Recently I watched an old episode from “The Twilight Zone”, the title was “Obsolete”. This episode starred Burgess Meredith as a librarian judged by a panel of governmental officials claiming his position was obsolete. This got me thinking of all the things that have become obsolete in my short life time, how those things were integral during my childhood and into adulthood, and how through technology our world is changing.

I used to listen to music, Giant’s broadcasts, and Warriors broadcasts on my transistor radio. The transistor radio has become obsolete. Eight track tapes, the Etch A Sketch, building blocks, black and white TV, rotary phones, pagers, fax machines, floppy disks, cassette tapes, dot matrix printers, and of course typewriters are all now considered obsolete. There is a myriad of other devices that are now “obsolete” but are too many to list in this short blog.

I remember using a typewriter in high school to type my papers. It wasn’t until white out and eventually typing paper you could erase that I didn’t have a waste paper basket full of my fruitless attempts to type a paper for class. Just the frustration and amount of time it took to type a paper was certainly, for me, an exercise in futility. This device’s evolution is one of the great saving graces for technology… having said that I defer to the below paragraphs while looking at the impact technology has on our every day life.

Today I work at Aria hotel and casino at the City Center in Las Vegas on the famous “strip”. Just since I’ve been working at the hotel certain positions once staples of the work force are now considered “obsolete”. The positions I refer to are cashiers and main floor casino service bartenders. The former has been replaced by tech devices that duplicate the effort of the cashier with more possibilities for error and less human connection with the guest we serve. The later (the casino floor service bartender) leaves a vacuous divide between human connection, quality of product, and perceived customer value.

Certainly technology has eased the burden of specific tasks and while I understand its quite a jump to compare AI “artificial intelligence” with the cell phone I also know that these devices are listening to us. If you don’t believe me talk in front of the Amazon Alexa about something you’re interested in purchasing and watch it pop up on your computer and or cell phone.

When asked about “artificial intelligence” Bill Gates had this to say,

“The world hasn’t had that many technologies that are both promising and dangerous… you know, we have nuclear energy and nuclear weapons.”

Elon Musk says, and I quote, ” AI (artificial intelligence) is far more dangerous than nukes.”

From where I stand I see the value of technology but I also see the danger it represents to human connectivity. I live in Vegas where the analysis is probably a little tilted to the position of losing ones identity and thus not caring about your impact regarding human contact and interaction.

I see everyone staring at their cell phones talking more and communicating less. With this plethora of technological devices pulling us farther away from connecting with each other I see the world, as we know it, on the verge of an impactful disconnect.

With this disconnect comes the very point of this blog. What is becoming our normal every day protocol revolves around a cell phone, head phones, and big screen TV’s. We are slowly edging out human contact in favor of other less emotional collaboration leading to our connection with others. This provocative disconnect means that in essence… humanity has become “obsolete”.

With humanity becoming “obsolete” we open the door to AI and the possibility that (perhaps not in our lifetime) in the near future our world will be ruled by these devices. We may not be able to control AI resulting in a world without the balance of compassion, love, and insightful discourse thus leading to an impactful ice age of consciousness.