Electronics has moved into the crafting world. Check out this article from Make:
A computer that makes quilts.
Actually, it’s not as astounding as it sounds. Crafters have taken advantage of electronics and computer software programs for a while. That’s how we get laser cut wood, machine embroidery, dobby looms, sock knitters, etc. It’s just that as the development of artificial intelligence (AI) increases, the question we need to ask is how much do we want AI and robots to take over crafting?
At present, this robot that makes quilts still needs a human element, but that could change. There is evidence that drones equipped with artificial intelligence have worked autonomously, or independently. What if that happened in crafting? In the future, you could be using a computerized sock knitter. Before you go to bed, you turn it off and then the next morning awake to realize that the knitter has turned itself back on during the night and has created more socks in a much more intricate pattern than you were making previously. If it had an extra arm, it might even order more yarn on your credit card because you inadvertently left your phone charging nearby. You find that your credit card is maxed out and Knit Picks is calling to see if there is anything else you’d like to order because you are now their very best customer!
While this may sound silly, within techie society there is serious talk of the Singularity, a time when machines become more intelligent than humans. This will completely transform our society and, as you can imagine, we may not be able to master it.
Hollywood has taken this subject and gone wild with it. Think of movies like Terminator and I, Robot. The X Files had an episode about a computer that began killing people in order to protect itself. What if one day you went to work on your loom in the future and the loom threw a shuttle at you to keep you from disturbing its work?
Computers are certainly capable of making beautiful designs much faster and more intricately than our own capabilities allow. Are we willing to give into the temptation to allow them to make everything for us because we feel that our own creativity and abilities are not enough? In the future will we sit around like the blob humans in Pixar’s Wall-E allowing robots to do everything?
It’s certainly something to consider. Or perhaps I should ask Siri what to do?