Replacing jobs with AI technology


Replacing jobs with AI technology

Times they are a-changin', and with developments in AI technology happening every day, it's just a matter of time before our jobs are taken over by robots who are cheaper to run than the cost of manual labour. Right?

Well, it is safe to say that a large number of jobs will be able to be automated by these advancements. If employers can save money on labour costs, why would they not? But there will (probably) always be jobs that require a human input. If anything, while some jobs will be replaced, most will just be altered to work alongside the algorithms and machinery that will take out a lot of the manpower and allow companies to focus on developing their products and work while the robots do all the hard work.
Any work that is repetitive and data heavy will be the first to be replaced. Telemarketing and data input are likely to be heavily AI operational in the coming years, however this doesn't mean that telemarketers and data inputters will lose their work. Telemarketing is a form of sales in which there will always be work, and so telemarketers will maybe have to make a sideways step to continue working in a similar field. Data inputters might have to readjust as data analysts, as we will still require people to interpret all of the data otherwise it is pointless to possess data in the first place. The repetitive part of the job will be replaced, and the human input will revolve around more strategic roles that require interpreting, analysing, and creativity, which is harder to automate.
The key to retaining your job is looking at how human touch can compliment the work. This is particularly obvious in creative roles, such as music and art. While there were attempts to create a fully automated song using algorithms to create melody and lyrics, the results were deracinating, alienating, and nothing like the music we hear on the radio today. Work that requires negotiation and persuasion (such as working as a lawyer), community building and empathy is difficult to automate as it requires so heavily on human input. Also, work creating AI technology is not yet automated, and if it becomes so, results could be potentially dire, so the human input is vital and the demand for AI development is very high.
Another point worth mentioning is that candidate sourcing and interview scheduling work is likely to be automated quickly. Human decision making is easily reduced to a computer algorithm, which means that when you are applying for work, you will not only have to think about how the employer will look at your resume, but also how a computer would read and interpret it and whether or not you are well represented from both perspectives.
From the bottom of the ladder, the thought of a robot taking your job is quite scary, but there are plenty of benefits to AI technology in the workplace from a larger perspective. Working with robots and algorithms reduces the human error margin substantially, and accuracy levels are likely to be much higher (particularly good for roles such as surgery). Demeaning and repetitive work can be automated so minds can be better stimulated working on challenging decisions and development that would otherwise not happen due to a heavy workload requirement. While initial startup costs are high, companies can potentially save thousands, even millions of dollars over time. Even by replacing simple tasks in your day to day life, such as cooking and cleaning, with automated systems, will save time and energy which can be focussed on living a happier, healthier lifestyle with less to worry about, or even on work and development.
While the world is changing and we are advancing quicker into the future than ever before, we will always require a need for human interaction, for empathy, sympathy and creativity which are qualities that we are yet to be able to teach to robots and computers. By being open to change and accepting it, we can work alongside the new technology to also advance our businesses and work faster than ever before, and to reach possibilities that ten years ago were absurd to even dream of.


Quotes by Indian Entrepreneurs


Indian Entrepreneurs

If you are looking for some inspiration to start your business, then look no further. These quotes detail Indian entrepreneurs' stories of success, struggles, challenges and failures and how they made it.

