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As emerging technologies begin to disrupt new industries and make a strong presence in society– we can’t help but wonder how we will interact with these tools. We have seen the rise of ‘tech dependency’ and how major social media platforms are taking advantage of our reliance. We count on our smart devices for a multitude of daily tasks such as finding the answer to a question, checking our bank account, and navigating to a new location. Not only that, but connecting with people from across the globe using social channels like Facebook and LinkedIn can have us trapped online for much longer than we originally planned. With that said, newer technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality (AR) will soon become as significant as smart devices. But, the real question is, will it make us even more dependent on tools to solve our problems? Will we be individually targeted on the internet as we are now?

There is no way to predict precisely what will happen in the future, but technology will undoubtedly continue to grow and advance. Currently, most AR technologies require you to download an app, but there is a possibility to transition to web-based AR– meaning you can scroll through the internet through your desktop or smartphone and interact with the media you see. Certainly, marketing and advertising companies will profit from this ability. Targeted ads and marketing strategies may continue to interrupt your experience– but on a much greater scale.

Answers to questions could be accessed in 3D format more quickly– meaning we may become even more reliant on the internet than ever before. Critical thinking could lessen if technology gives you answers right at your fingertips. In fact, artificial intelligence already allows us to bypass the search process by using voice-interaction to gain accurate solutions to our problems.

On the other hand, augmented reality could be helpful in lessening our dependence on a phone or computer. Because everything would be digitally imposed over your real world, there would be more “hybrid experiences”. Instead of staring at a device for hours on end, you would have the digital layer painted over your physical world.  

In an article about the future of AR, Zahler predicts, “The implications are huge. We as a society will move beyond the screen. The user interface won’t be a flat piece of glass, but the physical 3D spaces in which we live and move around. Someday we’ll look back and be amazed there was a time we had our faces buried in our phones, bumping into each other as we walked around.

Arguments against other technology, like AI, are based on the fear that robots will take over our workforce and we will be dependent on them for success. However, machines will never be able to replicate human creativity. Therefore, as long as this is the case, the threat of AI replacing the human labor force is hypothetical. 

Overall, we cannot say exactly how emerging technology will affect our dependency on our devices but we can only hope for a system that allows us to function as our very best selves. We can be hopeful that technology will aid in streamlining processes while also giving us the privacy and discretion to interact with it as we choose.  

What do you think?