Living in a world surrounded by technology is fantastic.
You can order food without getting up from the couch, clean your apartment without even taking a mop, could it taxi without a driver, and control your devices with your voice a dream come true, and those are only the systems that we use every day.
Imagine the medical technologies being developed right now, and yet this incredible progress has a dark side.
Some technologies are not only useful but can also cause serious harm.
(However, let’s start from the beginning.)
Let’s get it on.
5G Kills Birds
Sounds scary, right?
5g is the fifth generation of wireless technology for digital cellular networks and is mostly still under development, but different countries are already testing 5g systems, including the Netherlands.
(That’s where this weird history happened.)
On November 5th, 2018, Erin Elizabeth posted a disturbing story from the Netherlands with the headline hundreds of birds dead during 5g experiments in The Hague, the Netherlands.
The story sounds creepy; almost 300 starlings fell dead one after another in the middle of a park.
If you look around the park, you’ll see a 5g antenna installed across the street on the roof of one of the houses it had to undergo safety testing at that time.
Add up these two facts, and you might draw a conclusion 5g is deadly for birds, so it must be a threat to humans as well.
But what exactly happened in the park? A series of strange bird deaths did take place indeed.
According to an official statement from the municipal government, the birds started dying on October 19th, 2018, between that day and November 3rd, activists found the dead bodies of 337 starlings and two wood pigeons.
Experts believe that the birds could have been poisoned, but what about the 5G trials the says to the new system took place near the park.
(But notice the date it happened on June the 28th, 2018, and no birds died at that time.)
Also, there’s evidence of any other 5g tests in The Hague or other 5g antennas in the area near the park.
However, so far, 5g technology has not been studied well enough to draw definitive conclusions.
Most likely, the bird’s deaths were related to something else, but to what’s precise, the question remains unanswered.
Deepfakes are a well-known technology that uses artificial intelligence and deep learnings who replace faces in videos and while it’s fascinating and excellent in terms of developments.
If you think about it, it’s pretty creepy.
Imagine being able to swap one person’s face for another person’s face in a high-resolution video.
They were already ready-made video editors, and they’re no more complicated than traditional video software. Such technology can be used for really evil purposes too.
In a society where a video can prove a crime, it’s easy to ruin anyone’s life using deep fakes.
On a global scale, it can lead to political instability and chaos as people will lose faith in the media, and who can be trusted if any serious proof can be faked even by a school kid with a laptop.
Nowadays, more and more cars have an autopilot mode, also known as driver assistance system, which can easily cope with some typical situations on the road without human involvement.
Will they be able to drive safer and tidier than humans on average? Probably yes, especially at the time, as car manufacturers learned from their past mistakes and vast amounts of real driving data.
But at first glance, everything is not as GREAT as it might seem, anything can happen on the road, including a situation that has never happened even to a well-trained car driver.
What if the car has to choose between keeping its passenger or a pedestrian alive during an accident?
Such ethical dilemmas cannot be solved by humans, not to mention a machine, and don’t forget possible hacker attacks.
The criminals need to hack the central computer once to get access to all the functions of the vehicle. Once it’s done, they can increase the speed, change the destination, or even download the owner’s data.
(All of this can have catastrophic consequences.)
Parents know that you can’t watch your baby 24/7, even if you wanted to.
Fortunately, people have already come up with an excellent invention, baby monitors.
At first, it was just a radio device that allowed you to listen to your baby, but it’s a technology evolved today baby monitors support not only video communication but also Wi-Fi.
This makes it possible to watch your child from anywhere; it is very convenient when your baby stays with your relatives or is sleeping while you’re not at home.
Buts, like many smart devices, modern baby monitors can be hacked moreover it has already happened.
In 2018 Ellen and Nathan Rigney woke up in the middle of the night to a strange signal from their baby monitor.
After that, a strange man’s voice said that he was going to kidnap their four-month-old son and told them not to turn on the lights.
Scared to death, Nathan rushed upstairs to the crib where the child was sound asleep. There was no one in his room, and this isn’t the only case.
A couple from South Carolina said that their baby monitors camera began to move by itself.
