Tech makes our lives simpler. We can send messages to the other side of the world in the blink of an eye, watch favorite movies in high resolution or pay bills electronically saving time and money. All of these are perfect, but no one can deny that he has worried at least once in his life thinking how dependent we are becoming on this system that is so unstable and that one day it may disappear with the tap of a finger.
Not wanting to dive into dystopian scenarios for the future of humanity, below you will find some technologies that have completely changed our human experience on earth. Virtually no one could have imagined half of the things we have or do not have on hand today.
1 – Cyber warfare
Imagine a war run entirely by a computer. No, it is not about a movie scene, but about a concentrated attack against a state’s electronic infrastructure. And what is the latter? A country’s electronic infrastructure includes all emergency services, the banking system, the electricity grid, water and oil reserves, or even protective artillery itself. A well-structured attack would be a tremendous danger to a state.
In 2013, FBI Director James Comey predicted that cyberattacks would soon overtake traditional terrorism to become a major threat to domestic security. In 2013 South Korea accused North Korea of cyberattacks. Hackers have had the opportunity to enter the Pentagon. So how can we protect ourselves? Educating the masses about the existence of viruses, Trojan horses, and how to learn self-defense techniques in computer terms.
2 – Deciphering DNA
Hacking, decryption, decoding – call it whatever you want. For years scientists have done their best to decipher our genetic code through a field called biotechnology. Breaking down our biological material in the hope that they can understand how this system, as complex as the human body and brain, work, scientists are seeking not only to understand our DNA but also to rewrite it or repair diseased cells. Thus, they hope to find the cure for cancer, Alzheimer’s or even aging!
The happy scenario, allows biologists to turn into heroes by sending us personalized cures by mail. The extremely scary scenario brings to the scene bioterrorist engineers who target us down to the genetic level. Something like that is not that it did not happen. Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny was attacked with a nerve agent and miraculously escaped even though he never admitted to the Kremlin.
3 – Facial scan
A facial scanner has made our lives easier in many ways but in the same way it can turn us against. China is accused of using facial scanning technology to monitor the masses as well as to profile people on racist grounds. Chinese scanners catch not only those who violate traffic rules but also ethnic Muslims called Uighurs against whom China has long used abusive techniques such as being sent to labor camps or imprisoned. Russian scanners scan roads for ‘stakeholders’ as Israel tracks Palestinians in the West Bank. Applications are innumerable and are made with or without our knowledge.
4 – Intelligent dust
Micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS), which are the size of salt grains, have sensors, communication mechanisms, autonomous power supply and cameras. Smart dust has a host of positive uses in the field of health or safety but the fear and concern that the privacy of ordinary citizens may be compromised by this technology come naturally to mind.
5 – Fake News Robots
GROVER is a Robot or Artificial Intelligence that has the ability to write fake articles based on just one title. These types of robotic systems often write more reliable articles than those written by human hands. How far are we from the time when these artificial intelligence systems will not be content with text but will be able to create completely realistic videos of a person who is actually an avatar, saying something he has never said? Technology is really advancing at a galloping pace but we need to remain aware of what is happening all around us.
6 – Spying on household appliances
Smart home devices are extremely useful but the fact that they are connected to the internet makes them vulnerable and direct sources from where a hacker can launch a cyber attack against you. Virtual assistant devices listen to every word you say, or message in order to activate the service you need, and all of this is extraordinary and unimaginable before. But with the benefits of technology, it is becoming increasingly necessary to prepare and learn how to protect ourselves from potential attacks.
7 – Herds of Drones
The British, Chinese and American armies have long been testing how they can create interconnected and cooperative drone clusters to undertake military operations like a real army. Inspired by herds of insects working in groups, herds of drones can revolutionize future conflicts.
The difference between the ‘herd’ of drones and the current way the army uses drones today, is the fact that at the time of landing, the ‘herd’ would work as a single, and be organized according to the situation presented and the goal that has been set in advance. Making drones intelligent enough for them to self-coordinate and make independent decisions is something that can not but raise questions.
8 – Google Glasses
Google Glasses are a pair of high-tech optical glasses with cameras installed on the skeleton that goes beyond even the craziest idea of Big Brother. Perhaps the dystopian future of mass surveillance will not be a world filled with cameras in every corner but an army of thugs amazed by the idea that they can record every second of their lives. So far, the choices are free, but imagine the moment when these glasses can be lit on a bus or urban train, or in a public setting or in a private meeting.
Many companies in the US have banned Google Glasses on their premises but such technologies are not always visible. The system on which they are built makes them light up with a single glance and shoot a picture with a blink of an eye. Not at all strange!