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A Layperson's View of Future Technology and Society

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Future Technology

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Technology and Society

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Search for extraterrestrials, ET.

They're Just Not That Into Us

SETI (Search for ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence) research projects have scanned the sky for over 40 years looking for an intelligent signal.

Could our level of intelligence be unique in the universe?

The Search for Extraterrestrials

Technology and society, the techno-snub.I Didn't Even Know You Had Kids

Some of the smartest individuals I know, suddenly remember their kids have soccer practice when I mention the latest technological breakthrough. I asked six of my friends for an honest answer to why they gave me the technosnub.

This image is not an actual lie detection scan

Brain Frees

Powerful lie detection tools may someday surpass the accuracy of the polygraph and permanently change how suspects are convicted and freed.

Future of Lie Detection

micrographs

Small Thinking

A micrograph is a highly magnified image taken through a microscope or similar device.

When I searched the internet for high quality micrographs, I found very few in the public domain. Some of the most spectacular images can be licensed, but there is a hefty fee. A decision had to be made by the owner of this site (me), do I show a really cool scanning electron micrograph with this article or buy a big screen TV?

Micrographs

What I Have in Common with Raymond Kurzweil

At first, it would appear that futurist Raymond Kurzweil and I are not much alike. He excelled at MIT, I achieved a G.E.D. He invented usable OCR¹, I invented the adjustable IOU. Nevertheless, set aside higher education, along with any measure of success, and you are left with two good looking guys that like to think about the future.

My point is that it doesn't take a great mind to envision the future, just an imagination. Choose a burgeoning technology from this site and imagine how it could change the world in 20 years. Now go 50, 100 years ahead. Think about what the future will be like for you, your children and for their children.

In my 2050 future, medical science has cured most diseases, biotechnology has eliminated hunger and Grandma is a controversial Olympic speed skater sporting bionic hips. Will all of those things happen? Probably not, weak ankles run in my family. But it is fun to think about. By imagining what is possible, I feel better prepared for the future. -ffa

¹Ray Kurzweil was the principal developer of the first omni-font optical character recognition (OCR) and many other inventions. Ray's books include "The Age of Intelligent Machines", "The Age of Spiritual Machines", and "Fantastic Voyage: Live Long Enough to Live Forever". Ray Kurzweil's new book is entitled "The Singularity is Near, When Humans Transcend Biology". KurzweilAI.net, is a leading resource on artificial intelligence.  

Approaching the Singularity

The Singularity

Surfing the web for The Singularity gives me a gnarly headache. No doubt a reaction to asking my brain to think of ways of replacing itself.

Both intriguing and frightening, my approach to the Singularity is to treat it like a dessert tray--the further it is away, the less I am infatuated by it. The Singularity

robotic insects, robot dragonflies

Flying Friends or Privacy Pests?

Fitted with cameras, sensors and microphones, robot insects are flying--climbing--crawling--jumping at the chance to assist humans in search, rescue and other hazardous operations.

Robotic insects could also be used for spying.

Flying Insect Spies

girl wearing futuristic clothing

Wearable Computers

Smart clothing design requires a team of artists, designers, scientists and engineers bringing their individual talents together to create garments that are as appealing as they are functional.

Future Fashion

Time to Invade Your Privacy

eye scan

Designed with a built in voice recorder, an innocent looking wrist watch can secretly capture hours of conversation.

Today you can easily purchase micro video cameras and microphones that are hidden inside alarm clocks, stereos, even teddy bears. GPS vehicle trackers can be mounted to your car is seconds. What will be available when the cameras are nano-sized? What does the future hold for our privacy? Future of Privacy

Technology and Society Articles, Blogs and Web Sites

All Links open in a new window.  Bold = Recommended - Links do not imply endorsement

Technology and Society Articles
Title Source Date
A Field Guide To Anti-Technology Movements, Past And Present The Huffington Post 01/14
Paul Allen: The Singularity Isn't Near Technology Review 10/11
Taiwan develops face-recognition vending machine Good Gear Guide 01/11
The Age of Old: The Population Bomb We Should Have Seen Coming News Tracker 01/11
Home Labs on the Rise for the Fun of Science NY Times 12/10
First Pass: What’s Wrong with the Grand Challenges for Engineering KurzweilAI.net 10/10
Consumers Will Share Everything Forbes 09/10
Your Life In 2020 Forbes 04/10
Five minds for the future ReDiff 05/07
Quest for Synthetic Organisms Calls for New Rules, Critics Say Wired 05/07
The Human-Techno Future: How Weird? How Soon? National Geographic 08/05
Why the future doesn't need us Wired 05/00

 

Technology and Society Web Sites and Blogs
Title Description
Connect the World To accelerate and strengthen efforts to bridge the digital divide
Ethix Magazine The Institute for Business, Technology and Ethics
Ethical Issues in Nanotechnology Chris MacDonald, Ph.D.
Grand Challenges of Engineering National Academy of Engineering
Online Ethics Center National Academy of Sciences
Unesco.org Ethics of Science and Technology
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