Technology, at its core, is driven by one single principle—the principle of artificial reduction of human efforts. From the moment when man invented the wheel and harnessed it for transportation of goods and easier ways of his own travel to the time when the world’s best humans invented rocket to cross worlds and the telephone to let us talk to anyone from any part of the world, technology has made the way easier and more convenient than ever.
The more time technology advances, the more we see the scope of artificial reduction of human efforts is increasing. While it seems there is no way technology can improve our lives, which already seems to be at its peak, we have experienced that every new invention has opened up new vistas of progress that seemed impossible by itself.
Twenty years back, the Internet was already a much talked about the phenomenon, but it still was at the nascent stage. 15 years back, the first smartphone made its way into the market but being the luxury of a few, only a handful of people were using it. In 2001, more than 30,000 smartphones went out of the market, and today literally everyone has one. From the time when not even 1 percent of the people had access to the Internet, half of the people in the world are ticking on the Internet from their cellphones.
Technology growth has made miles away from the distance of 20 years hence. Artificial reduction of human efforts has increased more than a few times over. The real impact of the most recent technology on our lives is yet to come. We have a taste of its potential in the Internet and mobile technologies. Using them, we have created unimaginable social, technical, and economic revolutions in the world.
Impact of Technology in Communications
When the Internet, smartphone markets developed, and our cultures and communication habits were already incepted, all we need to do is hook up with our digital culture. With the advent of the Internet taking up more than half of our lives and over a billion smartphone users, social media has continuously been entering each of our spheres of lives as well.
Communication today is much different than it used to be. On the one hand, communication before the advent of the Internet was not just sluggish but in the dark ages of snail mail and dial-up Internet. Owing to the advances in the world, you can get in touch with anyone you know through voice, video, or text.
No matter wherever you want to connect with your friends, school buddies, colleagues, or your ex back in school or the girl/guy you like, you can do so with a few simple clicks. No matter how far the distance is or how long is the time span, there is always someone at your hand with whom you feel like talking. Best of all, you never feel like you are intruding on someone’s personal space.
Technology has not just made the process convenient for us but also simplified communication. It is not just about being connected to your friend, but also to persons you are strangers to. If you let someone know that you are open to communication, they can just reach out to you. Most of us are living a much more social life than a few decades back, which has made us more interactive and, therefore, more empathetic to others. This empathy has helped us move across borders and cultures.
Many businesses are thriving now because of the ease of communication technology has boosted. They now have more reach than they would have had without smartphone users to lead their operations and reach out to more clients. This is more a result of their reachability but also their approachability.
Smartphone users no longer only connect to their friends and near ones, but also more people in their neighborhood, at their workplace, at their school. Technically, they can even connect with people who are at the other end of the world. We are connected to people all over the globe. Not just physically because of the reason that we can connect to people whose parts of the globe they are residing, but also we feel more connected or feel united because we are now communicating with other parts of the globe.
This has been possible because of free video calls, free voice calling and multiple messaging protocols built into our operating systems. So many times a day, we see the prefix of the countries finally being overshadowed by the prefix of a familiar city or place.
One more thing that technology has done is the destruction of boundaries that kept on separating us from others. Nobody now thinks twice before showing feelings and emotions through texts and videos, and we can be more sensitive to others as well.
Technology is connecting us physically as well as emotionally, and we are bound to stay connected with our friends and loved ones if only to update them with the little things we do every day. Our cities and neighborhoods are becoming smaller as we connect more with our friends, families, and neighbors.
Impact of Technology In Healthcare
Much as medical bills can take up a lot of financial resources, technology has given us some options to curb their rise.
We have become more health-conscious because technology has awed not only our lives but our health as well. We can track the functioning of our organs like we can contact anybody halfway across the world. Wearables make the process easy. Just step out from your home with your blood pressure level at your glance and take your health with you.
Healthcare has played second fiddle to technology, but in the last few years, technology has played a major role in its improvement.
We all know how the advent of sensors has improved healthcare at the top of the health industry chain. However, this chain quality is paying back even the lower ranks, who have oftentimes had to lose out on crucial health-related data because there was no way to easily and at a low cost collect or analyze health data. But thanks to technology, they can now easily acquire, store, and analyze.
Peer to peer patient to patient interaction is another way in which technology is impacting the healthcare industry. More hospitals are using technology to improve patients’ experiences. On physician and appointment software, now get data from the cloud to increase efficiency as well as to reduce costs.
The power of mobile devices when it comes to delivering healthcare services is immense. In the case of dengue, mobile health platforms have played a major role in improving treatment. A dengue-related app formerly available for the public in Thailand had assisted healthcare professionals in saving lives when it came to critical treatment procedures.
The Bahia State Health Institute of the UNICAMP University of Brazil has been pushing mobile technology platforms to allow contact with more remote regions of the country. For Brazil, it’s a way to expand care in less densely populated regions.
