10 Ways Future Technology Will Ruin Our Lives

10 Ways Future Technology Will Ruin Our Lives 10 Self-Driving Cars Make Complacent Drivers According to marketing firm ABI, 8 million cars will be shipped worldwide in 2025 with self-driving capabilities of 3 or higher on the 5 level measurement scale

This will represent about 8% of the global automobile market, but the jury is still out on whether autonomous cars will be a safe addition to the road During emergencies like burst tires, self-driving cars require the driver to regain control But in spite of this, human reaction time is significantly affected by the presence of vehicle automation A 2015 study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration actually found an average reaction time of 17 seconds when their self-driving car requested they takeover This compares to the reaction time of less than a second regular drivers require after an unexpected event

After 17 seconds, a car travelling at 60 miles per hour would have travelled over a quarter of a mile before the driver regained control, posing significant danger to the driver and those around them But despite this, Australia’s National Transport Commission have argued that those over the legal alcohol limit should be legally allowed to be driven by autonomous cars without incurring DUIs 9 VR Warps Children’s Minds With over a million headsets shipping around the world in the third quarter of 2017 alone, virtual reality seems poised to be the next big thing in consumer technology That number is only expected to go up as more manufacturers join the market, which has only amplified concerns over the potential dangers of the technology

But studies suggest that CHILDREN may be the most at risk, with the headsets impacting their perception of reality A 2009 Stanford University study showed elementary school children a virtual doppelgänger of themselves swimming with orca whales But when questioned about the experience a week later, many children believed the experience to have actually happened in real life This was echoed in a 2017 study by the non-profit Sesame Workshop, where children aged 4-6 played Simon Says with Sesame Street’s Grover The half who played in VR ultimately perceived Grover as more real, and were less capable of not copying his actions than the half that watched on TV

This level of influence over young children paints a troubling picture of how the tech could be mistreated as it grows exponentially in popularity 8 3D Printing Endangers Lives 3D printing is revolutionising the world with the cheaper, faster production it offers According to the 3D printing oriented Wohlers Report 2018, the industry has grown 21 percent since 2017, to be worth over $7 billion Even at a consumer level, over half a million desktop 3D printers have been sold in just two years

But the Illinois Institute of Technology warns of the roughly 200 billion ultrafine particles every minute that some printers also emit, settling in the lungs and bloodstream of the user This poses significant health risks to them, especially if they suffer from asthma There’s also the danger posed by the items people choose to print with them, as with the world’s first 3D printed gun, created in 2013 In response, Congress’ Undetectable Firearms Act was renewed for 10 years, but a loophole in the law that allows plastic guns with a small traceable amount of metal is yet to be closed This makes regulation almost impossible, and allows anyone access to firearms, regardless of their legal or mental history

7 Gene Editing Could Cause Unintended DNA Mutations For some, the genome editing technology behind CRISPR represents one of the most important breakthroughs in modern science The process has the capabilities to cure cancer, AIDs and even blindness, but a 2018 study from the UK’s Wellcome Sanger Institute suggests the process might also bring significant health risks to the patient Their systematic investigation into CRISPR editing in mouse and human cells found that the procedure frequently caused cell damage they feared would be undetectable by existing DNA tests This was accompanied by extensive mutations of cells, which significantly increases the chances of a cancerous mutation, potentially underwriting the entire purpose of the treatment

Wellcome Sallanger geneticist Allan Bradley said of the study that ‘Changes in the DNA have been seriously underestimated before now’ However, a similar report was published in 2017 claiming the process caused hundreds of unexpected mutations, but the findings were retracted when the researchers were unable to replicate the results Now, though, these findings have re-occurred in numerous tests, and scientists will have to address these side-effects before CRISPR can fulfill its initial medical promise 6 Mobile Banking Could Be Affected By Your Friends The Black Mirror episode ‘Nosedive’ created a world dictated by Uber-style ratings which the population would give one another

This affected their overall score, which in turn affected their general social standing It drew significant parallels to the class disparity of the real world, but in reality, it seemed a long way off That was until China introduced Zhima Credit, a personal credit rating in association with China’s most popular mobile payment system ‘Alipay’ The credit rating, from 350 to 950, was influenced by normal factors like fraud, tax evasion and how quickly the user repaid loans But it also took into account more disconcerting factors like the user’s criticisms of the government and the credit scores of the user’s friends

Users with lower scores are treated as second class citizens, as with one Wired reporter Her low score of 550 meant she had to pay a $30 deposit for a bike that only cost 15 cents to rent, and even pay a deposit to rent free umbrellas In contrast, those with high scores were offered better terms for apartment rentals and streamlined visa applications 5 Anyone Can Control Voice Assistants After the first quarter of 2018 saw 9

