Tech Gone Wild: The Crazy, The Cool and The Dangerous

In today’s tumultuous world, where political opinions and ethical dilemmas determine our friendships, social circles and success, we often turn to technology and the Internet. Used to adapt, mold and inform, technology has many features that allow us to advance our society through muddled waters and dense issues. However, as technology evolves at an alarming rate, it has become apparent that many aspects have accompanying ethical issues of their own. Anyone who has seen Black Mirror knows exactly what I’m talking about. Lucky for us here at Notre Dame, the Reilly Center has kindly compiled a Top 10 list for 2017 of the most insane technologies that might have you leaving your smartphone in another room tonight.

1. Automated Politics aka “Fake News”

Extremely prevalent in this election cycle, articles, hashtags and trends circulated throughout mediums such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. What people don’t realize is that many of these sources are completely automated based off of algorithms and contain completely misleading headlines. Clickbait titles and drama draw in the voter and all of a sudden the election is skewed by social media. Not that the Insta caption on your Sunday breakfast photo #brunch #mygurls #cashusoutside carries much weight, but that hashtag sign has created a whole new way of communication that holds much power.

  2. NeuV’s “Emotion Engine”

Have you given your car a name? Do you coax it sweetly up big hills? Wish that you had a consistent sing-a-long buddy? This is legitimately a car that reads the driver’s emotions. The idea is that the car and it’s owner share experiences and understand one another on a different level, forming attachments and relationships. What happens if you get in an accident? Is it like killing your pet? And what if my car doesn’t like my personality, or even worse, my singing?

3. Brain Hacking

Think about already existing gaming technology that operates using EEG’s to record electrical data from your brain. Already relatively cheap, these brainwaves are like fingerprints and are easily recorded on your computer. Once there… hello hackers! And once someone knows all the information about your emotional state, behavior, and other extremely private aspects of your being, there’s no saying what they might do.

4. Predicting Criminality

What would you do if a computer told you that you had a high probability of being a criminal just by looking at your facial features? I mean, how do you insult a computer interface in return? Scientists have come up with software that analyzes pictures and decides who is most likely to be a criminal. While the research still needs work, the ethical implications are huge. Will people be thrown in the slammer just because their nose is a little to the left?

While this article only reviews 4 of the 10 technologies listed, the presence of technology and the enormous issues that loom ahead are consistent throughout. As the generation who grew up with VCRs and flip phones, we’ve had the chance to see the massive advancements and the accompanying problems already. But it’s also our chance to think about these issues before they become standards for the generations to follow.

Want to see the rest of the list?

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