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October 8, 2017

8:52 PM

If we are already overwhelmed by technology, what are we going to do in the future?

Francisco Miraval

I recently received a call from a mother who requested my help because, she told me, the thermostat at her home was not working and, with winter coming very soon, no thermostat meant potential trouble for her and her children. I soon discover the problem was very easy to solve: the batteries inside the thermostat were put in the wrong direction. That was the whole problem.

I also received another call, in this case a person asking me for help because the refrigerator at his home was not working he had five people living there. (By the way, people wrongly assume I have abilities or resources I don’t). I asked this person if he had checked the refrigerator was connected to the electrical outlet. It was not. Once connected, the problem disappeared.

These two persons faced easily-solvable problems. Yet, they couldn’t solve them, but not because of lack of education or of experience. I think the urgencies and challenges of everyday life prevented them from thinking clearly.

So, what would happen when we move from common technology to advanced technology? How are we going to react when faced with new technology? I mean, if the “normal” pressures we already feel every day are so powerful that we can’t even solve a minor technological problem, what are we going to do when technology is so advanced we don’t even understand it?

And that technology is already here.

A few weeks ago, for example, the University of Colorado in Boulder announced they are now using photo-activated nano-particles (that is, particles slightly larger than just a few atoms) to send those particles inside antibiotic resistant bacteria to reduce the resistance of those bacteria to the antibiotics, so previously incurable infections are now cured.

I am not an expert on photo-activated nano-particles and I will never be. So, I can only say that I have seen similar devices being used in science-fiction movies, when rays of light were used to cure injuries or infections. And now that is real. But that’s not it.

Also a few weeks ago, the University of Buffalo in New York announced the development of a new heart scanner that can analyze the shape and size of the heart of a person from 100 feet away, thus confirming or not the identity of that person. The device is so small that it could be installed in the corner of a computer keyboard or inside a smartphone.

According to its creators, the new scanner will soon replace all other forms of identification, from passwords to fingerprints, and even facial recognition or iris scanners. Again, what once was science fiction now it is a reality.

And let’s not forget that Elon Mush announced humans will go to Mars in the near future (2024) and that according to Ray Kurzweil we will become immortal in a decade (2029).

If can’t even change a couple of batteries or plug in a refrigerator, how are we going to live and  survive in the new future? 

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