“As a company, you have to look at growth both vertically and horizontally.” - Rajesh Prasad, Innoviti
“There is a rich heritage behind khadi, and it also contributes to the livelihoods of many.” - Siddharth Mohan Nair, DesiTude
“Reputation is an ongoing process.” - Tamanna Mishra
“Companies with paperless technology platforms are well-positioned to leverage the latest trends in consumer technology.” - Ben Elliott, Experian
“Most people fall in the trap of solving problems all the time and not thinking enough about how to not have them at first place.” - Vasan Subramanian, Accel Partners
“Consumers are juggling today with less time available for cooking, lack of healthy options, tasteless frozen foods — the joy of cooking is dying.” - Prayank Swaroop, Accel Partners
“You constantly think about what next and build things that work. You must learn constantly.” - Amar Chokhawala, Reflektion
“Collecting customer satisfaction score is an easy and cost-effective method to gauge consumer sentiments.” - JD Pawar, Wheelstreet
“You need to have a good education. It serves as a fallback if things don't work out. It opens up many doors and people take you more seriously.” - Ujval Nanavati
“A lot of companies focus only on the new customers coming in and forget about their existing customer base.” - Prabhakar Reddy, Accel Partners
“Art is both universal and personal at the same time.” - Giridhar Khasnis, Gallery Manora
“We need bias free organisations with diverse and inclusive cultures to create happier workplaces.” - Viji Hari, KelpHR
“The way to construct online learning content is to sequence learning much the same way as a TV soap.” - Abhijit Bhaduri, ‘The Digital Tsunami'
“SMEs are vital for the economic growth and competitiveness of the country. But absence of digitised data has forced them to face a lot of challenges.” - Atul Banga
“A composting revolution – no food waste to landfill – should become the mantra.” - Pink Chandran, Solid Waste Management Roundtable
“We have till date created less than $35 billion market cap for all tech startups combined in India. In the next decade, this number can become $500 billion.” - Rahul Chowdhri, Stellaris Venture Partners
“India's service-centric and fragmented healthcare industry is plagued with a reactive care, curative mindset.” - Hari Thalapalli, CallHealth
“The government should support startups that create solutions right from soil analysis to produce marketing. Such startups must look at farming in a holistic way.” - Sathya Raghu V. Mokkapati, Kheyti
“Every third Indian still lacks access to amenities such as nutrition, education, healthcare, electricity, and safe drinking water.” -Raj Janagam, Surge Impact
“Use of wetland for agriculture and fisheries would change the face of rural Bihar.” - Mangala Rai, ICAR
“The biggest real estate available in the city was on rooftops.” - Sriram Aravamudan, My Sunny Balcony
“The story of fintech in India will not be the story of David vs Goliath. It will be the story of Goliath vs Goliath. And the smarter Goliath will win.” - Pranay Bhardwaj, SlicePay
“Scale is always a barrier to entry. Who can compete with an Ola or an Uber?” - Raja Lahiri, Grant Thornton
“The barrier to enter consumer internet businesses doesn't exist anymore.” - Rahul Chari, PhonePe
“If you don't bring different marketing channels together, competitors will take advantage of your silo approach.” - Deepak Kanakaraju, Razorpay
“It is ultimately the market that proves everyone right or wrong.” - Sartaj Anand, egomonk
“Consumers are increasingly looking for such quirky merchandise.” - Arvind Singhal, Technopak
“It is not services that will make you money, it is software with Machine Learning and AI that makes money.” - Vishal Sikka, ex-Infosys
“Co-working spaces are better than business centres.” - Shiv prasad Singh, RICSSBE l Sikka, ex-Infosys


Technology scans your minds holiday



You might think you know where you want to and what you want to do when you travel, but new technology is seeking to tap into you subconscious to uncover where you want to go.

