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Technology & The 5 Human Senses

Updated on June 11, 2013

Still needs a human to interpret the readings

It even sounds like a really bad name for a Motown group. Might even be a name for an iPod hooked up to a surround sound audio system, except the 5 speakers only involve hearing and feeling. You don't see, smell or taste the sound waves that they generate.

One can argue that we have made some great strides in using technology to enhance the 5 senses, especially in the area of sight. Telescopes, long distance lenses and optical scanning technology have made some major advances and the far-reaching distance that they provide goes well beyond the range of the human eye. We do make better and better sight enhancements like contact lenses, multi-focal glasses and even Lasik eye surgery.

What Kind of World is it if Machines Replaced Humans?

But in all technology, one element is still present. There is a human operator that ends up interpreting or manipulating the findings for use by other human beings. I can't see any way of replacing human beings and I wouldn't care to live in that world. Today's world is "cold and boring" enough with all the accountants, politicians and bottom-line businessmen out there. A so-called intelligent being is yet to be even remotely developed in the world of technology.

Dogs can hear sound that humans cannot but what would it matter if you developed audiology equipment to hear those ranges? We can't hear them. Maybe for veterinarians there would be a suitable application to test a dog's hearing. But how would you know if the dog actually heard that high frequency or it just wanted attention? We do make better and better hearing aids.

Can a Machine Detect Smell, Taste or Texture?

Has anybody developed anything that can detect the difference in smell of bacon being cooked over beef roasting? What about a device to tell whether the food item tastes bitter, sweet, sour, tart, salty, dry, wet, moist, etc? And what about the device that says this object is hard, soft, smooth, rough, sharp, dull, grainy, solid, hollow, etc?

So many of the senses are subjective and open to individuals own ideas of what they sense. So here is another technology that is yet to be discovered and that is individuality. You would need a lot of knobs, sliders, potentiometers, gauges and readouts to even begin to get close to what goes on in a human body in "sensing" anything. In all cases, the ultimate measure of how well any of these new technologies work is the individual human brain.

A Computer is Just a Calculator on Steroids

And there is one that technology has a long way to go to even begin considering it is past the diaper stage. The computer is really nothing more than a very efficient storage device and calculator. It is a very welcome addition since as you get older you are swamped with more and more information and need off-line storage to assist the over-stuffed pea that we have for a brain.

So the one thing I don't see coming along real well in technology is creativity, originality and ingenuity. Pretty much all technology depends on human beings deciding what it will do. So for my money, I look at technology as an assist for the human race and never as a replacement for anything human. So technology, just bring on the better tools and we will figure out what we will do with them. What would be original or genuine about artificial intelligence anyway?

The Internet is a pretty good example of technology in practice. Everyday, human beings are making it do stuff that the original designers never even thought would be possible. Technology discovers nothing on it's own. Human beings are the one's that do that task.


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      Jeff Calderon 6 years ago

      Excellent post. Loss of Hearing is sometimes a scary experience as a lot of our fellow humans experience hearing loss everyday. Thanks for your hard work.

    • PaperNotes profile image

      PaperNotes 7 years ago

      I agree, no matter how technologically advanced the world becomes, humans still should and would remain the masters of these innovations.