By Atty. Gilberto Lauengco, J.D.

Has technology outpaced human development?

“The development of technology will leave only one problem: the infirmity of human nature.”- Karl Kraus

A few weeks ago, two large circular live interactive video portal installations resembling “stargates” were installed in two different locations. One portal was set up in a busy part of New York, United States, while the other one was put in Dublin, Ireland. These large portals hosted a 24/7 livestream in both cities where people could see and interact with each other. These innovative science-based art installations were supposed to show how technology has provided global real-time interconnectedness. At first, the people of both cities would smile, wave hello and show signs of greetings to their counterparts across the globe. Somehow the thought of being able to see people across the globe live and on widescreen brought joy to several thousands of people.

Unfortunately, it did not take long for humanity’s penchant for abusing technology to rear its ugly head. After a few days, people from both sides of the portal began flashing their private parts, doing lewd gestures, displaying offensive photos and signs to each other. Initially created to promote community through technology, the portals once again showed how humanity’s development is far outpaced by technological advancement.

In the past few decades, we have seen the rapid advancement of technology and how it has impacted people’s everyday lives. It is disheartening to note that many of these technological marvels have now been used to harm each other. Social media and internet sites are filled with online hate and vitriol and have often been the tools used to cause emotional and even physical harm. In countries such as ours where reading comprehension and analysis are lower than average, technology has been the default tool for misinformation and online scams.

There is an ongoing debate on how the emotional and intellectual development of kids today has been affected by technology. Many teachers claim that they have observed a general decline in students’ ability to maintain focus and grasp abstract concepts allegedly caused by an over-dependence on gadgets.

In the field of artificial intelligence (AI), we have seen AI taking over human jobs and functions. We are on the verge of creating a new species smarter than humans. Virtual reality and bio-tech are also on the rise. What are the implications of these rapid developments? If human development does not match this rapid advancement in technology, then there might be dire consequences for our species.

There is a new theory being bandied about why we seem to have trouble finding other civilizations out there in space. The theory is that one possible reason for the seeming silence in space is that when civilizations develop, they inevitably create artificial intelligence. It is posited that when AI advances and becomes sentient it deems living things as dangerous and causes their extermination. Will the next generation AI suddenly realize that we are a species unworthy of technology?

Perhaps, it is time to pay attention to educating the next generation on how to adapt to technology and to go back to basics of right conduct.

This is just my oblique observation.

Editor’s note: The opinions expressed in the foregoing article are solely the author’s and do not reflect the opinions and beliefs of the Philippine News Agency (PNA) or any other office under the Presidential Communications Office.


About the Columnist

Image of Atty. Gilberto Lauengco, J.D.

ATTY. GILBERTO LAUENGCO, J.D. is a lawyer, educator, political strategist, government consultant, Lego enthusiast, and the director of CAER Think Tank. He is a Former Vice Chairman of MECO, Special Assistant of NFA and City Administrator among others. His broad experience has molded his unique approach to issues analysis which he calls the oblique observation.