Thanks to a prototype created by UK travel company TUI - formerly Thomson - you don't have to be torn two or three great destinations anymore. This prototype takes soul-searching out of the equation and uses emotionally intelligent technology to discover travellers‘ true holiday desires and develop a personalised travel itinerary based on subconscious thoughts.
It sounds like Minority Report, doesn't it? You are probably wondering how this works as it sounds like an invention from the future but the idea is fairly simple. While viewers watch a rapid series of moving images of different travel destinations and experiences, the device measures their facial response and uses the data to create a “perfect holiday” based on their natural reaction to what they are viewing.
The prototype, named “Destination U”, is undergoing consumer testing with plans for public retail trials in “the near future.” According to the company, in just a matter of time, the prototype could be using facial coding and emotion measurement to help their customers “choose a trip that matches their emotional needs.”
The prototype, developed by the company Realeyes, directs cameras at 149 different points on the face to track subtle facial reactions while the person watches a two-minute video, showing a series of people engaged in different travel activities, such as skiing, relaxing on the beach, trekking through greenery, bungee jumping, surfing, and so on.
Destination U is founded on the notion that viewers will have subtle facial reactions to the videos that will uncover their true, subconscious thoughts and feelings about each destination. At the end of the video, Destination U will reveal which activity/destination your face responded to most positively.
Its founder, Mikhel Jaatma, explained that 90 percent of human decision-making is done subconsciously. He said that the current method many companies have to find out what customers want is through verbal or written questionnaires, which can be rather tedious.
He added: “Emotion measure measurement technology captures and delivers unfiltered emotional responses in real-time, delving much deeper and detecting non-conscious signals to stimuli. People aren't considering their responses, they are organically reacting, giving a far more intuitive and raw response.”
According to the company, the prototype is now “well into testing.” UK managing director Nick Longman explained that the “Destination U prototype enables holidaymakers to intuitively unlock different travel possibilities and think about options they may not have considered before.”
He explained: “After taking more than 100 million customers on holiday over the last six decades as Thomson we understand that one size no longer fits all when it comes to travel. People are looking beyond the traditional package holiday, they want a holiday that is handpicked just for them and the next evolution in mass market travel is personalisation and customisation.”
He added: “It is our ambition to create holidays so personalised that they ‘choose you'. Or to put it another way, take customers to their perfect ‘Destination U'.
The software is still in prototype and not widely available to customers, but once TUI launches the product on the market, it could be implemented on a webcam, allowing anyone where uncover the secret travel desires of their subconscious from the comfort of their homes.
If this software sounds familiar to you, that's because this is not the first prototype that uses facial recognition and scanning for feelings to reveal your travel desires. Indeed, Expedia released in 2016 a web campaign called “Discover Your Aloha” which recognised facial reactions to different activities in Hawaii with a webcam and a series of videos.
Martin Salo, Co-Founder of Realeyes, said, “what's special about Destination U is that it really takes facial expression data and creates personalised experiences, so it learns whether you like beaches or city breaks and then creates a unique destination recommendation specially for you.”
Nick Longman added, “Thompson is a great heritage business, but TUI is much more modern, much more contemporary business. We've been introducing virtual reality into stores and that has had a great reception. This is now taking it to the next level. I think customers are definitely ready to come in and be inspired.”


Technology Wizards


Technology New Website Blog MRI

Behind every great invention, there's a great mind working towards progress. From mobile technology medical inventions, these technology wizards have revolutionised the way we live.

