Nine Tomorrows: Will Computers Control Humans in the Future?


People always tend to seek the easy way out looking for something that
would make their lives easier. Machines and tools have given us the
ability to do more in less time giving us, at the same time, more comfort.
As the technology advances, computers become faster and more powerful.
These new machines are enabling us to do more in less time making our lives
easier. The increased use of computers in the future, however, might have
negative results and impact on our lives. In the novel Nine Tomorrows
Isaac Asimov often criticizes our reliance on computers by portraying a
futuristic world where computers control humans.

One of the images which Asimov describes in the book is that humans
might become too dependent on computers. In one of the stories,
Profession, Asimov writes about people being educated by computer programs
designed to educate effortlessly a person. According to the Profession
story people would no longer read books to learn and improve their
knowledge. People would rely on the computers rather than "try to memorize
enough to match someone else who knows" (Nine Tomorrows, Profession 55).
People would not chose to study, they would only want to be educated by
computer tapes. Putting in knowledge would take less time than reading
books and memorizing something that would take almost no time using a
computer in the futuristic world that Asimov describes. Humans might began
to rely on computers and allow them to control themselves by letting
computers educate people. Computers would start teaching humans what
computers tell them without having any choice of creativity. Computers
would start to control humans\' lives and make humans become too dependent
on the computers.

Another point that is criticized by Asimov is the fact that people
might take their knowledge for granted allowing computers to take over and
control their lives. In a story called The Feeling of Power, Asimov
portrays how people started using computers to do even simple mathematical
calculations. Over a long period of time people became so reliable on
computers that they forgot the simplest multiplication and division rules.
If someone wanted to calculate an answer they would simply use their pocket
computer to do that (The Feeling of Power 77). People became too
independent from the start making them forget what they have learned in the
past. People in the story The Feeling of Power would take for granted what
they have learned over centuries of learning and chose computers because of
their ability to do their work faster. The lack of manual mathematics,
which people chose to forget in the story, caused computers to be the ones
to solve simple mathematic problems for the people taking control of the
humans by doing the work for them (The Feeling of Power 81-82). The
reliance of computers went to such an extent that even Humans began to use
computers in all fields of study and work allowing computers to control
their lives by taking over and doing everything for them.

According to another story in the book, Asimov also describes how
computers would be able to predict probabilities of an event, future. In
the story All the Troubles of the World one big computer predicted crime
before it even happened, allowing the police to take the person who was
going to commit the crime and release him/her after the danger has passed
(All The Troubles of The World 144-145). This computer, called Multivac,
controlled humans by telling the authorities about who was going to commit
a crime causing someone to be imprisoned until the danger has passed. It
was the computer that made the decision of someone\'s freedom or
imprisonment and that controlled others to arrest a person it suspected of
committing a crime controlling his/her destiny. The decision of
imprisoning someone for a crime a person did not commit was all in the
hands of a computer. It was the computer that controlled humans and their
destiny and controlling other humans who believed in everything that
computer told them.

Multivac could not only predict the future but it also could answer
many questions that would normally embarrass people if they would have to
ask someone else about it. Multivac could access its vast database of
trillions of pieces of knowledge and find the best solution for one\'s
problem (All The Troubles of The World 153). All the people believed that
Multivac knows the best and allowed a computer to control their lives by
following the solutions Multivac had given them (All the Troubles of The
World 153). Humans followed a computer\'s