I hope that Dmitry Orlov won’t mind that I am borrowing the title of his book, but I wanted to express similar ideas and suggestions that he made in this amazing book. While 5G and other IT apps, drones and cameras may seem to simplify and speed up our lives, they also raise genuine concerns on dependency on the Grid, on electricity, power and on various rare earth materials such as coltan, lithium and cassiterite.
What it means in my view is that we may be eroding skills and interfering with the usual learning process of human beings. We could end up with a society where people can only do what a manual tells them to do. When decision-making is outsourced to automated systems, algorithms or blockchain technology, human awareness, knowledge or skills may become obsolete, perhaps reduced to his or her ability to switch on a system only, without being able to switch it off again.
I am teaching an online course on Cyber Ethics for the Globethics Institute in Geneva and with my fellow lecturer and our students we often discuss the unnatural demand for more technology and ask ourselves whether such Artificial Intelligence - AI - can be programmed ethically. A valid question is this: would AI be able to do the ‘right thing’? We all doubt that very much. Can such systems replace human perception or interpretation without them having a conscience or a soul?
Orlov calls for a preparation without the Grid and that people must never forget how to survive without technology. I am a proponent of this realism. While we now can follow and see what is happening with our offshore pumping station or can see our operators working in a control room in the desert from The Hague or London, we can’t truly control them should something go wrong. We have to rely on the people there, but what I observe AI is causing is a loss of trust. Can we have 100 per cent trust in automated systemic technology or shall we still train the people too?
I have noticed a drive towards maximum automation by marine storage terminals. Every year at the Tank Storage Awards ceremony it is a tech company that wins the prize. It seems that training and education focusing on human soft skills and practical ability is being grossly overlooked and may become insignificant. While millions are being invested in fully automated terminal systems, the knowledge of operating a terminal manually is being lost. This is not wise, because if AI ever loses power, it will stop functioning and thus will need people to take over again. But where are those people? Terminal managers are often skilled in automation, but perhaps have no clue how to line up a pipeline system manually. They give their loading masters computer tablets to fill in the blanks on digital safety checklists.
Perhaps it may work faster, but does it work better? Human beings created AI, but AI could take over any minute now.
This is the latest in a series of articles by Arend van Campen, founder of TankTerminalTraining. More information on the company’s activities can be found at www.tankterminaltraining.com. Those interested in responding personally can contact him directly at email@example.com.[post_title] => Learning by Training: Shrinking the technosphere [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => learning-by-training-shrinking-the-technosphere [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-11-02 07:49:24 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-11-02 07:49:24 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://hcblive.com/?p=29983 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw )