By: Matthew van GennipStudent # 100152991Class: Social Impact of Technology GNED1002
Our universe is full of planets that are unable tosupport life. Our planet is one of the lucky fewthat does. There is an anonymous quote thatstates “We are the architects of our owndemise.” Technology may ultimately be thecause of our planets destruction. Thispresentation will look at some of thetechnologies that could destroys our world.Note: Throughout this presentation I have included links tovideos that can be used to provide additional information ona given topic.
Machines have made our lives easier. Machines can extend our lifespan. Machines now operate planes (predator drone) (KzoMedia, 2006), power plants, and other municipal systems.
IBM WATSON’S AI COMPUTER Futurist such as Vernor Vinge have predicted the Technological Singularity (Vernor, 2011). In the next 30 years computers will have developed superhuman intelligence (Strickland). Machines may see humans as irrelevant and wipe out the human race as a result.
Clean Energy that gets our world off of fossil fuels. Produces less CO2 then Coal or Natural Gas power plants (Brain & Lamb). Average Nuclear Power plant produces 20 metric tons of radio active waste (Brain & Lamb). Chernobyl and Fukushima- Daiichi are two examples of nuclear disasters that cost many people their lives (Brain & Lamb). Can weaponize the technology to create Atomic Bombs.
Expanding our knowledge of the Universe (SETI Institute, 2012). Could potentially make contact with another worlds. We could make contact with another world that is more advanced then our own and wants to destroy our world or conquer it for the resources.
“Genetic engineering is a process in which recombinant DNA (rDNA) technology is used to introduce desirable traits into organisms” (FDA, 2011). Produces pesticide resistance plants. Animals can be larger.
Long term health effects of genetically modified foods are unknown. Creation of biological weapons such a viruses could wipe out humanity.
Computers have connected our world. Computers have made it possible to run facilities such as nuclear power plants, hydro electric dams, oil pipelines, oil tankers.
Stuxnet is an example of a computer worm that has been used in cyber warfare (Nguyen, 2011). The worm was designed to target Iranian uranium enrichment equipment in an effort to slow its nuclear weapons program (Nguyen, 2011). Given our worlds connected systems the potential for a virus to cause a cascading failure of our computer systems could be what destroys our planet.
Nano bots is an emerging technology whereby tiny robots at or close to the scale of a nanometer can be used in concert to perform a variety of tasks (Strickland). These nano bots have a number of potential applications in the medical industry in the fight against cardio vascular disease and Cancer (Strickland).
Nanobots could be engineered for destructive purposes. They have the potential to be used to attack healthy cells. Nano Bots may one day be self replicating and because of exponential growth may consume the world as seen in this humorous video (Rowe, 2009).
As a species we have the potential to do amazingthings with the technology we create. As we developnewer and more sophisticated technologies we mayin fact be the architects of our own demise. No onemay know this fact better than J. RobertOppenheimer the father of the atomic bomb. In aninterview he quotes the Hindu Scripture Bhagavad-Gita; Now I am become Death, the destroyer ofworlds (Oppenheimer). So many technologies havethe potential for good or for evil. We can only hopethat technology will continue to be used to improveour world and not destroy it.
Brain, M., & Lamb, R. (n.d.). How nuclear power works. Retrieved from http://www.howstuffworks.com/nuclear-power.htmFDA. (2011, May 23). Genetic engineering. Retrieved from http://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/DevelopmentApprovalProcess/GeneticEngineering/ default.htmKzoMedia. (Producer) (2006). Predator drones [Web]. Retrieved from http://youtu.be/nMh8Cjnzen8N.A. (n.d.). 10 ways technology could destroy the world. Retrieved from http://www.virginmedia.com/digital/galleries/how-technology-will-destroy-the- world.php?ssid=1Nguyen, T. C. (2011, July 2011). Infographic: how stuxnet supervirus works.. Retrieved from http://www.smartplanet.com/blog/thinking-tech/infographic-how-stuxnet-supervirus- works/7698Oppenheimer, R. J. (Performer) (N.D.). Now i am become death, the destroyer of worlds [Web]. Retrieved from http://youtu.be/26YLehuMydo
Rowe, A. (2009, March 10). How to destroy the world with nanotechnology. Retrieved from http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2009/03/evilnanotech/SETI Institute. (2012). Seti institue. Retrieved from http://www.seti.org/Strickland, J. (n.d.). How nanorobots will work. Retrieved from http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/nanorobot6.htmStrickland, J. (n.d.). Whats the technological singularity?. Retrieved from http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/gadgets/high-tech- gadgets/technological-singularity.htmVernor, V. (Performer) (2011). Vernor vinge on the technological singularity [Web]. Retrieved from http://youtu.be/5zMAiGcDHG8