This interview was conducted between my grandfather and I, as I wanted to investigate the meaning and importance of the future and technology it may behold from a perspective of an older generation. It was difficult to translate my grandfather’s speech into English due to the language barrier however it was attempted to the best of my ability and shorten to fit the word limit.
* The interview was commenced by showing the official trailer of the 2004 movie, iRobot.
Wiana: Did you enjoy watching the film? (iRobot, 2004)
Grandfather: Yes. It was quite interesting. I’m used to watching traditional Chinese movies with oriental clothing that I don’t often engage with Westernized Culture and their costumes.
Wiana: Was there anything else that stood out to you along with the costumes?
Grandfather: The making of the film was very modern and digital. The setting is not in the countryside like the Chinese films
Wiana: Do you think the future will have robots like this film?
Grandfather: Maybe not so soon. I can’t imagine us interacting with them in our own households like that. It would be weird. I wouldn’t like that.
Wiana: Why wouldn’t you like that idea?
Grandfather: It would be a pest. It would destroy nature and our way of life. It’s not natural. Robots are not human like us. People would become lazy. Computers are hard to manage.
Wiana. Okay. What would you define the future to be like?
Grandfather: The nearby future?
Wiana: Both, nearby and distant future. How about in 2050 and 2100?
Grandfather: Haha I hope they cure a lot of cancers by 2050, that’s all I wish for. No robots please. Maybe in 2100 then haha.
Wiana: What do you think technology will be like in future?
Grandfather: A lot more convenient and versatile. When I was younger I worked in the printing industry. We did everything by hand. Type was created manually by metal letters stamped on paper and you would have to typeset it yourself. Everything is now replaced by machines to process these prints. Computers took over the industry. There are now digital printers that may one day be just as good as offset printers. Maybe there will be walking robots now that I mention it hahaha. But I don’t think in a bad context like that movie.
The interview provided me a rough indication of technology from an elderly person’s viewpoint. My grandfather stated that computers and modernized advancing technology has taken over the printing industry. He’s tone of speech was disgruntled with sudden grief as he paused with silence. I believe some elderly people like my grandfather are afraid of change and what’s to come in future. This may be because they are comfortable with the technologies that already exist. Or perhaps change is difficult for them to adapt to as my grandfather finds computers confusing to utilize. There are a variety of ways in which distinct cultures embed their technologies into lifeworlds (Ihde, 1993). As Ihde states, it could also be a cultural aspect that revolves around the level of technology and the understanding of these high advancements.
Ihde, D. 1993, ‘Philosophy of Technology: An Introduction’, New York, Paragon House, Viewed 8 of September 2015,
I, Robot (2004), 20th Century Fox, USA