Technology Is Not Always On Your Side

The 21st century has been a technological age for the textbooks. Modern science and technology have seen more advances than ever before.

Our daily lives are so seeped in technology that we often take for granted the intricate systems that store our emails, activate voice recognition in our vehicles, or make our cell phone calls.

With these advances that are taken for granted, there are also advances which breach the line of controversial. Science harbors more power than we know, and man’s manipulation of such could come with dire consequences.

Chris Pollette and Dave Roos of “How Stuff Works” wrote ‘10 Scary Modern Technologies’ which highlighted some technological advances that could do more harm than good:

“J. Craig Venter, the bio-entrepreneur whose company helped map the genome, reached a new milestone in 2010 when he built the world’s first synthetic, self-replicating chromosome [source: Hessel]. He loaded some homemade synthetic DNA into a bacterial cell and watched it grow and divide according to computer-generated As, Ts, Gs and Cs. By his own reckoning, he had created “life.””

This has scary implications in the field of bio-weaponry. This technology could allow someone to make a custom virus that affects a specified DNA, eliminating targets without ever having to lay a hand on them.

“A cyberattack on the networks that ran three banks, two broadcasters and an ISP was traced to an IP address in China, but experts think the attacks were from North Korea.”

As if we don’t have enough to worry about from North Korea, they have already attempted a cyberattack, so there’s nothing preventing them from future attempts.

The Hill reported:

“Terrorist groups have begun plotting ways to hit the U.S. With cyberattacks, FBI director James Comey told an audience in Colorado”

If cyberattacks don’t hit home, then unwarranted pictures and videos taken by strangers will.

How Stuff Works reports that “Google Glass, the high-tech specs with a built-in camera and pop-up display, turns the idea of Big Brother on its head.”

These glasses appear normal but can take a picture when you blink an eye and can record video on demand. No one is stopping the user from capturing private pictures of unsuspecting individuals.

How Stuff Works reported on another innovation that may soon be infiltrating our roadways:

“Enter the Google self-driving car, an autonomous vehicle that promises to steer clear of accidents and keep traffic flowing smoothly via algorithm. Powered by Google Chauffeur software, the car uses GPS and a rooftop scanner to stay on course and respond to nearby vehicles. As of 2013, the car was still in its beta testing phase, but dozens of robotic cars were already on the road in California and Nevada.”

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The autonomous cars definitely have their perks, making productive use of all that commute time. Although, makers of these robotic cars of sorts say they are statistically safer than human drivers with only one fatality to date.

Tech Republic reported:

“Joshua Brown’s Tesla Model S, engaged in this mode, crashed into an 18-wheeler crossing its path.”

It’s no doubt technology has made many things more convenient and efficient for people. It’s wise though to keep the possibilities of technological and scientific advancements in touch with the realities they create.

Stephen Hawking, the world’s leading theoretical astrophysicist, warns, “The human race faces one its most dangerous centuries yet as progress in science and technology becomes an ever-greater threat to our existence”