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English, Technology

Are We in a Race Against the Machine?


One could ask whether we, human beings are in the race against the machine but where can we source a satisfying answer? A man has made several discoveries and inventions, and improvement is made consistently every year. Computerization has taken control of almost all significant activities man has been performing before. Look around, the computer is all over, and our lives now depend on them. A man has trusted computer more than what he could have produced with his efforts.

However, in as much as computers are superior to man, it is the man who creates them and programs them to function in a particular manner. They use instructions and commands to produce results and therefore a slight mistake in instruction result to a total mess. They use the principle of garbage in garbage out. When it comes to problem-solving, the human brain is much superior compared to a computer as the mind can always find an alternative way of solving a problem. Any change in programs of performing a particular task result to the resetting of the computer system and feeding required instructions that solve the problem.

The human brain is capable of accommodating a wide variety of information as compared to computer memory. The unique feature that makes man superior is emotions. Emotions enable human brain to meditate, opening the mind to a vast realm of potentials. For instance, anger makes one start thinking of new ways on how to revenge back. Curiosity leads to efforts to satisfy it, leading to discoveries and generation of new ideas.

Computerization, on the other hand, has its superiority features over the human brain in many different aspects. Regarding speed and data retrieval of relevant information, machines are obviously the sure deal. They can never let you down here. Several innovations have been made on devices ranging from ground to space or universe, (Brynjolfsson, Erik & McAfee, pg 53). Robots have been innovated which are capable of performing diversified functions.

The concept of man versus machine tends to be most precisely sensed during economic recessions and delicate retrievals. Even as man sit in silence, they are hurt by the fact that some jobs have gone for good, being taken by machines. For example, controlling of warfare weapons which are done using computers. This shows the extent to which technology is restructuring and consuming our economy slowly. Improvement in the performance of devices continues to threaten even the jobs which were thought could not be automated.

“It’s time to reinvent the formula for how work is conducted since we are still relying on a very 20th-century notion of work”, (Hagel & John, pg 22). Here, the latter emphasizes on people taking initiatives to use their creativity in response to unanticipated events. He goes ahead and states that “the race against the machine” should be reframed to “race with the machine.” Precisely, we need to look at how machines can help improve human effort rather than replacing it. It can, therefore, be seen that technology is not the problem but how institutions are designed and the activities for which it is intended.

It is true that technological advancement does not benefit everyone in the community. For instance, uneven incomes as well as little employment opportunities. Latest technological progress has preferred only a few groups of skilled individuals and probably increase the accrual share of the gross domestic product regarding capital and labor. The stagnation in income

is not because of lack of technological advance but our institutions and skills that have not employed rapid technological changes.

Computers can be described as universe machines as it has application in almost every industry and duties. Digital technology is now performing mental tasks that were exclusively for human beings. Furthermore, various sectors are trying to make discoveries so that they can remain relevant in the mix but that is not the solution to race against the machine, (Denning, pg 29). Instead, people should come out from there hiding places and face the reality that racing should be with devices.

While computers remain superior in data processing, consistency and faster, they lack awareness and originality and cannot perform when instructed to work outside the predefined programs. They work interchangeably with humans in that; humans perform well when computers are weak. Therefore, the focus should be made on; increasing human capital by ensuring that people have the most needed skills to enable them to participate in current technological inventions. Also, improving the rate and quality of organizational innovation could help in racing the machines. These are the most fundamental areas that must be addressed to curb the issue of the race against the machine.

In conclusion, race against machine proves to be a sensitive issue that needs a quick intervention. Its consequences manifest on both the individuals who invent them and those who do not participate. But it is also evident that in as much as machine prove to be superior, their creator, that is, a man is still much ahead due to his ability to think or having emotions which trigger the thinking process. It is exhaustively discussed that the only way to fight the race against the machine is to employ “race with machine” mechanism.

Here, the focus is on two key areas, that is, an organizational innovation which focuses on the processes, structure, model and expertise skills and investments in the complementary human capital. This is so key as it entails the mental development aspects. They include investment in education and critical skills required in the current technological setup. These are the potential mitigations for the race against machine and initiate race with a machine.

Work cited

Brynjolfsson, Erik, and Andrew McAfee. Race against the Machine: How the Digital Revolution

Is Accelerating Innovation, Driving Productivity, and Irreversibly Transforming Employment and the Economy. Lexington, Mass: Digital Frontier Press, 2012. Print.

Denning, Peter J. “The Profession of IT: Learning for the New Digital Age.” Association for

Computing Machinery.Communications of the ACM 57.9 (2014): 29. ProQuest. Web. 20 Mar. 2018.

Hagel, John, and John S. Brown. The Only Sustainable Edge: Why Business Strategy Depends on

Productive Friction and Dynamic Specialization. Boston (Mass.: Harward Business School, 2005. Print.



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