it. In saying this, technology can’t be stopped, it must continue to grow as it’s a driving force of our livelihoods. But we must manage the pace and find a balance between the digital realm and the natural world.”
Product Design student and UX/UI Designer at Orbyt (Startup)
“Technology has been the key to both my studies and work but it’s moving at an unparalleled speed. As a design community, we’re unable to keep up with what’s being envisioned for the future, as it’s still far from what’s being adopted today because society isn’t ready yet. This widens the technological gap. In terms of everyday technology use, even people like me who aren’t tech savvy are able to keep up at a decent pace. And with the pandemic still looming, it’s actually acted as the push we’ve needed to adopt technology faster.
“It’s vital to point out that technology is not just electronics and social media, it encompasses a lot more like autonomous vehicles and AI and these are the parts where we often struggle to absorb quickly. Another issue with technology developing at this speed is the inevitable impact on sustainability, simply put: technology is being designed to become obsolete in order to ensure constant evolution. As a designer, this is where I hope to come in and create a user-friendly approach so the transition is not as frustrating.
“In my field, we’re trying to bridge the technological gap by slowing things down and making people more aware of how they use technology. This mirrors what I suspect the future will look like, one that is all data centric, like a seesaw where people want more data privacy but at the same time fully rely on technology. People will become more conscious of their data and will want to better understand the complexities, thus bridging the gap between us and technology. When it comes to tech, the faster you iterate, the more you can improve and the more you’ll be determined to learn and grow.”
President of the ITCC
“Technology is moving too fast. It’s worrisome because the new generation is glued to electronic gadgets all day while people over the age of 50 are finding it difficult to keep up. Although technological advancement is good in some regards, I don’t believe all innovations need to be commercialised immediately.
“I feel that nowadays emotional connection is disappearing, Gen-Z are surrounded by gadgets 24/7, communicating through text even while sitting next to each other. An addiction to apps is comparable to drug addiction, people just can’t overcome it and it’s going to drive them up the wall. Therefore, I think technology is required but it must be controlled, it should be commanded by humans and not vice versa. This quote says it all: ‘Before we work on artificial intelligence, why don’t we do something about natural stupidity.’”
Executive Editor of Travel Impact Newswire; travel and tourism historian and researcher
“Technology is moving way too fast so I use what I need and the rest I ignore. Some pros of modern technology is being able to talk to my mother daily from a long distance; I can stay in touch with my children and grandchildren; I’ve found old friends from school; and I can order food, watch movies, listen to music, cover events, and monitor news from around the world. As a journalist, my three primary tools of the trade – camera, tape-recorder and notebook– have merged into one, which is more convenient and safeguards my back.
“On the other hand, some cons are being forced to update software right after get used to old ones; and cables, plugs and ports change with new models leading to confusion and wasted time and money. I also feel that social media has become a manipulative political and commercial monster. Dangerously imbalanced competition is compromising human rights, corrupting the pursuit of truth, and aggravating the rich-poor income gap. Technology’s biggest threat is that humanity is losing control of its destinies and the insidious consequences of that are beginning to sink in. Drones, robots, driverless cars, cryptocurrencies, artificial intelligence and algorithms, facial recognition, contactless payments, virtual and augmented reality, hybrid meetings, and more, will not make the world a safer and more peaceful place. But, I am in the twilight of my life and if my children aren’t worried, why should I be?”