The Future of Technology (Interview) – Linda Safarik

For my primary research I decided to interview a friend of mine who had a profound interest in futurism and what capabilities technology could have in the future. In my interview I touched on topics that I had covered in each of my blog posts so that I would be able to get more information in relation to the topics I had previously explored. It was interesting to note how my interviewee also thought that the line between what is human and what is man-man is becoming blurred. My interviewee believed technology would become smaller with nanotechnology and that technology will begin to enhance our lives and improve medicine drastically. It was interesting to learn about his perspective on the negatives of technology and the fact that we have lost the element of physical interaction because we are always connected to our digital devices. He stressed the importance of face to face human social interaction which built character, confidence and personal skills. We discussed concerns surrounding climate change in the future and if technology could help reverse this issue, but my interviewee believed that we are unable to reverse climate change and all we can do is work together on reducing the impact that we have on our environment. When I touched on the topic of artificial intelligence and being connected to an artificially intelligent operating system, my interviewee seemed to be concerned about what implications that would have. He felt that there needed to be more product testing before this technology would be released to the public. Overall, it was an interesting discussion that cemented many of the topics that I looked at in my other blog posts.

INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT

How do you envision the future?

While it’s hard for anybody to predict the future, we only need to look at how far we’ve come the last half century to understand how much technology has changed our daily lives. My vision of the future continues this trend, whereby technology will continue to impact and influence our daily lives, but in a more profound way. I believe that technology will evolve to completely encompass our daily lives, blurring the lines between what is human and what is man-made.  As a society we’ll never have been closer, with information and knowledge only a command away.

How do you imagine technology will develop in the future?

I believe that technology (specifically computing power) will continue along the principles of Moore’s Law – that is to double in processing power every year – and become smaller. This will give us the freedom to integrate circuit boards onto the very tiny. The implications of this is that we’ll start to see computers in all the everyday objects that surround our daily lives. I believe they’ll all be connected and smarter, constantly enhancing our daily lives

We’ll also see the rise of nanotechnologies, which will change the medical field drastically. Already we’re seeing the use of technology within the field; however I believe in the future nanotechnology will allow doctors and physicians to understand the human body and their patients more effectively. The technology will be used to help diagnose and pinpoint medical problems, to target & repair, and to perform on-going analysis.

Do you believe technology will help us progress into a more streamlined society?

Definitely. I believe that we will see technological advances that move us towards a more seamless and streamlined interaction with each other and our surrounds. Technologies such as the world wide web have connected the modern world, and I believe that this trend will continue. Not only will technology continue to improve societal interaction, but it will become integrated completely into our daily lives. We’ll be connected via a web of smart networked computers that relay personal and environment information to us at our command.

What do you think the negative implications of technology will be in the future?

Rapid evolution in technology has led us as a society to believe that it has changed us for the better. Unfortunately there are negatives to be found. Communication with distant friends and family is a simple click away. However, whilst we’re more connected, we’re not really connecting. We’ve lost the human element to communication that was once there. By extension, there is a lack of physical interactivity as a society. We’re interacting through screens. This is at the detriment of face-to-face human social interaction which builds character, confidence, and skills for life. There are also significant health impacts because of the lack of physical interactivity.

What about concerns surrounding climate change, will technology be able to help reverse these issues?

No, I don’t believe so. Climate change is non-reversible in the way that the damage already done cannot be reversed in a short period of time. I believe in the future, our reliance on technology and its benefits will grow, therefore we’re only further contributing to our carbon footprint. Unless as a society we are able to improve on making our technologies sustainable to the environment, then we are only adding to the problem.

How do you feel about technology enhancing the human condition?

Subjectively of course, I believe in technology enhancing the human condition. Already we as a society have become largely reliant on technology to carry out our daily lives in a busy modern world. Whether or not collectively we realise this is another topic for discussion! For example as a species we’ve benefited from advances in medical technology, significantly reducing the morality rate in developed countries by eliminating diseases and medical conditions that were once fatal. Our reliance on technology will only become stronger in the future.

How would you feel about being connected to an artificially intelligent operating system that you can converse with?

I’d be concerned about what I was getting myself into. I feel that there would need to be significant product testing before anything like that was released to the public. I think it’s important for there to remain a gap between what is human and what is machine.

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