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Will Computers Control Humans In The Future

? Essay, Research Paper

Will Computers Control Humans In The Future?

People always tend to seek the easy way out looking for something that

would make their lives easier. Machines and tools have given us the ability to

do more in less time giving us, at the same time, more comfort. As the

technology advances, computers become faster and more powerful. These new

machines are enabling us to do more in less time making our lives easier. The

increased use of computers in the future, however, might have negative results

and impact on our lives. In the novel Nine Tomorrows Isaac Asimov often

criticizes our reliance on computers by portraying a futuristic world where

computers control humans.

One of the images which Asimov describes in the book is that humans might

become too dependent on computers. In one of the stories, Profession, Asimov

writes about people being educated by computer programs designed to educate

effortlessly a person. According to the Profession story people would no longer

read books to learn and improve their knowledge. People would rely on the

computers rather than “try to memorize enough to match someone else who knows”

(Nine Tomorrows, Profession 55). People would not chose to study, they would

only want to be educated by computer tapes. Putting in knowledge would take

less time than reading books and memorizing something that would take almost no

time using a computer in the futuristic world that Asimov describes. Humans

might began to rely on computers and allow them to control themselves by letting

computers educate people. Computers would start teaching humans what computers

tell them without having any choice of creativity. Computers would start to

control humans’ lives and make humans become too dependent on the computers.

Another point that is criticized by Asimov is the fact that people might

take their knowledge for granted allowing computers to take over and control

their lives. In a story called The Feeling of Power, Asimov portrays how people

started using computers to do even simple mathematical calculations. Over a

long period of time people became so reliable on computers that they forgot the

simplest multiplication and division rules. If someone wanted to calculate an

answer they would simply use their pocket computer to do that (The Feeling of

Power 77). People became too independent from the start making them forget what

they have learned in the past. People in the story The Feeling of Power would

take for granted what they have learned over centuries of learning and chose

computers because of their ability to do their work faster. The lack of manual

mathematics, which people chose to forget in the story, caused computers to be

the ones to solve simple mathematic problems for the people taking control of

the humans by doing the work for them (The Feeling of Power 81-82). The

reliance of computers went to such an extent that even Humans began to use

computers in all fields of study and work allowing computers to control their

lives by taking over and doing everything for them.

According to another story in the book, Asimov also describes how

computers would be able to predict probabilities of an event, future. In the

story All the Troubles of the World one big computer predicted crime before it

even happened, allowing the police to take the person who was going to commit

the crime and release him/her after the danger has passed (All The Troubles of

The World 144-145). This computer, called Multivac, controlled humans by

telling the authorities about who was going to commit a crime causing someone to

be imprisoned until the danger has passed. It was the computer that made the

decision of someone’s freedom or imprisonment and that controlled others to

arrest a person it suspected of committing a crime controlling his/her destiny.

The decision of imprisoning someone for a crime a person did not commit was all

in the hands of a computer. It was the computer that controlled humans and their

destiny and controlling other humans who believed in everything that computer

told them.

Multivac could not only predict the future but it also could answer many

questions that would normally embarrass people if they would have to ask someone

else about it. Multivac could access its vast database of trillions of pieces

of knowledge and find the best solution for one’s problem (All The Troubles of

The World 153). All the people believed that Multivac knows the best and

allowed a computer to control their lives by following the solutions Multivac

had given them (All the Troubles of The World 153). Humans followed a

computer’s solution to a problem they could not solve themselves allowing a

computer to take control over their lives not allowing them to think for


In the Nine Tomorrows, Isaac Asimov often criticizes our reliance on

computers. The author predicts that computers will increase their role in the

future while the technology advances. Computers will become faster and people

will want to use them more to make their lives easier. Yet, just like to any

good side there is a bad side. Asimov reflects in his writing that humans might

depend on the computers so much that they will allow them to control their lives.