In 2015 another couple told CBS Minnesota that they’d found pictures of their child on a website with images taken by hacked cameras.
But the perpetrators can choose another strategy if your child is old enough to move around on their own.
The perpetrator can use baby monitors to make them open a door window or go to a specific place, and we don’t WANT to think about what might happen.
Some time ago, voice recognition was something from sci-fi movies and books, but today this technology is already a part of our life and is used everywhere.
Even smartphones can recognize their owner’s voice and distinguish them from other people well, at least at trying.
Also, some banks and other organizations use similar methods of identification.
They use voiceprints to improve customer service since voice is a unique way to identify customers; they could avoid answering questions and don’t have to remember any passwords.
It’s straightforward, you say a specific phrase, and you can do whatever you NEED to do with your money.
But this leads to different problems; criminals can copy your voice. We’re not even kidding.
These technologies already exist today right now, and criminals NEED a small fragment of your speech and specialized software that clones your speech.
But the worst part is that the person usually doesn’t know that their voice was stolen.
Imagine the situation someone pulled your credit card out of your wallet.
Would you notice it? Of Course.
This means that you’ll be able to take action in time, but if your voice has been stolen and used, you can’t just trace its use and all the consequences of that theft.
Maybe the criminals gain access to your personal bank information, or they’ve talked to your family or employers; the possibilities are endless, and it’s scary.
The ability of artificial intelligence to clone a voice may very soon become a real problem for everyone.
Stories about sophisticated robots getting out of control and turning against humankind have been around for the modernist century.
Remember terminator and as many sequels, for example.
However, even though many people are outright scared of robots, engineers keep developing them, and they create not just funny toy robots or mechanical hands that simplify production processes.
Today there is already a device that could take up arms to start a war against humanity.
Take the Boston Dynamics robots, for example, once they were massive unstable structures, but today they can do things that most people can’t, like performing acrobatic tricks or standing still even after heavy kicks.
By the way, are you aware that Boston Dynamics robots have learned not only to overcome obstacles such as stairs or barriers but also to open doors?
Yes, now you can’t hide from them just by running away to another room.
There is still a long way to go before the machines revolt, and maybe robots don’t WANT to take revenge on people for all those kicks and push at the development stage.
Sometimes these smart androids that make human life easier are very friendly, BUT a robot is just code, and it can always be reprogrammed.
Just imagine the manufacturer convinces you that the electronic assistant collects information about you to work better.
Meanwhile, the robot has already passed the collected data to a third party, and in the best-case scenario, the information will only be used to show you more relevant ads online.
But there are other possible outcomes, robots that SPY on their owners, hackers blackmailing you, and the end to privacy.
At some point, devices capable of penetrating human consciousness could only be found in the works of fiction writers and movie directors.
Once people found out how complicated the brain was, they realized that it was almost impossible to read minds, (and yes, there’s some technology under development.)
Back in 2017, scientists created a device that reads people’s thoughts through their brainwaves.
According to researchers, this could lead to the creation of an easily operated machine that would be connected to smartphones, and we don’t even have to wait long.
Such a device could be built in the following years. But WHY?
Why would anyone WANT their thoughts to be read? And they well personal.
Well, the device can help people with disabilities; for example, those who’ve lost the ability to speak because of a stroke one small implant would give a person’s so many opportunities.
It can also be used as a telepathic typewriter, which automatically records what we think. No more having to open your notes or looking for paper to write down an idea the device would do everything for you.
It will transmit people’s thoughts through an electronic speaker or a typing device. The exact technology has not yet been determined, but scientists are working on it.
But will this device only be useful for peaceful purposes? Of course, there is nothing to be afraid of at the early stages, while the mechanisms aren’t working correctly, and only used to rehabilitate patients.
It will be safe until the technology is sufficiently compact and easy to handle to be used against the will of people.
(Naturally, this will be of interest to the military.)
You may start conducting dangerous experiments, who knows.
AND what-if a mind-reading device ends up in the wrong hands? We don’t like thinking about it, to be honest.
Now it’s time to hear your opinion.
What do you think of technology?
Is it affecting us in a Good way or Bad way?
Let us know in the comments below.