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Christopher M Yoder
Area of Expertise:
Advocate/Voice of the People
General, Overarching Remarks
Minority Report meet Big Brother; can the two co-exist and have positive influences?
In the not-too-distant future, pervasive technology will be able to keep tab on individuals and influence them in both adverse and positive manners.
The advent of pervasive technology, seen in the blockbuster Minority Report. Instead of paying for a ticket in cash, we will have our retina scanned and have our bank account automatically charged. We will walk into a store and have personalized advertizing from a holograph. This vision might scare some people into a hatred of computers and the dark potential of the Big Brother concept that the internet might usher in. However, this aspect of pervasive technology will also have positive influences. If we are regularly scanned by computers linked to police computers, criminals could be caught more efficiently because they would have nowhere to hide.
A common misconception of the Big Brother concept is that it will make us into slaves but the crime rate in such a society is low; internet can help this. Also, the potential for education in a society that has pervasive technology is immense.
A researcher, wearing a personal computer in the frame of his glasses could query a topic while he his doing an experiment or working on a related field. Or a student in the classroom will be able to search for something that will have a positive influence on the class discussion.
And the ammount of information available to online researchers will be greatly improved. Libraries will consist of small robots flying to a book, scanning the pertinent information and instant-messaging it to the researcher. The great research libraries will be able to handle online and personal queries at the same time and with extreme efficiency.
Another positive influence of the internet and pervasive technology is that car accidents will be eliminated. Computers will soon be driving our cars. This allows us the oppurtunity to do something more productive than driving. When computers start driving our cars, the roadscape will drastically change. Highways with higher and higher velocities will be built. These high-velocity highways will drastically increase the moving potential of producers.
Eventually, computers and the internet will become so sophisticated that we won't drive cars anymore but fly to our destinations.
Pervasive technology is coming our way. There are two foreseeable responses. We can accept it for its intrinsic good, or we can damn it as a Big Brother and go on a jihad against technology.