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Surprisingly to some, I am asked why don’t I write about technology since I am such an avid user and proponent of it. By technology I mostly mean...

Surprisingly to some, I am asked why don’t I write about technology since I am such an avid user and proponent of it. By technology I mostly mean computers, applications and gadgets. The truth is, I don’t write often about them, simply because, for to write about technology is almost like writing about my pants or shirt. To me technology is seemingly a part of my life that I almost don’t need to write about it. The ideas behind where technology is taking us is, however, it is more than a concern, it is more of what could become part of my PhD dissertation, once I get accepted by a school I intend to apply. I am sure you must have heard of Moore’s law, who predicted that the rate at which integrated transistors would double every two years. Gordon Moore, who is the co-founder of the giant computer processor company Intel, brought this concept up in paper he wrote in 1965. Now in 2013, it is hard to not give him credit for his prediction has pretty much come about. It is very easy to take the example of computer storage for example. These days we are using powerful computers in our pockets, with the same processing power and storage capacities of computers which appeared in the late 1990s, when the boom of the world wide web started to appear. The very first Intel processors with code name Pentium and Celeron. It all seems nice and fruitful, and many, like myself, have a tendency to be overly excited about these events. As we head out the year 2013, we must ask, where is this speeding up of technology taking us. Are we heading a good direction?

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The Hubo humanoid robot is a South Korean contender in the DARPA challenge. Unlike Asimo, Hubo is not concerned on whether DARPA could apply some its technology for the purpose of weaponization.

When we look what some of new technologies are fueling the very lethal killing machines such as the drones, now we have the autonomous artificial intelligence robots which will pretty much the decisions on who is a threat, we must ask ourselves: Is this where the culmination of technological advancement is really about? As it is a motif in this website, I tend to rant about capitalism, and not that I am a communist, however I think we need some tweaks in the way we do just about everything. If we continue to run a society which thrives with making profits, we will just end up heading in utilizing these amazing technologies to be destructive to ourselves, it will really defeat the purpose. After all, technologies are supposed to enhance our lives, not destruct them and making them harsher, this is counter intuitive. The debacle at the Fukushima plant in Japan in 2011, brought up very interesting questions about the current capabilities in robotic technologies. It is known that have the Japanese had a way to operate the plant within 48 of the explosions, the event would not have become the disaster that it has now become. Therefore, robotic scientists, had faced with the tough reality that they did not have a way to apply their current knowledge of robotics to send a capable robot to aid them when they needed it most. Not even the famous Asimo robot could have been a match to this task, as his limited agility was too frail to pass the test of rubble and unstable terrain. Therefore, there has been a global awakening to the concept of creating humanoid robots which can one day perform the roles of humans. This ideas are the stuff of science fiction, but it is not becoming more real than ever. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has began a robotics challenge and opened the doors to the world and address the issues that stand behind the creation of autonomous machines which can perform the tasks of humans. The problem with DARPA being the initiator of the challenge is that DARPA is a defense agency interested in the development of weapons. DARPA is responsible, among many other innovations, the inventor of the internet. The early ARPANET is the protoype for what we know to be the internet. Let us remember then, that the main reason for the creation of the ARPANET is the that to sustain communications upon a nuclear attack. When asked about whether or not DARPA intends to use the innovations that come forth their robotic challenge, they responded that it is very much unavoidable that these innovations may drive humanoid robots to become deadly weapons such as they are depicted in movies like iRobot, RoboCop, Terminator and countless others. So where technology is taking us?  This really depends on the choices we make, the onus in us to direct the capabilities and opportunities it brings us. You can choose to use your smartphone to play Candy Crush on your daily commute, or listen to audiobooks, or watch documentaries. The choice is yours, the more we elevate our awareness, the more functional members of society we become and thus transform ourselves into active drivers of our future.

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