Paul Lauterbur and Peter Mansfield's invention - magnetic resonance imaging - has transformed almost every area of surgery, enabling doctors to see inside a patient's body without cutting it open first.
“MRI has totally changed neurosurgery,” says Nirit Weiss, assistant professor of neurosurgery at Mouth Sinai School of Medicine in New York. “If you open the skull and look at the brain, it looks like a blob - you can't just look at it and see the different cell groups. But MRI has allowed us to visualise the brain's structures so we have a map in our head of where to go and where to avoid.”
Some revolutionaries were neglected by the scientific establishments of their time. For instance, Rosalind Franklin was excluded from sharing in the Nobel Prize for the discovery of the structure of DNA, despite her great contributions to the understanding of the molecular structures of DNA. In fact, she gave her life to the cause by exposing herself to massive amounts of radiation just to try to get the best possible X-ray photograph of a strand of DNA, which led her to die of cancer at the early age of 37. Her contribution made through the double helix provided the crucial evidence James Watson and Francis Crick needed to complete their model, and even so, neither scientist acknowledged her work when they received the Nobel Prize in 1962.
Another tech inventor that has changed the world is Tim Berners-Lee, credited with investing the World Wide Web in 1989. Upon designing and building the first Web browser, editor and server, he changed the way information is created and consumed.
Bill Gates also revolutionised the world today. He had an early interest in software and began programming computers at the age of thirteen. Later on, he founded Microsoft which became famous for their computer operating systems and killer business deals.
“I choose a lazy person to do a hard job because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it,” Bill Gates said, in reference to the popular belief that inventors are lazy people who find a way to make their lives easier. “He also once said, “I failed in some subjects in exam, but my friend passed in all. Now he is an engineer in Microsoft and I am the owner of Microsoft.” He has also been quoted saying: “Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for one.”
Still in the field of computers, Jack Kilby and Robert Noyce independently invented the single integrated circuit - the microchip - in 1959. This invention powered through the greatest obstacle to fast and more powerful computers. The microchip sparked a revolution in technological miniaturisation. Although Kilby was the one awarded with the Nobel Price, it was Noyce's silicon-based chips that became popular, founded Intel in 1968, which is today the largest manufacturer of semiconductors. That year, Kilby also invented the personal calculator.
Filmmaker George Lucas revolutionised special effects in the movies by pioneering motion control camera techniques and spearheading the computer-generated imaging revolution in the 1980s. This revolution had its roots in Lucas‘ ILM (Industrial Light and Magic), which he founded in 1975 to bring his vision of Star Wars to life.
“A special effect is a tool, a means of telling a story,” Lucas said. “A special effect without a story is a pretty boring thing.”
He has also revealed that “the secret to film is that it's an illusion.”
Many has wondered where he got the inspiration from to revolutionise the film industry, he has stated: “As a kid, I read a lot of science fiction. But instead of reading technical, hard-science writers like Isaac Asimov, I was interested in Harry Harrison and a fantastic, surreal approach to the genre. I grew up on it. Star Wars is a sort of compilation of this stuff but it's never been put in one story before, never put down on film. There is a lot taken from Westerns, mythology, and samurai movies. It's all the things that are great put together. It's not like one kind of ice cream but rather a very big sundae.”


Simulation technology to predict refugee crisis


refugees are welcome

A new computer simulation of refugees' journeys when they flee major conflicts can correctly predict more than 75% of their destinations, and may become a vital tool for governments and NGOs to contribute to allocate humanitarian resources more effectively and at strategic points.

