What if we replace almost all tactile objects?

I wrote yesterday about the various objects we use being replaced by computers and it got me thinking more about the subject.

With the potential for so many of our day to day objects becoming computerified we could easily end up with living rooms adorned with furniture and a screen, and little else.

This is already happening of course and for many the idea of physical books, music and film media, and paper of any kind feel like artefacts from the past. I find myself in this camp and own under 20 paper books, a selection of old vinyl records which sit hidden away and no DVDs at all. If I moved house tomorrow it would be a much easier experience than it has been in the past because so much of the content I consume is sat in the cloud. When I say cloud I mean someone else’s computer which is the worrying part.

What I mostly consider, however, is how we will adapt without these physical objects and especially when we reach the point where speaking text feels more normal than bashing away at a keyboard. Potentially, we as humans could end up with self-driving cars, content consumption dominated by screens (already happening) and a lost ability to do anything without an algorithm helping us to do it.

I am not saying this is bad. It is progress and in my view progress that is adopted by the majority is almost always a good thing, but I do wonder what we will lose when the ‘gains’ of technology dominate even more than they do today.



Categories: Articles, Thoughts