In Computers We Trust
Human beings are biologically preordained to be lazy thinkers. We don’t want to think through things simply because we are not biologically wired to do so.
The human brain accounts for about 2-3% of the total body weight but it consumes 25% of the body’s energy when at the body rest and relatively more, when the body is active.
As a consequence, we have to pay a high price to do some thinking. Thinking is hard!
Being the crafty creatures that we are, we have orchestrated ways to transcend this biological constraint by creating computers.
We have taken the saying, “Error is to human” so literally that we no longer trust any results, especially those that call for a lot of analytical thinking, from fellow human beings. In computers we trust.
This trust has gone to the extremes that we trust computers more than we trust ourselves.
I don’t know whether we realize and or appreciate that since computers are our own creations, trusting them more than us is naïve at best and self-betrayal at worst.
Until we come to terms with the implications of this self-betrayal, we shall not realize that error will always be to humans’ creations since error is to human.
Too much automation is pervading all our economic activities, the recent victim being the football game.
The role to think through events during a football match has been transferred from human referees to computer referees manned by other human referees.
This cyclic attempt to eliminate unfair human refereeing decisions is bound to multiply the unfairness it intends to reduce since humans are still involved in the interpretation of video outputs.
We should leave the African Cup of Nations tournament to flow without tech scrutiny. What do you think?
Excerpts From Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari.
Head Image: Getty Images