Modern day technology has impacted the human race more than almost anything in the past, it’s a true revolution, and it’s only just begun…
Technology will soon disrupt previously non-technological industries
An incredible field that we’re only seeing the birth of is the field of robotics and automation, specifically where transport, work and logistics is concerned.
In the past machines needed human supervision, especially when it came to transportation. Vehicles of the past were useless on their own and needed full human supervision, but this isn’t the case anymore. Automation through the use of smart algorithms and robotics now allows vehicles to control and drive themselves…not only that, but they’re actually becoming much more efficient and calculated to perfection, unlike human input.
This will affect the transportation industry in every single field, from self-driving consumer cars that can drive you around (I’m sure Uber are very excited about this!), to self-driving trucks and vehicles in the construction and mining industries to self-driving combat vehicles in warzones.
Although in many ways this advancement is positive, it does beg the question…what will the current workers who drive these vehicles do in a future where they’re not needed? Transportation is the number one employer industry in the world, so what happens when the these jobs no longer require humans?
Although of course there will be new jobs created through this industry, they will shadow in comparison to the mass job loss that automation will bring.
Want to know the scary part? Transportation is just one of many areas where technology is taking over…
We’re slowly becoming cyborgs…
One thing I’d really love to see soon is a real augmented version of Google Glass.
I’ve used Glass a lot and I have to say, the novelty wears off pretty quickly — especially when you realise that you need to look up and to into the right hand corner at a small 2cm squared piece of perspex with a little projection on it. Somewhat cool, but a little bit of a disappointment.
Although I’m pretty critical of a technology that has sparked so much interest in the consumer technology world, I DO think Glass will have a huge impact moving forward. Think of it as the MVP (Minimum Viable Product) for a truly augmented wearable. I’m certain Glass 2.0 will be a whole lot more impressive, maybe enough to warrant a purchase. Currently I see the usage for Glass in the sense that a lot of our physical actions on mobile can be reduced down to voice commands or a simpler way of communicating without the need to pull a piece of metal out of your pocket.
One thing I’d really like to see, as a bonus, would be an augmented retina display, much like a contact lens. This would alleviate the need for a frame entirely, so we can have a more seamless connection between technology and our bodies.
The Next Step
One possibility that truly fascinates me, and this is quite a controversial one, is the development and application of brain-computer interfaces.
The area is somewhat rudimentary at present, with low-level applications and testing. An example of this is Neil Harbisson’s ‘eyeborg’, a chip implanted into his brain that allows him to convert colour into sound.
For true computer-brain interfacing, I think we need to reach a level where our brains are connected to ‘The Cloud’, allowing our thoughts to be intertwined with our increasingly rapid access to information. In the past, if we were to reference information, we needed to seek a source from physical texts, or converse with others. With the development of the internet we can now access information at an unprecedented rate. At first, we could access a limited amount of information online, with limited connection speeds, limited to a wired connection. This would usually take a few minutes to find the right answer to a query. With our access time to information exponentially decaying, and the advancement of technology, moving from the wired desktop to our wireless handheld devices, the time to access information has decreased from minutes to seconds.
It’s thought that we’re now exposed to as much data in a single day than the average person in the 15th century would be in their entire lifetime. That’s an absolutely astounding fact that truly defines how far we’ve come.
The potential in computer-brain interfacing could see our access to information become almost instantaneous, with our every thought being supported through a rapid referencing system, allowing us to essentially expand our own brain almost limitlessly. It’s a scary prospect that brings into consideration some very important factors such as class divide and limitations to who can access these types of future technologies.
Furthermore to the scary prospects of linking our brains to the cloud, there could be an even scarier prospect; uploading our entire brains to the cloud. The potential could lead to a world ran by cyborgs, controlled by our own brains – a world in which we only existed as strings of data, blurring the lines between The Cloud and the real world.