HOUSTON — Author Thomas Fellows says technology has shaped society in the past 150 years and adds that technology will impact society in the next few years, especially with the rise of artificial intelligence.  

Fellows first describes how telephones and cell phones changed the world, “In 1876 Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone, but it wasn’t used consistently in the U.S until 1904,” said Fellows. “Believe it or not, the first cell phone was invented in 1917 by Eric Tigerstedt. Cell Phones didn’t become popular until the year 2000 with Nokia Phones. The technology of cell phones has increased greatly since they came out. Texting became popular in 2005 and the wealthy could afford smartphones by 2009. Even the lower class could afford smartphones by 2015.”

Next, Fellows talked about how technology impacted the business world, “Xerox invented the fax machine in 1964 and didn’t become popular in offices until the 1970s. The internet became popular in 1999, and slowly but surely, by 2009, fax became obsolete.”

On the subject of Artificial Intelligence, Fellows says he has been interviewing across the country on how it will affect the workforce and society. He had a surprising view of AI’s capabilities.

“Sam Altman, the founder of OpenAI, which is the company that invented ChatGPT said that AGI, or Artificial General Intelligence, could easily come to fruition in the next 30 years. His goal was to make AGI into a ‘median human.’ This could happen sooner than the next 30 years. If this does happen, we could be in trouble as a human race.”

Why would this be the case? Fellows adds, “As humans, it is important to have work because it creates true meaning in our lives. If many of us don’t have to work, it could cause all sorts of problems for us, both physically and mentally. I learned this when I took a micro-lending trip to a bakery in South Africa in 2011. My focus, being a capitalist from America, was on profit. I really should have been focused on getting people working in general because there are many health benefits from working a full-time job.”