Can Computers See?
This depends, of course, on what you mean by see. If you mean seeing like a human – or any animal, such as a house-fly – or even as a plant, that can grow towards the light – the answer is no – for the simple reason that the computer has no body, it is not alive. It is just a mechanism, a machine.
Let me repeat that: the computer is just a machine. But a machine we think is like us.
Now what does that mean, we think the computer is like us?
Perhaps it means we have lost our minds – and I say that in all seriousness. One does not have to look very hard to see people with scant thinking ability and limited emotional capacity. I can even point my finger at myself.
It has been known since ancient times that some technologies (such as writing) have deleterious effects on the mind – and on society as a whole (it made empires possible). It will be argued that they also have beneficial effects, which is sometimes true (as in the effects of money). But let me go back to the computer, and its effects.
One of its effects has been to make it more like us – and us more like it. This is something most unusual – and something we need to consider carefully. Do we really want this to happen – and if so, how far do we want it to go with this strange merging of the animate and inanimate? Which brings up a new heading:
Having sex with the computer
This is a strange idea, but not a new one. We have been serving as the reproductive organs for our machines for a very long time. Just go past the display window of a cellphone store sometime – they want a merger between one of them and you (and your bank account, of course). And not only that – but all your friends too. Promiscuous rascals aren’t they?