Researchers at Brunel University London - Diana Suleimenova, Dr David Bell and Dr Derek Groen - from the Department of Computer Science, used publicly available refugee, conflict and geospatial data to construct simulations of refugee movements and their potential destinations for African countries.
The data-driven simulation tool was able to predict at least 75 percent of refugee destinations correctly after the first 12 days for three different recent African conflicts. It also proved to be more accurate than established forecasting techniques (‘naïve predictions') to forecast where, when and how many refugees are likely to arrive, and which camps are likely to become full and need a higher number of resources and assistance. These results were published in Scientific Reports.
The research team created their simulations for Burundian crisis in 2015, which took place after Pierre Nkurunziza attempted to become president for a third term; the Central African Republic (CAR) crisis in 2013, triggered when the Muslim Seleka group overthrew the central government; and the Mali civil war in 2012, which was caused by insurgent groups campaigning for independence of the Azawad region.
The team relied on open data resources to both enable these simulations and validate their accuracy. These sources included refugee registration data from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), conflict data from the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project and geographic information from Microsoft Bing Maps.
While not all refugee movements are accurately predicted in these simulations, their approach emulated the key refugee destinations in each of the three conflicts, thus it can be re-applied to simulate other conflict situations reported on by the UNHCR.
For instance, in Burundi, the simulation correctly predicted the largest inflows in Nyarugusu, Mahama and Nakivale throughout the conflict's early stages. Meanwhile, the simulation correctly reproduced the growth pattern in East camp of Cameroon, as well as the stagnation of refugee influx into Chad's camps. In Mali, the simulation accurately predicted trends in the data for both Mbera and Abala, which put together account for around three-quarters of the refugee population.
The researchers used a new-agent based modelling programme named Free, which was revealed to the public with the publication of their paper. Although agent-based modelling has been used more widely to study population movements, and has become a prominent method to explain migration patters, this is the first time it has been used to predict the destinations of refugees fleeing conflicts in the African continent.
Suleimenova, Bell and Groen explain in Scientific Reports that their simulation is not directly tailored to these conflicts, but a ‘generalised simulation development approach' which can forecast the distribution of refugee arrivals across camps, given a particular conflict scenario and a total number of expected refugees.
This simulation development approach allow organisations to quickly develop simulations when a conflict occurs, and enables them to investigate the effect of border closures between countries and forced redirection of refugees across camps. It also serves of assistance to define procedures for collecting data and validating simulation results, aspects which are usually not covered when presenting a simulation model on its own.
According to the authors, “Accurate predictions can help save refugees' lives, as they help governments and NGOs to correctly allocate humanitarian resources to refugee camps, before the (often malnourished or injured) refugees themselves have arrived. To our knowledge, we are the first to attempt such predictions across multiple major conflicts using a single simulation approach."
The authors also urge greater investment in the collection of data during conflicts and they explain what this is important and what it's hard to get. "Empirical data collection during these conflicts is very challenging, in part due to the nature of the environment and in part due to the severe and structural funding shortages of UNHCR emergency response missions. Both CAR and Burundi are among the most underfunded UNHCR refugee response operations, with funding shortages of respectively 76 and 62%".
With record levels of 22.5 million refugees on a global scale, "more funding for these operations is bound to save human lives, and will have the side benefit of providing more empirical data – enabling the validation of more detailed prediction models."
The research group aims at collaborating with humanitarian organisations, adapting their technology to help specific humanitarian efforts, and to further reduce the time of development by automating the creation of these simulations.
'A generalized simulation development approach for predicting refugee movements' by Diana Suleimenova, David Bell and Derek Groen (Department of Computer Science, Brunel University London) is published in Scientific Reports.


Google’s DeepMind: Advance in AI



Acquired by Google in 2014, DeepMind is a British artificial intelligence company founded in September 2010. The company has created a neural network that learns how to play video games in a fashion similar to that of humans, as well as a Neural turing machine, a network that may be able to access an external memory like a conventional turing machine, resulting in a computer that imitates the short-term memory of the human brain.

