Computer and Humanity

For the past one month, it happened that I had attended and delivered series of talks on the topic of Industrial Revolution 4.0 particularly in human capital development and the projection of the workforce in Malaysia. Though debates have been actively highlighted that we are yet to be at that revolution level, the interest among the governmental agencies as well as the manufacturing, production and computer-based industries had been contributing to the healthy discourses and practical implementation in this country.

For the past couple of talks that I have done, my children had followed suit. They said, this is one of their favourite slides that I have presented that they enjoyed on the significance of its existence. You see, the children’s opinions and feedbacks are of equal importance to me because the revolution is for them and the projection of future generation is certainly for their better life. So, I took upon their comment to publish this particular posting about the explanation behind this picture.

About Computer and Humanity.

Because today’s generation was born with an environment that every physical thing is connected by one another if not more than two, at least they saw most of their computer-aided systems are just around the corner in their houses. They had missed the fact that the origin of those words were not actually coming from the computing world. For example, ‘thread‘ in a social media application is actually an adaptation to the ‘thread‘ that connects two pieces of clothes when we do sewing. Or the word ‘viral‘ which is also mainly used in social media applications is actually originated from the ‘viral‘ that may cause diseases in health sciences and medical studies. And perhaps, one last example is the word ‘meme‘ which was not originally English rather a greek word for showing an imitation, had evolved to be of a thing within the Internet media users. The Internet ‘meme‘ means an image, video, piece of text, etc., typically humorous in nature, that is copied and spread rapidly by Internet users, often with slight variations (Google Dictionary).

Computer and Humanity

Back to the picture shown in this posting. Those are among the adapted English words that have different meaning from its original areas of study but had evolved to something new in the computing and Internet World. Though to some people, this development is quite disturbing, it is in fact inevitable because of its nature of quickly being spread over the Internet. The trend-setters were sometimes unintentional. But once it has been used by more than one community, it was accepted as a universal terminology in the World of Computers.

  1. Cognitive is the study in the area of Psychology. Cognitive is about the brain and how it works in a human body in determining the good and the bad thing of an action or reaction to the problems encountered. However, the basis of this process had been taken that, that is how the computer works too. The computer imitates the brain of a human to process logic, truth, false, right or wrong in a decision making consequences.
  2. Cloud is a meteorological thing. It is in the sky. At least that was what we have been taught at schools. But for current generation, the cloud is something you use as a storage to your big data and other media and documents which is quite handy and less space taken in spite of the use of multiple flash disks or external hard disks. I guess, that is why the word cloud was chosen. You can see but you cannot touch. It is accessible where ever you go provided that you have the account settings and host servers.
  3. Heuristics is from the area of Psychology too. It is about how we perceive things when we receive the news. Different people measure different kind of news according to their experience and understanding. This is perhaps another reason on why the word was chosen in this particular study of Human Computer Interaction (HCI). Through social media, a photo worth a thousand words. Different people interprets the meaning of a friend’s picture in many angles. That is the heuristics study in computing world.
  4. Neural Networks is a study within the Biological Nervous System. Our nervous system works as a coordinator from one signal in a body part to another for action and reaction. The neural network is another part of our function that works on how to do decision making when our body is facing certain conditions. Because of this function, the same application goes to the computing world. That the neural networks is adapting on how our body’s coordinator makes decision to our actions in the aspects of physical, emotional and rational of a cause.
  5. Ontology is created by philosophical people in the area of metaphysics. The ontology is the study on relationships. In metaphysics, one entity is connected to another by a factor. The relationship might be of mutual, cardinal or existential. This is a complex process of study. However, it has evolved to be of an important study in computer programming and knowledge-based representations too. The computer had translated the ontology in terms of its logic and the calculus of relationship from one entity to another.
  6. Semantics is from the area of linguistics. It is how people communicate and how to ensure that the interaction is perceived as per it was meant. It is not an easy task because the sender might mean something else but the receiver did not get the gist of the sender’s diction. This is how the semantics came into the limelight. Semantics is also emphasizing on how one item is connected to another and the predicate that explains it from its source. The study of semantics had begun to be rigorous since most of the computer-based applications need to understand the human needs in order for them to yield the expected values.
  7. Sentiment is a psychological study in human development. It imitates on how the people’s feelings particularly from visual images that they perceived. It is of importance to create a healthy sentiment in order to project a healthy development within a message. However, the viral messages and threads within the social media are mostly came from the negative sentiments among its users. Still, this kind of sentiment had been studied on what had caused the community to react in such a way to things that were unnecessary.
  8. Web is from the study of living thing. It’s a spider’s home. Easy to remember and perhaps easy to relate. Why it has been chosen as an Internet thing? Certainly because of its structure that connects from one point of to another and amazingly built with more than one level, a complex of spider threads, and quickly constructed, that is why the word Web was chosen to visualize the use of Internet.

You see, most of the applications in a computer system imitate the needs of a human development. It was once invented to help people in simplifying their tasks and problem solving to some daily complex systems. Computers in the house, in the office, in a laboratory, in governmental agencies, in manufacturing plants, in hospitals, in schools and many other buildings. To the extent that it is feared that these innovations might affect our next generations to be much dependable on the machines rather than their own judgements.

That is the main concern for this revolution and need to be addressed by us all. Together !

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