Blog Post 4

In the chapter “Passengers”, Nicholas Carr writes about the growing advancements in the world of automation technology. This type of technology can basically do everything a human can do. It is very much so a big fancy computer that could possibly replace humans. Carr shares a personal story of when he was growing up and how he wanted to make his driving experience easier. At the time Carr had a stick shift car, but longed for an automatic. Once Carr received an automatic car, he soon realized he didn’t have to do nearly as much work as he use to and he missed that aspect of the stick shift. Carr felt as if he was a “passenger in his own car”. Carr goes on to criticize the new Google car that drives its self. He wonders how could a car know exactly what to do in an endless amount of scenarios. Carr then ponders the question of who would be held responsible if a Google car were to be involved in a wreck. This is a tough question to answer. There are countless parties that could be held reliable for such an event. In my personal opinion I believe that all parties involved in making the car all the way from the software programmers to the mechanics to even the people who purchase and operate the car should be held reliable. No one will be able to exactly pinpoint the cause of the crash: if it were due to a malfunction in the software, the human operator or what. Since this is the case I believe that every party involved in anyway with the car should be held accountable to some extent. Not just one part of the puzzle can be blamed, but the whole puzzle must be considered. Carr’s argument in this text is not that this technology is bad or unwanted, but that this technology is being developed at an extremely fast rate and humans are not taking a step back and asking the right questions. Carr’s main focus is on the ethical issues of this new advancement in technology. There are endless ethical issues that arise with new technology such as a self-driving car. The tone used by Carr in this article takes on a more serious and concerned persona. Carr shows great concern for ethical issues that arise when he asks about whom the responsible party should be if an accident were ever to occur. Carr shows his seriousness with this statement, “The choices we make, or fail to make, about which tasks we hand off t computers and which we keep for ourselves are not just practical or economic issues. They’re ethical choices.” He continuously throws inquiry questions at his audience to get them thinking in a deeper manor about some serious issues. One of his questions, “What does human being mean?” really shows that Carr’s tone in this passage is that of a serious manor. He wants the public to take this new advancement of technology with a grain of salt. Compared to Carr’s other article, “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” his tone in this article is more authoritative and serious than pointing fingers and anger. Carr isn’t so much trying to persuade humans away from these new advancements in technology, but he is trying to persuade them into being more cautious and asking more questions. In “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” Carr’s tone was completely different. He was pointing fingers at Google and stating that they were the cause of the human race becoming stupid, but in this article he is calmer and not jumping to conclusions. Carr is however proposing that humans be more cautious of the new advancements in technology and how it could replace a lot of the things we enjoy doing, but may not even know we actually enjoy doing until it is gone. Personally I prefer the tone displayed by Carr in this article than the other because he seems to be more genuine and concerned with this piece. Carr is taking a more sophisticated approach than just simply blaming Google for everything. I also received his message better in this article due to the fact that it is not solely based on his personal opinions, but on scientific research and inquiry questions. I believe Carr chose to change his tone for this article because this topic is a bit more serious than just humans’ stupidity levels. This article addresses serious ethical issues and the possibility of robotics taking over the majority of human jobs. If Carr would of used a more laid back tone, his message would not have been as effective or received as well by his audience.


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