Dec 4, 2023

Wired too much?

 "Humans are wired, while machines are learning" - This quote that I came across recently raised a few questions of concern in my mind.

=> Are we becoming too dependent on algorithms to tell us what to do?

=> Are we becoming machines that can be programmed?

As this process unfolds, machines are learning to understand, predict, and modify human behavior.

Watched a Tamil movie "Irugapatru" this weekend and there was this powerful scene - the husband learns that the things that his wife does for him (going for a long drive, cooking his favorite meal, etc) are as instructed by a relationship app, and she ends up marking such tasks as Completed. He feels disappointed that these were not her self-motivated behaviors.

As I thought about this scene, I wondered - What if our body is a different person whom we love and care for?

Won’t the body feel disappointed that we listen to an app to eat as per the calories and macros prescribed?

Won’t the body feel let down when we are ready to listen to an app to drink water, rather than the signal of thirst the body communicates with us?

"Why don’t you listen to me directly? 

Why don’t you take care of me based on your innate wisdom and our communication codes? 

Why do you seek external tools instead of reforging our connection?"

These are the questions our body would raise if ever there was an argument.

Many of us use step tracker apps to hit the goal of 10K steps a day. If there are, say, 1000 steps remaining to hit the target of 10K steps, we start to walk at 11 PM to hit this goal and to prevent the streak from getting broken. 

Goal-oriented behavior is fine as long as we take the help of our intellect to discern if achieving this goal at 11 PM is really that important.

Some questions to ponder:

=> Are we becoming puppets in the hands of health tracker apps and other algorithms?

=> Are we being programmed to think, act, and behave in a certain way that would benefit various counter-productive, hidden business agendas?

=> In this process, are we losing the connection with our innate intellect that helps us discern right from wrong?

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