In fact, the proliferation of mobile phones, tablets, and smartphones in the healthcare environment is getting so great that healthcare companies and doctors have started to provide mobile apps and other mobile digital health solutions for patients. Doctors who are offering emergency care to victims of any sort can now provide real-time updates on patients and improved communication.
Patients themselves are using their own devices for healthcare and solving the need to improve on communication between doctors and patients. The best example is that of the SensiLab project in Brazil, where patients have been able to raise funds through crowdsourcing for their own medical condition to funding their research. At the same time, the SensiLab project is generating big data that also help focus efforts on steering research.
As technology continues to develop, we will see an increased number on the use of mobile healthcare because the smartphone users: Will is in better shape when it comes to their healthcare; through the use of telemedicine, global healthcare will be able to reach remote areas. Developed regions will be able to explore the hidden potential and economic value of remote areas. Remote regions will have better contact with developed regions.
Impact of Technology in Artificial Intelligence
Science makes us big, but eventually, it is a technology that keeps us small. Such a case applies to Artificial Intelligence (AI). As per a popular saying, AI is the new electricity. So it will share the same impact on civilization what electricity has done over time. Many of our day to day activities will be negatively influenced if this domain of technology does not grow at its potential level.
Although it will build the fabric of our lives itself, it has its artificial element. It is this artificial factor that influences our lives and ensures that robots take over and make our lives more automated. From Google’s GPS to the self-driving cars and self-writing music lyrics, all are in the pipeline.
Science has challenged us to our limits, but technology pushes us out of our comfort zone. From programming robots to building artificial intelligence, science has increased our disaster strength. The current robotics boom is the buzzword today. Robots are today able to replace people on the jobs that mindlessly require repetitive task. We have machines that can quickly wake up themselves even after days of hibernation; after replacing people on boring and uninspiring jobs, robots will naturally wake up to more intelligent, complex, and challenging jobs.
Small movements and tasks become easy enough for robots to do them. No human is happy with repetitions, and this ‘predictability’ drives human civilization forward most. That’s why we have evolved. Robots machines will insidiously but eventually take over our traditional jobs and do our chores.
Research and development have evolved robotics to such levels that it becomes human-like in its interaction. Human touch is now being replaced with robotic touch in fields like healthcare, security, and even in music. Along with humans, robots will be designing homes, gaining creativity, managing households, building cars and planes, flying planes, driving cars, designing clothes, sustaining our sportsmen, growing farms, regenerating comforts. It can replace a few human’s medical and even many paramedical functions such as diagnosis. Humanoid technology was being experimented around 150 years back. It may not surprise anyone if it arrives sooner than expected.
But till such time comes, artificial bodies with human brains will come into vogue, especially in mental illness management. Therapists promise complementary, holistic wellness, while artificial intelligence is promising a cheaper way to a better lifestyle. The question that people will ask is whether it is all we need? Or do we want to multiply the good things that technology can offer us to a great degree…
We celebrated the beginning of the 2016 AD as the ‘hashtag generation.’ The technologies which enable our hashtags to function as a great social agenda have indeed changed the history of human civilization. Today, because of such technologies, we are always in touch with our friends on social media that enhances and strengthens our relationships with openness. Likewise, artificial intelligence will serve as a social agenda for robot generations. With AI, robots would increasingly be interacting with the real world and creating new cultures and a new history for themselves.
How AI Opens New Horizons for the Future
The primary purpose of technology is eventually to evolve humankind. However, learning is a bit tough, and though we have learned about the effectiveness of AI in war, medicine, business, economics, art, etc., implement it has its own set of challenges. Apart from the money that it demands, it is not clear how its implementation can be made a global affair.
Initially, worries were raised by the intelligentsia, whether AI can do as it likes, such as create and destroy. Some even opine that artificial intelligence does multiply the power of mankind, while others believe that it is always helpful. Still, we need to make sure that the concentration of power is not in the hands of a few noobs who can misuse its power. We need to be extra careful to avoid it from playing with artificial intelligence.
Artificial Intelligence is already in action. From speech recognition to video content, AI is driving the future to greater possibilities. Through AI, we started learning to ‘think.’ The developments in AI support companies on their path to success. It inspires us to innovate. According to many robotics experts, speaking a ‘word’ is not the only solution, but “blinking” fast at least works for AI until now.
The reality is that the technology exists, it works, and it will only increase its presence in the years to come. How quickly AI helps us augment our creativity will depend on the speed of our willingness to accept it.
Individual focus on something is likely to become redundant due to the advent of smarter machines. For example, social media was not expected to gain such popularity as people are jumping in the bandwagon of it to achieve financial and public acceptance. However, it may happen that researching artificial intelligence might become a super-profitable prospect. Till such a time comes, it is a good time for us to learn to mingle with it and use it in our favor. Using automation for gaining efficiency is no rocket science.
Above all, we also need to look for a “crafty” way to make things work better using our intelligence and strength. In short, let’s come out of the self-made comfort zone. 🙂