COMPUTERS AND THE DIGITAL AGE-FRIEND OR FOE
The title of this hub may make one question what a known electrical engineer is doing writing on such a subject with such a title. I think it is a valid question in our ever-increasing dependence on digital circuitry in every phase of our modern lives. I will postulate questions that should at least make you think about the subject.
- Do we really need computer-controlled skillets?
- Do we really need computer-controlled refrigerators?
- Do we really need drive by wire cars like Toyota?
- Do you have a web cam and if so are you sure there’s not a type of spyware on it similar to that used by Lower Merion Schools?
- Why was all TV transmission changed to digital? Do you know a speaker can be used as a microphone? If you have a cable box are you sure you’re not being heard in private moments? Is there a camera hidden in the box?
- What’s the total capability of a smart electrical grid going to be?
- Who’s watching the GPS signal on your cell phone?
- Who’s monitoring your driving activities with various digital communications devices in modern cars?
- Do we really need computer-controlled stoves?
- Nokia is now marketing a self-charging cell phone. It charges on ambient microwaves. Are there too many ambient microwaves? Is this level of ambient microwaves a health danger?
- What will be the ultimate outcome of artificial intelligence (AI)?
- What does broadband over power lines bode for our future?
- Have you heard of the coming technological singularity?
- Will humans become obsolete due to AI devices?
- How will nanotechnology affect our lives?
The list of questions above is of prime importance in human development as well as in our way of life. The modern ages we find ourselves living in are very complex. There could be many benefits realized in these developments, but it is also a double-edged sword. There is much room for abuse in these developments. Even the end of the human race as we know it could be at stake. There must be frank discussion of these issues and there is no time to waste.
Let’s face it folks time marches on but we must plan our future or someone else will do it for us, and that could be a horrid state of affairs.
I don’t know the outcome of this situation, but it’s a discussion that must be held and the sooner the better. We have many problems to confront. We are in the middle of a heated debate on health care, and another hot topic is our abounding national debt. The discussion on the impact of technology is not even being considered, and we can’t wait until it’s too late. Do you want Big Brother watching your every move? Do you want to be replaced by robots? Do you want nanobots in your blood stream? Who controls all these devices? Will unknown and unseen forces control human beings?
I am not an alarmist. I do think the time is ripe for society to have a discussion on these topics listed above. I therefore propose we make the topic a subject of our thought and discuss them thoroughly with all possible ramifications. Let us not have these decisions made by unknown others.
Throughout history scientific advancement has been a boon to our existence. We must plan well to make sure such is the case in the future. There is room for boon or bane we must make the choices through informed discussions.
If I made you think I have accomplished my mission!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!