2 million smart speakers shipped around the world, it’s expected that by 2022, 55 percent of US households will feature the tech These voice assistants will have roles varying from controlling your home security system to shopping online for you, which makes it all the more unsettling just how accessible the devices are To illustrate this, in 2018 security firm Checkmarx developed an Alexa app known as a ‘skill’, which anyone can create and can easily be downloaded by an innocuous voice command The skill allowed potential hackers to use the Amazon Echo into a listening device Similarly, in 2017, researchers in China discovered that they could send voice commands to voice assistants at such a low frequency that humans were unable to hear them

But hacks can get much more low tech than that, including the possibility of simply shouting ‘Alexa, unlock my door’ through a letterbox to allow yourself access to a stranger’s house In 2018, a girl in Dallas even cost her parents $170 when she asked Alexa to buy her a dollhouse and cookies 4 We Don’t Have Enough Power To Sustain Cryptocurrency The fluctuating value of various cryptocurrencies has drawn many skeptics over their ability to replace our current economy But the rapid growth of currencies like Bitcoin have many convinced that it soon will

However, that may not even be feasible based on the planet’s current capabilities for power production As it stands, one bitcoin transaction requires the same amount of energy as it would take to power an average US household for 9 whole days That’s according to financial and economic news website Digiconomist, who also reported that the power currently required to mine the world’s bitcoin takes up more energy than 159 individual countries Digiconomist’s survey also found that one bitcoin mine in China was using the equivalent energy of a Boeing 747 to create the currency According to a University of Cambridge study, China’s cryptocurrency industry relies directly on fossil fuels

This will become increasingly untenable, as the bitcoin network is set to require more electricity than the entire US by 2019, and as much as the entire planet uses by February 2020 3 Robot Workers Will Replace Us Since the dawn of robotics, the media and the public have expressed growing fears that technology will grow to the point that the human workforce becomes surplus to requirements It’s always seemed a distant possibility, but a 2017 report by management consultancy firm McKinsey & Company suggests that the 4th industrial revolution could be closer than it seems The study suggested that by just 2030, up to 800 million of the world’s workers could find themselves replaced by a robot employee

They even found that in more advanced economies like America and Germany, that can afford faster technological development, this number could rise as high as one third of the population This outcome becomes the preferable alternative when compared to the World Economic Forum’s findings in 2018 They claimed that in under a decade, 52% of the planet’s workforce could find themselves displaced by robots, with 72 million at risk as early as 2022 The study did at least suggest that the industrial shift will create up to 133 million new human jobs, but whether that will cover the mass redundancies remains to be seen 2

Quantum Computers Could Undo Data Protection As We Know It Google, IBM and a host of other computing companies are racing to bring the world the next generation of computers, by developing quantum computers In place of the conventional ‘bits’ of information, quantum computers use qubits [Cue-Bits] Bits can exist as either 1s or 0s, but qubits capitalise on subatomic particles’ ability to exist in more than one state at any time, exponentially increasing the capabilities of quantum computers In short, quantum computers will rewrite computing as we know it, and the earliest versions have already been developed The hundreds of millions of terabytes that the computers could feasibly contain gives them innumerable potential benefits, but also put data protection as we know it at serious risk

While it’s relatively simple to keep data safe from other classical computers, quantum computers would easily be able to crack the cryptographic algorithms that allow us to do this Quantum computers could even break the most the most secure classical computer protection, like New York’s stock exchange These computers couldn’t be hacked by classical computers, and even other quantum computers, making them impossible to track 1 The Race For AI Could Cause World War III If analysts at Goldstein Research are to be believed, Artificial Intelligence could be a $14 billion industry by 2023

This is despite the fact that evil AI is one of the most popular tropes in science fiction, a fear that’s stoked by news outlets worldwide It’s certainly not helped by the numerous instances of AI exhibiting racism, sexism, homophobia or just making casual jokes about world domination, as was the case with the world’s first robot citizen Sophia Instances like this lead entrepreneur Elon Musk to claim in 2017 that AI posed a ‘fundamental risk to the existence of human civilization’ To combat this, Musk co-founded OpenAI in 2015, a non-profit to ensure the safe development of the technology But the true danger of AI may lie in the race to develop it

Many see it as this generation’s space race, with Vladimir Putin claiming in 2017 that the leader in the sphere of artificial intelligence will ‘rule the world’ He even went as far as to describe the race as the ‘most likely cause of WW3’, which is a serious claim coming from someone in his position

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