There have long been movies about technology turning on mankind — artificial intelligence running amok with humans unable to stop it.

A great final battle ensues with computers becoming so advanced they create robots and weapons to kill us off.

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak recently told a business group in Australia, “We’re already creating the superior beings. We’re going to become the pets, the dogs of the house.”

We’ve already willingly surrendered much of our intellect and life to technology. The smarter technology gets, the dumber we allow ourselves to become. We have access to unlimited knowledge and we seem to posses less knowledge.  

Already, fewer people have any idea how to read a map, allowing their GPS to get them across town or across the country — sometimes with perilous results.

A recent Free Press story told of a man who came off a road near Henderson and when his GPS told him to now turn left, he did — driving the wrong way down a ramp and then north in the southbound lanes of Highway 169.

After a few miles — not cognizant of those other two lanes to his right and unaware of the cars moving to their right to avoid him — he collided head-on with another car. Fortunately, injuries were not too serious.

Last winter, a woman driving in northern Minnesota followed her GPS directions to turn off the two-lane blacktop she was on, onto another road. It was an old logging road, and it wasn’t plowed. She drove on it as far as she could, until getting stuck in a bog and having to be rescued.   

My son and his girlfriend, returning from a trip to Maine, decided to see Niagra Falls in New York. They’d plotted out a route, but their GPS showed a shorter way and they took it.

What they didn’t know is the route was through a short part of Canada, which they realized when they were on a bridge, in the line of cars at the border crossing.

“We’re in Canada,” he said on the phone.

“You don’t have your passport with you,” I reminded him.

“Yeah, they let us cross. I hope they let us back in.”

They did. So much for our airtight border security.

We trust Google to diagnose our illnesses; we can drive with more speed and abandon in new cars, certain the warning system will tell us if we’re about to rear-end someone; we don’t need to watch the skies for menacing weather; there’s no need to learn multiplication tables, know how to spell or memorize poems — there are apps for that.

There’s no battle between man and technology.

You can’t have a war when one side is not putting up a fight.  

Just hope your computer treats you well, gives you treats and scratches your belly once in a while.

“Good human.”


Tim Krohn is a Free Press staff writer. He can be contacted at 344-6383 or

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