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4 Technologies that will Change the World in the Near Future

By James Burgess | Fri, 20 April 2012 22:29 | 4

It is nice at times to read about technological advancements, allowing ourselves to be amazed at the potential of the future. The following few ideas are just around the corner from today’s technologies; ideas that could radically change the world and affect the way that society operates. On the face off it the changes seem to be good, but a few offer hidden problems that could prove very difficult to overcome. In some cases the benefits may not be worth the problems.

1. Driverless Electric Cars

Car manufacturers are currently busy trying to research and develop two different technologies which will transform the industry. The obvious and rather more common technology is that off electric cars, which will help reduce emissions and should be cheaper to run.

The less commonly known technology being pursued by car manufacturers is that of driverless cars. Driverless cars will enable a more efficient travel experience, reducing congestion by removing human error from the process. Driverless cars could move around the city with no passengers, arriving at which ever destination they are needed, they would effectively act as your personal chauffeur, picking you up and dropping you wherever you need to be. Although driverless cars do pose a major problem for policy makers; whilst they may be safer than human drivers, who is at fault when something goes wrong?

2. Space Elevators

The possibility of transmitting electricity wirelessly will change the world. Back in 2009 a team of researchers used a laser to beam energy onto a photovoltaic panel which allowed a wireless robot to climb a one kilometre cable. The process is only 40% efficient, but that figure is steadily increasing. One of the most promising implications of this technology would be space elevators; machines that could move along giant cables from the surface of the earth to orbiting satellites. This would slash the cost of leaving the earth’s atmosphere and therefore changing the economics of both satellites and space travel. But how would these cables then affect the use of aircraft within the atmosphere? Clearly no aircraft could travel near any of the cables for risk of collision.

3. Nanotechnology

Nanotechnology offers almost limitless options for application in the world. It would revolutionise disease, and could theoretically cure anything. It could enable clothing fitted with solar cells so that we have our own power sources wherever we go, to charge mobile phones, or power pacemakers. Furniture could be created that can change its shape on command. Nanotechnology could purify dirty water in countries without access to clean water.

4. Machine Intelligence

Despite huge advances in computing, we're still yet to build a machine that can replicate the human brain, whether it be via artificial intelligence or a program that can emulate the brains functions. Economist Robin Hanson argues that when we do, it will be an economic breakthrough akin to the start of farming, or the industrial revolution.

At the moment machines have replaced humans in data entry positions, or simple manufacturing processes, but a machine that can replicate the thoughts and intelligence of a human could threaten the job of anyone.

With computers that can emulate a brain comes the possibility of uploading memories into a machine, potentially creating duplicate copies of your own conscious self. It may seem like an unpleasant idea to many, but there will be many others to whom it will appeal; but then how do we regulate this technology? Do we limit the amount of times you can replicate yourself? Is your ‘copy’ a slave or an individual entity needing to be paid for any work it undertakes? Do you have the right to turn a copy of yourself ‘off’? Who is responsible for crimes that the copy commits?

By. James Burgess of Oilprice.com

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  • W.j.soto on October 13 2013 said:
    I never understand when people say that technology makes us lazy. Technology is our only salvation and if we do not realize this, we will become an endangered species a faster pace. You could always educate yourself further whenever your mind becomes stagnant or lazy like mentioned before. We, will have machines do our work and would only be playing a supervisory role in the planet. Drudgery will come to an end and will b looked upon as ridiculous. Money will no longer b needed. Unfortunately, we live in a world with very few thinking individuals. A world that is dominated by hopers, not thinkers. When this process is finally reversed and we do not waste more time in fantastical tales that never existed, then but only then, we will advance to where we were supposed to be ions ago. This world does not need politicians, police officers, firefighters, or religious figures. What it needs is technicians. People that would understand technology from its inside and out. Please stop saying that technology is going to make us anything but better. Remember of the ampleness of time you will have to learn something new. This could b anything; a new language, a new science, the possibilities then would indeed b limitless. We will finally b the homo-superiors we were meant to b.
  • Martin on August 21 2013 said:
    No man has the right do mess with the natural order of man and it's functions. Technology is slowly making us lazy and less able to depend on one self, we depend on machines way too much
  • cody on April 23 2013 said:
    Space elevators would it be possible for nasa to extend the cables to mars or any other planets in the universe?
  • Sam Blankenship on April 24 2012 said:
    By 2013, we should know how real Low Energy Nuclear Reaction (LENR) is. Inventor Andrea Rossi reportedly is building two US plants to produce millions of his Ecat machines.

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