We’ve said it before, and we will say it again. 2017 is the year of technology, or so it seems. Technology is rapidly expanding and is found everywhere, in every sector. Today, we are looking into things happening around the world that have ultimately been a result of technological advancement and innovative mindsets.With all this technology surrounding us, it is evident there is a shift in society. We are in the 4th Industrial Revolution since the initial one in the 18th Century. The Third Industrial Revolution saw the sharp increase in the use of electronics regarding production. Now the 4th is building on the ideas from the 3rd. At its root is the fusion of technologies that are blurring the lines between sectors. The Fourth Industrial Revolution in here.
The first industrial revolution has proven to pollute our air a lot and has caused a huge concern with global warming. This is a little bit of an oxymoron because technological advancement has aided in digital and electronic pollution, but it is also helping come up with solutions to it. In the fall biologists announced that the Great Barrier Reef was “dead.” With all the mass pollution of plastic and so forth. Global warming is real, but technology is helping with solutions to reverse the damages.
A few weeks ago in India, has banned all forms of disposable plastic in its capital, due to illegal burning, Plastic Bags have also been prohibited in Rwanda. India also recently planted 50 million. Yes, 50 Million trees in one day to help prevent climate change. In China, there have been plans made to build green skyscrapers and building that converts the smog and carbon dioxide in the air. Around the world, there are Green initiatives taking place because climate change is looming very close. Besides that, Scientists have found a 500-Billion-dollar plan to re-freeze the Artic adding a meter of thickness to the ice. Also under the sea new rot resistant materials are being planted in hopes that it will facilitate coral reef growth and help clean the sea water. Sustainability is attached to climate change and global warming, and many new technological projects have sprouted in hopes of turning food waste and other garbage into new and reusable materials.
In the medical sector, technology has made 3D printing organs that act like, bleed like and feel like possible. Not only allowing people to practice and rehearse complicated surgeries before hand but also finding temporary transplants for those who desperately need them. Technology has also facilitated research on new medical materials that stop bleeding in a few seconds, saving a lot of gunshot wounds from the loss of blood. Robots can now carry out invasive surgeries, studies to find cures for diseases are showing results.
In the endless world of technology, the smartphone phenomena are making way for the rebirth of the “dumb phone.” Are people reverting to this sturdy dinosaur-like, inexpensive phone because of costs of smartphones, and problems with them recently? The Nokia 3310 is like a digital detox or holiday phone keeping you connected but at a smaller level. Record players are making a comeback in the music industry. We have come to a point in time where people invest in the new technology but also respect the old school technology.
It’s safe to say that technology and the most recent/current industrial revolution have done some pretty amazing things for our planet. But, there are some things to sort out before we reach a utopia level like reality. For instance, the overcrowding, constant connecting, cyber memory of the online world leaves little room for mistakes, alone time, personal life and stress-free feeling. Uploading an embarrassing video on YouTube will always exist in cyberspace. What is done online can never be undone?
A recent article shared that the average American spends 118 minutes a day on social media, 6+ hours checking their email, and 95 hours a week – this time spent means you’re not being a very productive person and maximizing your potential.
Also with technology running the show there comes an issue with moral dilemmas, machines cannot feel or react with emotion. In a self-driving car whose life is valued more the person in the car or the person on the street? Your Fitbit tracking data, could it be used against you in a court case? Or with drones, are they invading your privacy if they aren’t real people? The ability to patent a human gene is that humane? All of these things are possible with technology. So although there are some significant benefits in the horizon with technology, there are still some kinks and improvements to be made.
By: Emma Edwards