Will Computers Control Humans In The Future?


People always tend to seek the easy way out looking for something that
would make their lives easier. Machines and tools have given us the ability to
do more in less time giving us, at the same time, more comfort. As the
technology advances, computers become faster and more powerful. These new
machines are enabling us to do more in less time making our lives easier. The
increased use of computers in the future, however, might have negative results
and impact on our lives. In the novel Nine Tomorrows Isaac Asimov often
criticizes our reliance on computers by portraying a futuristic world where
computers control humans.

One of the images which Asimov describes in the book is that humans might
become too dependent on computers. In one of the stories, Profession, Asimov
writes about people being educated by computer programs designed to educate
effortlessly a person. According to the Profession story people would no longer
read books to learn and improve their knowledge. People would rely on the
computers rather than "try to memorize enough to match someone else who knows"
(Nine Tomorrows, Profession 55). People would not chose to study, they would
only want to be educated by computer tapes. Putting in knowledge would take
less time than reading books and memorizing something that would take almost no
time using a computer in the futuristic world that Asimov describes. Humans
might began to rely on computers and allow them to control themselves by letting
computers educate people. Computers would start teaching humans what computers
tell them without having any choice of creativity. Computers would start to
control humans' lives and make humans become too dependent on the computers.

Another point that is criticized by Asimov is the fact that people might
take their knowledge for granted allowing computers to take over and control
their lives. In a story called The Feeling of Power, Asimov portrays how people
started using computers to do even simple mathematical calculations. Over a
long period of time people became so reliable on computers that they forgot the
simplest multiplication and division rules. If someone wanted to calculate an
answer they would simply use their pocket computer to do that (The Feeling of
Power 77). People became too independent from the start making them forget what
they have learned in the past. People in the story The Feeling of Power would
take for granted what they have learned over centuries of learning and chose
computers because of their ability to do their work faster. The lack of manual
mathematics, which people chose to forget in the story, caused computers to be
the ones to solve simple mathematic problems for the people taking control of
the humans by doing the work for them (The Feeling of Power 81-82). The
reliance of computers went to such an extent that even Humans began to use
computers in all fields of study and work allowing computers to control their
lives by taking over and doing everything for them.

According to another story in the book, Asimov also describes how
computers would be able to predict probabilities of an event, future. In the
story All the Troubles of the World one big computer predicted crime before it
even happened, allowing the police to take the person who was going to commit
the crime and release him/her after the danger has passed (All The Troubles of
The World 144-145). This computer, called Multivac, controlled humans by
telling the authorities about who was going to commit a crime causing someone to
be imprisoned until the danger has passed. It was the computer that made the
decision of someone's freedom or imprisonment and that controlled others to
arrest a person it suspected of committing a crime controlling his/her destiny.
The decision of imprisoning someone for a crime a person did not commit was all
in the hands of a computer. It was the computer that controlled humans and their
destiny and controlling other humans who believed in everything that computer
told them.

Multivac could not only predict the future but it also could answer many
questions that would normally embarrass people if they would have to ask someone
else about it. Multivac could access its vast database of trillions of pieces
of knowledge and find the best solution for one's problem (All The Troubles of
The World 153). All the people believed that Multivac knows the best and
allowed a computer to control their lives by following the solutions Multivac
had given them (All the Troubles of The World 153).