What state is the world in? Is the world spiky or flat? As I completed the reading for this week I thought I knew the answer and I find myself unsure. I am unsure because I understand where each individual is coming from. In Thomas Friedman’s (2005) synopsis on why the world is flat the biggest argument made derives from the interconnectedness of the world. Distance no longer is a barrier as technology bridges people together by leveling the field.
On the other hand, Richard Florida proposes that the world is spiky based upon the population, economic activity, innovation, and scientific advancement. In Florida’s (2005) article, there are many spikes in developed nations and even more valleys in less developed countries. When reflecting upon both readings, I find myself agreeing more with Florida (2005) than Friedman (2005) because there are many locations worldwide that have more advantages than others due to a high population density. With more people in shared spaces, ideas can grow and foster to become more.
Aside from the physical state of the world, technology has greatly impacted the world we live within by becoming more accessible. I recall when I was in elementary school, the one computer for our entire classroom was an Apple computer with a green screen (like the photo below). Computers, over time, have become thinner and faster. Cell phones, once clunky and large are now able to fit into pockets. With the easy accessibility of technology, employers now have policies limiting/monitoring technology usage. With previous employers, personal technology was not allowed to be used during work hours. Limiting an employee’s personal use of technology is nearly impossible nowadays. In my organization, all employees have cell phones that are used for both work and personal usage. To provide a bit more information about my organization, we are a small nonprofit that provides training and technical assistance to the health centers within the state of Nebraska. Technology is a key instrument used to help staff retrieve files within our Cloud. Webinars are used to educate health center staff on new pertinent information. There have been a few days when computers were down and when this happens, no work is accomplished. Staff are unable to move projects forward without technology.
One final thought I have on technology is this. Technology has also allowed for artificial intelligence to prosper significantly. In Nick Bostrom’s (2015) presentation, he discusses how artificial intelligence could be as smart as a human and could even become much smarter, possibly even self-aware. Bostrom goes on to say assert the importance of controlling the artificial intelligence AI) so that the AI is smart, while also being safe. As I listened to the video, I thought of Tom Simonite’s (2016) article on chip designed to help facilitate deep learning within artificial intelligence. The chip allows for faster processing which would help achieve the deeper learning being referenced. I highly doubt controlling artificial intelligence is achievable.