Some technologies are going to help and threat humans at the same time
The improvement of some of the existing technologies and the development of new ones in the next few years could radically change the way we live, both positively and negatively.
Therefore, as described by Forbes, while we welcome advances in science, it’s crucial that we keep an eye on how some of these technologies are being applied. Some scientific advancements are easily exploited or put to frightening or harmful uses.
Therefore, here are 8 techs that may scare you in the next future.
Artificial intelligence is progressing toward a level of thinking similar to humans in many ways. The “AI singularity” is a possible time in the future when AI surpasses human intelligence, and in a sense, that turning point has already been reached.
With today’s extremely powerful AI algorithms, which are capable of outperforming humans on many different levels, jobs will be significantly impacted. According to experts, 80 to 90% of all present jobs will be enhanced by AI, and many of them will even become wholly obsolete. But the major risk will be the manipulation of information if we rely too much on AI data, as well as using AI as the only source of information with the consequence of providing no more new knowledge to humans because we’ll continuously recycle the same information.
Thanks to CRISPR-Cas9 technology, which allows deleting, inserting, or changing certain DNA sequences, we have the ability to change inheritable genes in plants, animals, and our own human bodies.
It is currently the most straightforward, adaptable, and precise approach to genetic manipulation and is consequently creating a stir in the scientific community.
Gene editing has incredible benefits, as it can help us fight disease, fix genetic mutations that cause devastating illnesses, eliminate food allergies, and ensure we have enough food to feed the planet.
For instance, researchers are exploring a technique to correct a gene mutation that results in Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a fatal disease. CRISPR research on mice and dogs has shown promise and may result in effective treatments for Duchenne muscular dystrophy in people.
On the other side, the concept of permanently altering inheritable genes is highly risky. We can modify genes using CRISPR so that they are permanently incorporated into the genome and passed down from one generation to the next without knowing the future consequences.
Therefore, because its effects are still not fully understood, several nations, including the majority of Europe, have outlawed germline editing; nonetheless, it is currently permitted in China and the United States. Anyway, there are ethical and practical consequences of this technology.
Humans and machines
Humans and machines are already combining in various ways. We can use a prosthetic to replace a lost limb in the event of an accident for example. Contact lenses can also help individuals see better, and with the right technology, we can even give them “super” vision or night vision.
However, the American military has already developed exoskeletons that give soldiers what appear to be superpowers. Researchers are also developing interfaces that may eventually enable entirely human-machine AI capabilities. Some companies have made plans to create mind-reading brain-computer interfaces.
The worry is that this technology might be misused, resulting in a future with superhumans that can be a potential threat to humans without those capabilities.
Virtually any 3D object may be created using 3D printing technology, however, this power can also be misused. It will be more difficult to regulate the printing of weapons, including guns, as 3D printers become more accessible and commonplace. Anyone can download a file and “print” whatever they want, right in their own home.
Because 3D-printed guns lack serial numbers, it is difficult to regulate and trace them, making them an increasing menace. In a suspected makeshift weapons factory in London, British police made a significant seizure of 3D-printed handgun components in October.
As these unregulated firearms enter the mainstream, there is concern that radicals and criminals will obtain them.
Autonomous smart robots
Robots will eventually be able to take the place of humans in many workplace contexts as they develop intelligence and autonomy. Robots that are autonomous are able to choose their own activities based on information in their surroundings.
We already have self-driving cars and robots that serve us food, work in factories, flip hamburgers, pick up grocery orders, and prepare our coffee.
We’ll need to consider how we can retrain and reskill our workforce as individuals in some roles are replaced by these autonomous, intelligent robots, just like with AI. Or even better, we should consider a new perspective of society where jobs are not a central part of our lives.
We are able to trace almost everything in our increasingly digital society. Police departments use facial recognition to track people’s movements while businesses track employees’ keystrokes.
Human rights are at risk from this kind of digital surveillance, which also has a huge potential for misuse.
As a violation of human rights, the United Nations (UN) has officially denounced arbitrary and illegal digital surveillance. In order to ensure that organizations and governments are held responsible for how these tools are used, David Kaye, the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression, called for a worldwide ban on the sale and transfer of digital surveillance tools.
Deepfakes in the Metaverse
While deepfake technology has many useful applications, including the recreation of historical personalities for educational settings for example, malevolent exploitation of this technology is a problem.
Deepfakes can be used to make pictures and videos of anyone, whether they be famous people, public figures, or influential figures in technology, and they can be used to forward any purpose. Deepfakes have advanced to the point where it is difficult to distinguish between authentic video and digital impersonations.
We’ll need techniques to confirm our identity when we enter the metaverse and spend more time online in order to ensure the security of our interactions with others or better yet, we’ll need tools able to detect deepfakes.
Nanobots, or tiny robots at the nanoscale, are microscopic robots that can penetrate the human bloodstream and even cross the blood-brain barrier.
Although there are many potential uses for this technology, including the collection and transmission of data, medicine delivery, and sample taking, there is also a considerable risk of misuse. Nanobots could eventually be employed to transmit human thought, for example.
A single person or group of people might be killed by weaponized nanobots, or even their memories could be changed so they start siding with the enemy. In our contemporary society of increasingly connected technologies, there are also significant privacy problems. In the nanobot world, what safeguards our mental and medical information? To provide openness and stop these issues, strict regulation and control are required.
In short, the next future will bring us so many advanced techs altogether that might be a problem to face all the consequences all of a sudden. Therefore, we need to learn to use these technologies consciously even now. However, for every positive advancement, there’s a negative one. So, only a better society could bring us a better use of technology.