2016 was a memorable year. As well as the Rio Olympics, there was also a battle between the world’s greatest Go player, Lee Sedol and a program called AlphaGo. Basically, it was a fight between artificial intelligence and the human brain. However, it seems like in the history of the race between Man and Machine, the machine is leading by one point. When I first heard the news, I felt really sorry for Sedol. It is just like when you teach your friend Math and they end up getting higher marks than you. Isn’t that frustrating? The programme was created by a human who is not even a good Go player, but how can humans lose against a man-made invention?
We have to agree that without machines our lives would be difficult and primitive. Advanced technology not only improves our daily lives but also helps to compensate for the destruction we humans have created while misusing the machines. For example, “green technologies” promote an eco-friendly lifestyle and also include some effective inventions like hybrid vehicles and energy-saving CFL. These machines are designed to progressively minimize energy use and have less of an impact on the environment. Moreover, some of them can even help humans to avoid disasters that are caused by nature like weather warnings by the Hong Kong observatory and tsunami warning systems using satellites.
The use of technology to exploit the earth’s resources is well documented such as drilling and fracking technology to find oil which threatens to upset the earth’s stability and ultimately our climate. However, there are machines that are not only destroying the environment but humans too. Whenever it comes to the misuse of technology, people think of the weapons used in wars. I think the main fight, however, is between man versus man not man versus machine because robots don’t have feelings and would never feel jealous or determined to be on top. People say if there is a fight between two brothers, the mother always suffers as she wants both of her sons. Nowadays, millions of brothers are fighting with each other and our mother nature is suffering.
I hardly remember those days where book lovers read books under the tree instead of sitting in air-conditioned rooms to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes. People nowadays are losing interest in our beautiful nature and our planet. We don’t want to go out because of the steaming weather, but we will not do anything about the vehicles that are causing global warming. We are ruining our relationship with the earth by not thinking about what impact our actions have on the planet. While people are planning to live on Mars, why don’t we just think wisely and stop killing our precious earth as we have only got one and it’s the best planet in our solar system to support life as we know it.
Many people know about the problem but still don’t do anything because they think they are too insignificant. The first step is to understand that we should never allow technology to overtake ethics. Always think twice about what will happen if the invention gets out of control or if there is better way to make it so it will not be misused. Besides the creator, the technology users should also put the whole earth before any other factors. Why not use food composting machines to turn our food waste into rich soil instead of using crushers to dump it into the landfill? You might say that stopping someone from making harmful machines is not in your hands, but making good use of the good machines is. We don’t always need to do something as big as developing renewable energy but we can at least save energy by turning off the air-conditioners or lights when we leave the room or our homes. If you don’t have the power to change the whole world at least change yourself to use technology smartly. The Dalai Lama said, “If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.” I also believe that everyone can do something and that little, incremental changes can lead to something great.