Computers and Humans: Friends or Foes?

In his argument, Ian Leslie makes his argument about how we decide to use technology and not about technology itself. Leslie says that, “machines are for answers; humans are for questions”. By this Leslie means that without humans asking the questions then there is no need for computers. If humans stop asking questions then there is no need for answers. Leslie focuses his argument around the need for humans and technology to work together to improve each other’s potential. The two are rather dependent on each other. One cannot successfully operate without the other. Leslie ponders this inquiry question to try and persuade his audience that technology is not the problem and is not making humans stupid, but rather we are the ones making our own selves stupid. Leslie describes the “information gap” as being “when you know just enough to know that you don’t know everything, you experience the itch to know more”. If someone believes they know everything then there is no need to ask any more questions. Leslie believes in keeping the “information gap” open. If the gap was closed then there would be no questions asked and all curiosity would be lost. Like Leslie’s argument of a codependent relationship between humans and technology, the “information gap” must be open in order for this relationship to work. For example, in order for new technology to be discovered questions must be asked about what can be made better or what still needs to be invented. From personal experience, whenever I have a question that needs to be answered and I don’t want to have to do extensive research, I go to the Internet for my answer. If the “information gap” were closed then I would never get any answers in a fast and efficient way. In comparison to Nicholas Carr’s article, both articles agree on the fact that humans are becoming “stupid”. However, they differ on the reasons why humans are becoming “stupid”. Carr believes that humans are relying more on computers and technology to do everything for us. However, Leslie believes that there should be a relationship between the computer and humans. Leslie insists that computers help spark and answer questions brought up by humans. Without humans and their questions, there is no need for answers or computers. On the one hand, Carr believes humans are relying too heavily on computers, while on the other hand, Leslie believes there needs to be a stable relationship between humans and computers. In my opinion, I believe that Leslie’s argument is more persuasive than Carr’s. Leslie imposes a need of a relationship between computers, whereas Carr insists we are relying too heavily on computers and technology. I believe that humans would be more likely to better a relationship with computers than to turn back to the olden ways of conducting research by reading through numerous books. Leslie’s argument is more likely to resonate with humans today than Carr’s argument.


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