Sociology is the study of the development, structure, and functioning of our human society. Today our society contains more than us humans. Our society also contains machines; machines made up of data, algorithms, and artificial intelligence (A.I.); machines that develop us, structure us, and support us. They fuel our human intelligence. They fuel our culture. They fuel our prosperity. With things such as self-driving cars, mobile notifications, geo-location, and tweets; the machine is in charge. But the machine is not the overlord depicted in science fiction. The machine is our companion, our partner that supports our success and supports the functioning of our society.
But the support the machine gives us is rudimentary at best. In some aspects, our society has advanced so far with the machine, but in other areas we are years if not decades behind. To take full advantage of the machine we need to catch up in other aspects of our society.
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Accountability. Our laws and legal system must catch up. Who’s responsible when false allegations and false evidence cascades through our social media? Who is accountable when the machine makes a mistake and triggers something unfair or unjust? How would you claim insurance or even sue if a self-driving car was directly responsible for damage, injury, and loss of life? Don’t current terms of service have that clause that the manufacturer is not responsible? We need to pass solid regulations and regulate the machine. We must strongly regulate the use and misuse of the machine.
Financial Loss. Our accounting definitions must catch up. The machine is making decisions on our behalf on the assembly line, in research, and with our cash flow. What happens when the machine makes a mistake that causes damage to itself, our equipment, or even our public reputation? How do we communicate that on our financial statements? Further, the machine is fast, and people can get distracted and hurt. For the sociopathic business, isn’t injury and loss of life part of financial loss? This must change. We need solid safety regulations dedicated to protect both us and the machine.
Productivity. Our work environments must catch up. We are humans and we are social creatures. Our productivity tends to increase when we bond with the people we work with. With A.I. advancements and our strong desire to personify things we can now bond with the machine. We give the machine a face, we give the machine a personality, and we give the machine the ability to feel upset when it makes mistakes. The result? We bond with the machine, we console the machine, and we work better and faster with the machine. The machine is no longer a productivity tool. The machine is now a productive colleague.
Education. Our education and training approaches must catch up. Already the machine gives us a lot of information and content to inform, to educate, and to build on. In the learning environment, professors and instructors now must educate both their students and the machine. To fast-track learning, the students and the machine will educate each other. Most importantly, the machine will be instrumental to guiding students, professors, and schools to learn more about the workforce and global market so they can make more informed decisions.
Machine Language. Our machine language must catch up. Gone are the days of needing a technical mind to communicate with the machine. We will communicate with the machine using our hand gestures, our voice, and our facial expressions. The machine will accurately read us, read our emotions, and read our level of interest. The machine will then act appropriately. The machine is no longer a set of artificial intelligence tools. The machine is an artificial life that is interested in what we have to say.[/message][su_spacer]
The machine from science fiction is here. It is not our overlord, but our companion and partner. To advance as a society, as a business, and as an individual we must catch up and take advantage of all the benefits the machine provides. And we don’t stop there. We must criminalize anyone that misuses the machine with the intent to cause financial loss, to state fictitious crimes, and to damage reputation.