With each passing day technology is responsible for meeting more and more of our daily needs. Is that a good thing?
It’s especially true that we rely on computer-based technologies to guide our lives and meet our needs, whether it’s the computer programs helping pilots fly planes, powering a factory’s decisions about production, or informing trading decisions made on Wall Street. In this latter connection, Graham Bowley reports today for the New York Times that computer programs are now trained to read the news, identify trends, and initiate trades based on the analyses. Unconvinced? Consider that Deep Blue defeated Garry Kasparov at chess back in 1997. Thirteen years is a long time in the world of developing computer technology.
There are two ‘apocalyptic’ judgments about such technology: that it will save us, and that it will destroy us. Current film deftly interweaves these two views. In Terminator I, technology is villain; in Terminator II, it is the savior and villain. In the Matrix films, technology is villainous, but the saviors use all sorts of technology to redeem trapped humanity. These films raise questions about technology that are fundamentally religious and theological in character. They are the questions we are asking of technology, whether we know it or not.
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