The Dehumanising Effects of the Computer Revolution

Topics: Computer, Database management system, Personal computer Pages: 8 (2779 words) Published: October 7, 2010
1.0  The computer revolution
Computer evolution had already passed its infancy from its introduction to the wide-reaching utilisation of the society today as the much-heralded ‘personal computer’ or simply PC led the revolutionary process by virtue of its prominence and visibility in the daily existence of humankind,the application of computer goes above and beyond the convenience of storing and displaying data for practical use. Instead it now encompasses the ability to achieve process optimisation and assume a central role in technically everything people do. Driven by the rapid developments in technology, this device acts from giving a specific advice onto performing dreadful tasks for the purpose of providing a solution to the problem whenever the need arises and sometimes in only a matter of second. Dubbed as the new information age, the computer revolution was facilitated by acquiring faster, cheaper and accessible personal computers by more and more households worldwide as industries, governments and institutions are increasingly dependant upon computers. The establishment of the revolution is driven by extensive promotion of the beneficial effects of the computers including increased access to information, ease of communication across longer distances, added accuracy in research and manufacturing, more efficiency in doing business, cheaper means of production and other practical purposes. What the advocates did not realise is that the computer revolution has profound effects to the society – positive and negative. Nonetheless, there are inherent risks that the computer revolution is bringing the humanity, and these may not be equally or not compensate the benefits. The paper will address the dehumanising effects of the computer revolution as it will discuss the various aspects of human-computer interaction. How computing applies to the daily existence of many as well as how computing can influence or manipulate the different dimensions that determine man (e.g. social, physical, economic, etc.) will be likewise presented. The essay will incorporate these negative effects at home, in school, in the workplace and society in general affecting individuals in terms of cognition, affection and psychomotor abilities.    2.0  The human-computer interaction

In recent years, there had been an increasing degree of human and computer interaction with the premise that points to ‘human-centered’ synergism which emphasise the fact that all existing information systems were designed with human users in mind. These systems are omnipresent in all human endeavors including scientific, medical, military, transportation and consumerism. As individuals, we use systems for learning, searching for information, doing research and authoring while multiple users use them for communication and collaboration with both group use them for entertainment. As such, there are two components unique to this kind of interaction: computers as providers of data/knowledge base and information processing engine and human as users (Sebe, Lew and Huang, 2004, p. 1).     3.0  How computers affect mankind

Joseph Weizenbaum (1976) warns twenty years ago that computers would profoundly affect the societies that adopted them revealing both the positive and negative implications of the computer revolution. For Weizenbaum, computers adjusted human intelligence in many ways unimaginable that they privileged numerical models and instrumental reasoning as the basis of action. In addition, the computer revolution had cultivated a paradoxical situation whereby the computers initially empower mankind but eventually render towards powerlessness. Indeed, computers affect us in a concrete, material and social sense and other humanistic endeavors. On the one hand, computers had improved commerce, built relationships both national and international, advanced research, record-keeping and running organisations. The computer...
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