Computers and Everyday Life

Estefanía Tocado

After watching the amusing example of the study lamps at Harvard University CS50 Introduction Computer Science Lectures, you rapidly understand the importance of the mathematical binary code structure of computers and also the intrinsic relationship between binary math and binary logic as the interface form between code and electronics (Irvine 3).  However, as Daniel Hillis affirms, one of the most important things about a computers essential nature is that it transcends technology (8).

As Peter J. Denning states, the computational model of representation and transformation refocuses computation from computers to information processes (9).  Therefore, as Denning defends, for a long time the approach of representing algorithms as the heart of computing and computational thinking has left aside other information processes also relevant in the computational field where no algorithms are used (9).  The importance of computation is that it is not about math or machines, but rather it is a form of symbolic implementation and representation that can be implemented and repeated in other processes (Irvine).  Moreover, Andrew Hodges argues that with the appearance of the universal Turing machine he was modeling the action of human minds (3).  It is this change in how humans conceive computers that will enable our current integration of technological devices such as Apple technology as important tools of our everyday life.
As a user of Apple gadgets, I have become accustomed to direct and fast access to all my data on the ICloud.  ICloud gives you access to this enormous database just by owning one Apple.  Once you open an account and have entry to this storage database, all Apple devices synchronize at the same time allowing you to listen to any music, view photos, or use data that you have recently purchased either on your IPad, iPhone, or Macbook.  Similarly, Google docs or Dropbox work in a comparable way.  They allow customers to access and use their stored documents at any time from any device with an internet connection.  Denning asserts that the subject of computation also embraces other areas whose definitions are not clear yet such as cloud computing which will have to continue to be analyzed and studied (10).

In the present time when technology has been incorporated into most of our everyday lives, computation is no longer about machines but about how these machines contribute to our lives in forms of social communication, working tools, and cultural representations of our society, community, families, and friends in a more globalized and interconnected world.  Another great way to use artificial intelligence / robotics is for teaching purposes (the new TA´s) as seen in the attached news.  This is just the beginning. 

 Works Cited

Denning, Peter. “What is Computation.” Ubiquity. Nov. 2010. Web. 4 March 2014.

Harvard University CS50 Introduction Computer Science Lectures. Web. 3 March 2014.

Hillis, Daniel W. “Preface: Magic in the Stone.” The Pattern on the Stone: The Simple Ideas that Make Computers Work. NY: Basic Books, 1999.

Hodges, Andrew. “Turing: A natural philosopher” Alan Turing: one of The Great Philosophers. 1997. Web. 4 March 2014.

Irvine, Martin. “Computation: A very Basic Introduction to Foundational Concepts.” Media Theory Communication, Culture, and Technology Department, Georgetown U, Feb. 2014. Web. 4 March 2014.