The 21st Century has been a technological revolution, with every revolution, there are ups and downs and problems that need solving. Today I will be sharing five recent technologies and how they are changing our world. Every technology has its pros and its cons, its lovers and its haters. That is just a fact of life. It is not about using the technologies in the right way to facilitate positive change, rather than threaten and increase defensiveness.
Recently drones have been taking over the skies. Whether it be for videos, security reasons, or just playing around. Everyone seems to either have one or want one. Fun Fact: they are called drones because of the low humming sound they make. This flying tech craze is part of a two-sided, very different arguments. Big Brother is always watching you, and lack of freedom vs. technology can help solve the world’s problems.
I’ve recently noticed an increase in the use of drones for YouTube videos to add B-roll footage and show off locations from a bird’s eye view. Ever wondered how they took photos of planes in the sky from a side by side angle? How did they do this before drones? I will forever wonder. Not only that but they are also being used for security purposes. People are using them to monitor what is going on in an environment without the threat of injury, to spy on the opposition or whatever other security reasons someone sees fit. Some people see this as a threat. However, I remember once reading an article that shared that government soldiers were training eagles to take down drones somewhere in Asia. The drones’ ability to fly over walls and breach security were threatening. Drones can also be beneficial to the medical field, in locations that are hard to get to via road. They can deliver supplies to those in need. But they can also fly high and detect any dangers that are coming. It’s all about how you use the technology.
Amazon, like other large companies, was tracking the use of drones and has decided to incorporate the concept into their delivery strategy. Soon Amazon will be releasing drones that can deliver packages to your house increasing time and speed and ultimately customer service and experience.
Drones are changing the workforce. They are protecting people from dangerous encounters. But they are also taking away the need for regulatory people like police and security guards on foot in the world. Instead, they can sit in a room and monitor the footage rather than be out and about actively engaging. Or with Amazon, they will no longer need to use parcel carriers. Is this technology encouraging passiveness and contributing to over-weightiness? Will people lose jobs to machines?
With social media, your face is everywhere, and it is there forever locked in cyberspace. This can have many implications. Many industries are now advising people to keep from doing thumbs up in photos because their digital fingerprint will be able to be tracked and used by computer trolls. With the ability to manipulate one’s fingerprint in causing a lot of security problems. Not for long with the development of Facial Recognition Computer systems. These systems can identify a person based on their digital image or video frame. They select facial features from a database of images and faces. It has been around for some time, but it has recently become popular in commercial identification and marketing tool. Marketing departments can identify who is coming and going to and from their business.
Advantages of this software are that it is more advanced than other biometric systems like fingerprints, iris scans, voice recognition, etc. It can mass-identify individuals within a crowded area like airport or shopping mall. A disadvantage is that it is not able to take a full 360-degree approach yet, and does not manage well with profile views.
In the work world, FR is making people’s jobs easier via collecting data, but analyst now has to spend time sorting the data and understanding it. There is not enough education on the receiving end to fully take in the information the FR software is inputting.
In the simplest way possible, artificial intelligence (AI) is intelligence exhibited by machines. Cybernetics have a place in AI where robots behave somewhat like living beings and can navigate places, know when it needs to be charged, and make decisions.
Tech companies are designing robots that can problem solve, have basic social skills and manipulate objects. I remember watching a video called iRobot, with Will Smith. If you remember my blog post from a few months ago, you’ll remember my other reference to a Will Smith movie. It seems I like to watch movies with Will Smith in them. Anyways, moving on! In this film, one large robot was able to control a bunch of other robots and sought for world domination. Will Smith, the protagonist, defeated the evil robot in the end, and the world was saved. This is an example of the possible negative implications of Robots with human capabilities – they can take on our not so great features too.
But with AI there are also positive things. Companies can invest in Chatbots or Virtual Assistants to handle administrative tasks to the real skin, and bone humans can focus more on the larger business tasks. Chatbots can engage in social interaction with customers and help them solve problems. Virtual Assistants can organize bosses and track information and keep it for people to access easily. One downside is jobs like customer service reps, and personal assistant jobs are no longer required because a robot can do them just as well if not better if all goes well.
2017 will see the launch of 5G networks. But what is 5G exactly. For those of you who don’t know – and I didn’t either until I wrote this. The “G” stands for generation – of wireless technology. Things like transmission speed and encoding methods are what define a G and make it incompatible with previous generations.
Let’s do a quick breakdown of all the G’s. 1G was analog cellular, 2G were the first gen digital mobile technologies, 3Gs speed up processes. And 4G speed them up even more. Now, 5G will be working at much higher speeds and lower latency than ever before. 5G will be similar to LTE in some cases but will have more flexibility and latency. If you don’t understand tech lingo (like me), 5G will be super fast, better Wi-Fi, more adaptable, with more capacity. 5G will also be able to be implemented in homes, cars cities, and mobile. But the biggest change of all is its place in augmented reality.
Now because the launch of 5G isn’t set until 2018, we won’t know what it will do in the work world so stay tuned, and if you have any guesses, please share them!
Part of being in the 21st Century is adapting to these new technologies and making the most out of them and their abilities. But the argument still stands, are these human-made advancements taking away from job quality? Are people losing jobs to machines? Can these robot systems turn evil like in some movies? There are still so many what ifs. On another note, with technology overtaking many other industries – there is an increasing need for people in this field. Are tech jobs the new must have?
By: Emma Edwards