Even though this will be my last blog, I would like to touch on something that affects all of us since we are in the tech field. It is not just us that it affects, it is everyone who owns a device. Since when did we start to let technology take over our lives? Since we started to get smartphones, tablets, and AI gadgets, humans have started to get lazier. Although in the early 1900s, we didn’t have these technology, people were fine and the world ran great without all the advanced tech. They didn’t have advanced tech to rely on where as today our technology is so advanced that we can’t go a day without our smartphones. We see children playing video games rather than toys. One of the biggest thing that we people deal with is eye strains. We look at the screen more than we should be. In the Huffington Post, they stated that “Children should be building towers with blocks, not playing Minecraft.” I agree our generation and technology roll is moving in a good direction, but there is no limit to technology. People also don’t have limitation. Children could be looking at the TV for hours without stopping. “The time spent with technology doesn’t just give kids newfangled ways of doing things, it changes the way their brains work.” We are brain washed and we are getting dumber than before. If we look at the smartphone situation, if we don’t know something, all we do is just ask siri. No need to read books or ask people who aren’t sure of the answers. It makes us lazy and it makes us less sociable because we communicate mostly with text. Texting is good for those who are shy but we don’t talk face to face as much as before. The problem as I said before is people cannot go a day without their smartphone or technology devices. I have to give credit to those who live in third world countries because they are one of the last of our kinds that won’t have this issue. The way they live is what we humans were born to do in the first place. But going back to problem, it makes us lazy and that is also one of the reasons why Americans are becoming out of shape. People are sitting and watching TV or playing video games and not going out and enjoying the outdoors. “With technology that includes cars, television, computers and mobile devices, the amount of time we spend sedentary increased and our time in physical activity dropped.” For this issue, there is a couple of solutions but the best solution depends on if people can reduce the time they use their devices and only use them when necessary. For everyone, this depends on what they think is a good time limit. If everyone can spend less time on their devices than they did before, then they are doing themselves a favor and they are headed in the right direction. Technology makes our lives easier. Today’s students have tremendous opportunities to learn and to connect by using it. But with each advantage comes a potential cost. When we understand those costs and can minimize them, we can keep the use of technology positive.
By now I am sure everyone has heard about the Amazon Echo. But if not, Echo is a device made by Amazon to be of an assistant inside your house. The goal is to make the Echo, and Alexa, even more of a fixture inside people’s homes a system that can help you shop online, control your home’s temperature and, now, converse. With every device out there, there is a way to hack into it. But with the Amazon Echo, the CEO has said it will be much harder. It will also be more privacy friendly due to the fact they have a new feature. When you hit the mute button on Echo, that red ring comes on that says the microphone is turned off. That mute button is connected to the microphone with analog electronics. You have to come physically tamper with the device. The CEO has said that “One of the great issues of our age is going to be privacy.” He also said that “People don’t think about it, but if you have a mobile phone in your pocket, it has microphones on it, and those microphones are under software control.” I think this is a good idea in a way because now we can be more sure that any voice recording is not going to record everything we say. Like our phones, if someone were to tap into our smartphones, we wouldn’t know. They could mess with the microphone and we wouldn’t even know it. Having control of what is on and off is part of the privacy situation. This is also easier to use in your house because you wouldn’t need your smartphone anymore. It’s easier than taking your phone out of your pocket. It is almost as if you were talking to your house. And Amazon has stated that they are focusing on consumers rather than competitors.
With the future of automotive going into self-driving cars, Elon Musk has been setting the future in the right direction. Tesla is a well-known company in the Silicon Valley. Even though all their cars are electric and are environment friendly, going electric is not the only thing they are trying to master. I am sure a lot of people know about Tesla so I won’t go into much details about them, but I will talk about the plans of Tesla. According to Elon Musk, 10 years ago, he made the first Master Plan for Tesla. His goal was to create a low volume car, which would necessarily be expensive, use that money to develop a medium volume car at a lower price, use that money to create an affordable, high volume car, and provide solar power. That has all been done already through the development and production of the roadster, Model S, and the Model X. The Model 3 is part of plan 1 but is still under production and will be released in the near future. Now that plan 1 was covered, let’s go over the new master plan that Elon has released recently. In part 2, it stated that their goal was to create stunning solar roof with seamlessly integrated battery storage, expand the electric vehicle product line to address all major segments, develop a self-driving capability that is 10X safer than manual via massive fleet learning, and enable your car to make money for you when you aren’t using it. That that means is they are going to make every car fully autonomous. Meaning it will be 100% able to be self driven. Yes, the cars now do have this, but not a 100% autonomous made where you can literately sleep and you get from point A to point B without doing anything. Although we knew that was Tesla’s goal all along, it will soon be happening. Next they will also be developing their own type of Uber. Meaning that all the cars that are made by Tesla will be able to pick you up and send you to your destination without the need of a driver. They also stated that if you currently own a Tesla, you can allow your car to do the same, if you so wish to have strangers in your car of course. With this process, you will be able to make money just by giving your car to Tesla’s new system. Although there is more to discuss, I think this is a great idea, although with cars roaming around without a driver, we can expect Tesla will strengthen their back from any lawsuits that may come in. As I am sure Tesla has already aware of since the incident where a man was killed in his Tesla on the freeway. We can definitely see some changes in the future as this plan is the next step in Tesla’s big future.
