Technology: The Scary Reality

We live in a world where the newest version of the iPhone is always around the corner, we are constantly told about the next update of software, and state-of-the-art technology is released on a regular basis. These are the years of incredibly fast paced innovation. However, with this rapid development comes many ethical dilemmas and scary realities. The Reilly Center at Notre Dame releases a list of the Top 10 Technologies that were voted most likely to result in world domination by robots or most likely to invade personal space. So read ahead with caution Collegiettes, you might have encountered some of this tech already, and not just in the movies either.

1. Hello Barbie

We’ve all had those dreams where our toys could talk to us or held imaginary tea parties with our stuffed animals as the guests of honor. Now these dreams are coming true, with a little help from Wifi and interactive technology. The new Hello Barbie allows for a relationship between a doll and her owner complete with personalized conversations straight from the Internet. However, her technology is easily hackable, providing the possibility of direct access to kids and their conversations.

2. Artificial Wombs

Artificial wombs seem like the stuff of science fiction complete with test tubes and questionable ethical decisions. Anyone whose seen the movie Gattica or read Brave New World would shudder automatically after hearing that this technology is not far from being a reality. While the possibilities for huge shifts in the female professional setting and the safety from the risks of childbirth are endless, there are no precedents set for this sort of technology, meaning that the ethical implications have yet to be fully considered.  3. Exoskeletons for the Elderly

Imagine you head over to your grandparents house with the mission of mowing the lawn or painting the fence for them. But when you arrive, both are completed and find your grandparents looking like partial Iron Mans cleaning the house like it was their main mission. Exoskeletons have the potential to extend movement into late years of life and expand the labor market, but that just might make retirement a thing of the past. Don’t we deserve the chance to travel the world and do puzzles all day like the generations before us? 

4. Lethal Cyber Weapons

Sometimes it seems as though every year humans come up with new and horrible ways to cause the destruction of others and this is just another one to add to the list. It has become apparent that a new level of cyber weapons have been created that use technology as warfare. Surprisingly, the U.S. considers it completely legal to use technology to trigger a nuclear meltdown, to open a water supply effectively flooding populated areas, and to disable air traffic control. News stories like this sometimes makes the wilderness a much more welcoming place. 5. Head Transplants

Medical miracles seem to happen all time with new discoveries and doctors who push limits in the name of science. This possibility seems to go to a whole new level of extreme however. Physician Sergio Canevero from Italy has promised the first full head transfer by 2017. Despite the lack of necessary technology and ethical approval, Dr. Canevero is making progress with a potential donor already lined up. The real questions stems not from his ability to fulfill his promise but what would the result be. Will “Frankenstiens” be common in the next few years?

So keep on the lookout for these technologies making big breaks in the markets and on the news. Contrary to popular belief, these are no longer just ideas of science fiction. Check out the Reilly Center Website for a complete list that includes genetic modification and disappearing drones:http://reillytop10.com. And just remember, not all developments are for the best.  

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