How technology has defined human evolution

Hominids started using primitive stone tools millions of years ago. The earliest stone tools were little more than a fractured rock, but approximately 75, years ago, [35] pressure flaking provided a way to make much finer work. Control of fire by early humans The discovery and utilization of firea simple energy source with many profound uses, was a turning point in the technological evolution of humankind. As the Paleolithic era progressed, dwellings became more sophisticated and more elaborate; as early as ka, humans were constructing temporary wood huts.

How technology has defined human evolution

Alamy When I think about the future of human-machine interactions, two entwined anxieties come to mind. First, there is the tension between individual and collective existence.

Technology connects us to each other as never before, and in doing so makes explicit the degree to which we are defined and anticipated by others: This has always been true — but rarely has it been more evident or more constantly experienced. This is an astonishing, disconcerting, delightful thing: We think of ourselves as individual, rational minds, and describe our relationships with technology on this basis Second, there is the question of how we see ourselves.

Human nature is a baggy, capacious concept, and one that technology has altered and extended throughout history.

Digital technologies challenge us once again to ask what place we occupy in the universe: Rightly, fearfully, falteringly, we are beginning to ask what transforming consequences this latest extension and usurpation will bring.

I call these anxieties entwined because, for me, they come accompanied by a shared error: In asking what it means to be human, we are prone to think of ourselves as individual, rational minds, and to describe our relationships with and through technology on this basis: The evolutionary pressures surrounding machines are every bit as intense as in nature, and with few of its constraints This is one view of human-machine interactions.

We know ourselves to be intensely social, emotional, intractably embodied creatures. Much of the best recent work in economics, psychology and neuroscience has emphasized the degree to which we cannot be unbundled into distinct capabilities: Neither language, culture nor a human mind can exist in isolation, or spring into existence fully formed.

We are interdependent to an extent we rarely admit. We have little in common with our creations — and a nasty habit of blaming them for things we are doing to ourselves. What makes all this so urgent is the brutally Darwinian nature of technological evolution.

Our machines may not be alive, but the evolutionary pressures surrounding them are every bit as intense as in nature, and with few of its constraints. Vast quantities of money are at stake, with corporations and governments vying to build faster, more efficient and more effective systems; to keep consumer upgrade cycles ticking over.

To be left behind — to refuse to automate or adopt — is to be out-competed. As the philosopher Daniel Dennett, among others, has pointed outthis logic of upgrade and adoption extends far beyond obvious fields such as finance, warfare and manufacturing. Few fields of human endeavour are likely to remain untouched.

Forget the hypothetical emergence of general purpose artificial intelligence, at least for a moment: Cutting people out of every loop to assure speed, profit, protection or military success is a poor model for a future Our creations are effective in part because they are unburdened by most of what makes humans human: We are biased, beautiful creatures.

Technology and intellect allow us to externalise our goals; but the ends pursued are those we chose. Do the incentives our tools tirelessly pursue on our behalf include human thriving, meaningful work, rich and humane interactions?

Do we believe these things to be unachievable, unknowable or worthless?

Genetics, cybernetics complicate forecast for species

If not, when are we going to shift our focus? If we wish to build not only better machines, but better relationships with and through machines, we need to start talking far more richly about the qualities of these relationships; how precisely our thoughts and feelings and biases operate; and what it means to aim beyond efficiency at lives worth living.

What does a successful collaboration between humans and machines look like? What does a successful collaboration between humans mediated by technology look like? Ours is an amazing time to be alive: Our creations are certain to grow far beyond our current comprehension: Our best hopes of progress, however, remain deceptively familiar: The discussion will be broadcast live on 21 January from Technology can be most broadly defined as the entities, both material and immaterial, created by the application of mental and physical effort in order to achieve some value.

In this usage, technology refers to tools and machines that may be used to solve real-world problems. "Paleolithic Technology and Human Evolution" (PDF).


How technology has defined human evolution

There has been a rash of books on human evolution in recent years, claiming that it was driven by art (Denis Dutton: The Art Instinct), cooking (Richard Wrangham: Catching Fire), sexual selection. Technology can be viewed as an activity that forms or changes culture.

Additionally, technology is the application of math, science, and the arts for the benefit of life as it is known.

Human evolution is the lengthy process of change by which people originated from apelike ancestors. Scientific evidence shows that the physical and behavioral traits shared by all people originated from apelike ancestors and evolved over a period of approximately six million years.

One of the. How Technology has Defined Human Evolution - Essay Example Fortunately, the evolution of Homo sapiens was accompanied by the advancement and creation of many tools, as humans began retreating Paleolithic technology. Humans evolved by sharing technology and culture February 2, The technology of our ancestors.

has yielded important new information on the behavioural evolution of the human species. The.

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