Blog: The Art Of Innovation — Changing a world while it changes us
As a society, we have become accustomed to hearing success stories highlighting brave, passionate entrepreneurs who revolutionize the very fundamentals of our lifestyles. Nevertheless, this may have overshadowed the late-aroused concern of the consequences of rapid innovation — we are subject to rapid change just as much as we are the cause of it.
Newton’s third law is: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. This proposition maintains true to the circular motion of technological development in the 21st century.
It was just 12 years ago when, beloved lost-soul, Steve Jobs, announced the launch of the first iPhone. Indeed, it would revolutionize the manner in which we engage with contemporary media — granting constant access, wherever, whenever, in every which en devour you could possibly desire.
Fast forward to the present, and you’ll discover headlines such as, Creator of “Flappy Bird” Commits Suicide After Taking Down Game …Worldwide Suicides Follow) and Instagram use is linked to increased symptoms of orthorexia nervosa, nonetheless headlines like A.I. Expert Kai Fu Lee: 40% of Jobs Will Be Lost to AI, Robots and Effect of Cambridge Analytica’s Facebook ads on the 2016 US Election.
In essence, our desire to (respectively) attain a dopamine rush, let alone maintain it — through either an addictive game, or a social media post highlighting how great our lives are and how beautiful we look today, or the enjoyed ease of having computers work for you so you can occupy your mind with more desirable tasks, such as logging onto Facebook every five seconds — has only been exasperated through the pertinent-deemed innovation through technological improvements in the 21st century.
The relevant question today is far beyond that which inquires whether or not our own inventions have undermined some of our abilities, and capacities (to an extent), it is whether or not these undesirable outcomes will lead us, as a society, to actively impose the thought “what potential problems could our innovations arouse, and what can we do to ensure that these problems will be preemptively stopped?” Will we learn our lesson, which is perfectly reflected about the common-phrase, “what goes around, comes around,” or will our blinding ambition to build, bigger, better, and faster, continue to inhibit us from truly accepting the notion that, “without precautionary measures, the technology we change, changes us at the same rate in return.”
(Considerably) recent polling (Americans’ complicated feelings about social media in an era of privacy concerns) suggests we have taken a progressing stand against, wild, negligent technological development. However, this is only the beginning of a challenging process. Surely, those profiting off the prevalent lack of long-term consideration for the consequences of contemporary innovation, (hint — Bezos, Zuckerburg, Cook) are likely to -if not already have begun to- exercise astonishing efforts towards maintaining legislative approval of fast paced, insufficiently regulated technological development. Therefore, public effort to raise awareness, both of the State’s as well as the general public’s, is pertinent in progressing efforts aiming to push forward a long-term consideration with respect to the nature of innovation.
I am sincerely apologetic Bob Dylan, but we no longer live in a time in which one can make the suggestion “Don’t think twice, it’s alright.”