Development is very important as I have stated that in my previous blogs. Everyone develops at a very young age to what they are now. As we humans grow older, we use what we learn from the past years and use it to our present and future. In a recent article from ABC news, it states that children bond with their parents are the most important. For the past decade and so on, we have all learned from our parents instead of from a toy or a robot. We learn the most with another human interaction and that has made us humans very successful in life. Now that there are AI toys, children are starting to have a bond with the toys. Making conversations and making them their new best friend rather than their parents. Well that was a bit of an exaggeration. But if the parents are working most of the days, then yes it would be true. We have always seen those commercials of First Five California stating we should read, sing and so on with our child. Giving them attentions and nurturing them while they are young. It is also a once in a lifetime moment with your child. Once your child grows up, you will miss those infant years. Looking at how new children are playing with these AI toys, we can predict that they may grow up to be more isolated and less sociable because they were not comfortable talking to another adult or person because they never really had the full experience when they were young. While all this could be false, some of the reasoning could be in fact true to some degree. We see children now with technology in their hand and we see technology advancing so rapidly. We could only imagine what we will have next. Although we shouldn’t rely on technology, the world says otherwise these days. Everyone is trapped within the technology world that it is hard to step back from your phone for even a couple of minutes. Instead of face to face communication, we do texting. The world isn’t what it used to be, and that is alright because the world is changing. The people who don’t use technology are the true winners because they know technology is a trap and not many people out there have this, unless you live in a third world country. It is interesting to see what technology has instore for the children coming up and the early stages of development may be a lot different than today in the future.
Looking at today’s society, we see children with gadgets everywhere. They play with their mom’s iphone, play with ipads, and even watch TV. These children are very spoiled but that’s okay, because our population is moving towards a techy era. While most of us who were born in a time with no smart phones or tablets, we still have to be grateful that we are now able to afford these things. That aside we are now faced with technology everywhere we go. Is it good for children to play with these gadgets while they are young? Well in this article from the Huffington Post, we get some info on the effects of the children’s development. One of the biggest thing technology has affected is the family itself. Long ago families would play games together as a family but now children are able to play games on their own against computers. It also has dramatically changed the children’s imagination due to the fact that the computer or device is doing most of the work for them. In a way technology is making us humans dumber each time we pick the device up. We rely on the devices too much that it has started to consume us, and now it is starting to change our future generation’s mind. Children’s developing sensory, motor, and attachment systems have biologically not evolved to accommodate this sedentary, yet frenzied and chaotic nature of today’s technology. Child obesity and diabetes are now national epidemics in both Canada and the U.S., causally related to technology overuse. The human development never included technology in the past. Children were able to go out and do what humans were capable of doing and not look at a screen 24/7. As the years go by we are able to see children slowing become mature even longer. This is one of the factors due to the exposure of technologies and not enough getting out in the real world instead of the digital world. Can we expect some more results in the future, yes we can. Most of the children’s these days all have smartphones which is making the children think less and rely heavily on the devices. Humans were never supposed to rely on such devices, so having smartphones and tablets and relying on them is in a way making us humans dumber each time we pick them up. So children in a way are not making much progress while growing up. Not much studies have been shown about this but looking at what is going on in today’s children’s habit, we can predict what will happen later.
For the past years, infants have been learning and growing up with parents and toys that don’t speak to them. What would happen if a robot is teaching your child? Would you trust the robot when it teaches your child? What people should really focus is on how they teach these children. The materials these robots teach will influence the child in either a good or bad way. One of the things that may be eliminated if kids interact with talking robots, is a loss of imagination. As children grow up, kids start to have a wide imagination with their plastic toys. But as a robot is replacing the plastic toys, they start to follow and interact with another talking object. The information the child learns may help grow the child overtime but if the robot isn’t working correctly, it could do more harm than good for the child. According to one of the New York Times article, it was stated that infants are molded when they are young and are able to pick up things faster than when they grow in their teen years. So the infant years are the most critical as they are able to pickup habits and language from people around them or in this case from a robot that can communicate to a child. We are still in the early stages where robots may not be teaching children just yet, but kids now have access to AI toys that can communicate back to the child. Children who feel more attached to the toy may start to feel a connection towards it and may even start to learn valuable information from the toy. But what is happening right now is that children are not always being influenced by the robots, they are still partially being influenced by their parents as these AI toys aren’t very common everywhere just yet. But in the near future, we can start to expect children with AI toys and making close connections.
Looking at these AI toys, it doesn’t seem harmless. The toys look friendly and also look like they want to be friends with your child. That is where you may fall into the trap. It is not what is outside that is frightening, it is what is inside the toy’s memory that can be terrifying. Well not that terrifying, but somewhat along the line. Wonder how these toys can remember your name, birthday, and your favorite food? Well everything you tell it is stored somewhere in the toy’s mind. All this data is stored and is able to be processed and sorted out so it can use those answers to reply whenever it becomes relevant. A lot of these toys don’t have much security so a lot of the information can be leaked out. This blog is a bit similar to the last one. If this issue becomes big, whose fault would it be? I don’t want to point fingers yet, but I think there is only a couple of options to pick from. Not much hacking have been occurring lately but who knows, mater on this issue can become big when many manufacturers start doing this AI business. We start to move into a technical world where almost everything we do and touch is electronic. And not just electronic, but smart devices that have minds of its own. The real question people ask is, can we trust these gadgets yet? Well we don’t know yet, because we are still in the process to make these toys better.
People don’t expect these toys to get hacked because they were built to be either education related or fun related. But with everything, there is a weak spot. Data is the biggest in this area, because with the amount of data it generates, it can be something people would want to target next. The only people who can be responsible is the company that makes these products. Everything that happens after the purchase means that whatever happens to the toy, would refer back to who made it in the first place. On the internet, there is lots of data. Same thing with the toys that children are starting to play with. Not much information is given in articles online, but the most notable thing is that these toys are not perfect, but there may be weak areas that can release information that you wouldn’t want others to obtain.