The company became famous in 2016 after its AlphaGo program beat a human professional Go player for the first time, and made headlines again after beating Lee Sedol, the world champion in a five game tournament.
Google's DeepMind has made another big advance in artificial intelligence by getting a machine to master the Chinese game of Go without help from human players. Although AlphaGo started by learning from thousands of games played by humans, the new AlphaGo Zero began with a blank Go board and no data bar the rules. After learning the rules, AlphaGo Zero played itself. Within 72 hours it was good enough to beat the original program by 100 games to zero.
DeepMind's chief executive, Demis Hassabis, said the system could now have more general applications in scientific research. “We're quite excited because we think this is now good enough to make some real progress on some real problems even though we're obviously a long way from full AI,” he said.
The software defeated leading South Korean Go player Lee Se-don by four games to one last year in a game where there are more possible legal board positions than there are atoms in the universe. AlphaGo also defeated world's number one Go player, China's Ke Jie.
Go is an abstract strategy board game for two players, in which the goal is to surround more territory than the opponent. The game was invented in China over 2,500 years ago, and thus, it's believed to be the oldest board game that is still played today. The rules are simpler than those of chess and the player usually has a choice of 200 moves throughout the game, compared with about 20 in chess. Top human players usually rely on instinct to win.
The achievements of AlphaGo required the combination of vast amounts of data - records of thousands of games - and a vast computer-processing power.
David Silver, lead researched on AlphaGo, said the team took a different approach with AlphaGo Zero. "The new version starts from a neural network that knows nothing at all about the game of Go," he explained. "The only knowledge it has is the rules of the game. Apart from that, it figures everything out just by playing games against itself."
While AlphaGo took months to get to the point where it could take on a professional, AlphaGo Zero got there in just three days, and only using a fraction of the processing power.
"It shows it's the novel algorithms that count, not the computer power or the data," says Mr Silver.
He highlighted an idea that some may find scary: in just a few days a machine has surpassed the knowledge of this game acquired by humanity over thousands of years.
"We've actually removed the constraints of human knowledge and it's able, therefore, to create knowledge itself from first principles, from a blank slate," he said.
While AlphaGo learned from and improved upon human strategies, AlphaGo Zero devised techniques which the professional player who advised DeepMind admitted had never seen before. It is able to do this by using a novel form of reinforcement learning, in which AlphaGo Zero becomes its own teacher. The system starts off with a neural network that knows nothing about the game of Go. It then plays games against itself, by combining this neural network with a powerful search algorithm. As it plays, the neural network is tuned and updated to predict moves, as well as the eventual winner of the games.
This updated neural network is then recombined with the search algorithm to create a new, stronger version of AlphaGo Zero, and the process begins again. In each iteration, the performance of the system improves by a small amount, and the quality of the self-play games increases, leading to more and more accurate neural networks and ever stronger versions of AlphaGo Zero.
This technique is more powerful than previous versions of AlphaGo because it is no longer constrained by the limits of human knowledge. Instead, it is able to learn tabula rasa from the strongest player in the world: AlphaGo itself.
Many of the research team have now moved on to new projects where they want to apply the same software to new areas. Demis Hassabis stated that some areas of interest include drug design and the discovery of new materials.
Some might see AI as a threat, but Hassabis looks into the future with optimism. “I hope these kind of algorithms will be routinely working with us as scientific experts medical experts on advancing the frontiers of science and medicine - that's what I hope," he says.
Nonetheless, he and his colleagues are aware of the dangers of applying AI techniques to the real world at a fast pace. A game with clear rules and no element of luck is one thing, but the random real world is another.

China pioneers next revolution in mobile tech


mobile 5g

The fifth generation of mobile connection is just around the corner. Just like it happened with 4G, 5G will eventually become the leading mobile technology. The only difference is that this time it's not the U.S. or Japan, but China that is pioneering the cutting edge of mobile technology.

According to a report published by CSS Insights, 1 billion people will be using 5G connections by 2023. The mobile industry analysts forecasts that China will account for half of all 5G users by 2022. The report predicts that China will maintain a sizeable hold until 2025, accounting for 40 percent of global 5G connections that year. This adoption is expected to take place faster than 4G, but several factors might hinder its progress.
“China will dominate 5G thanks to its political ambition to lead technology development, the inexorable rise of local manufacturer Huawei, and the breakneck speed at which consumers have upgraded to 4G connections in the recent past,” Marina Koytcheva, VP Forecasting at CCS Insight, told CNBC.
According to the report, China will take the lead in 5G users, while Japan, the U.S. or South Korea will launch the first commercial 5G network. Meanwhile, Europe is expected to trail behind by at least a year.
Although 1 billion people are expected to use5G by 2023, the report doesn't foresee the new mobile generation having a dramatic presence in the Internet of Things (IoT). There are no clear expectations on how it will affect autonomous cars, and CSS states that such “mission critical” services will “have to wait even longer to come to the fore.”
CSS cautions there are still some uncertainties pertaining how and where network operators will deploy vast numbers of new base stations, the lack of clear business case for operators, and consumers' willingness to upgrade their smartphones. It all depends on users buying new devices that take advantage of 5G. Otherwise there's no point in continuing investing in it. Meanwhile, Europe is expected to face its own challenges, stemming from market fragmentation, the availability of spectrum, and the influence of regulators.
According to the forecast, mobile broadband access on smartphone will be the principal area of 5G adoption, representing a colossal 99 percent of total 5G connections by 2025.
Kester Mann, Principal Analyst, Operators at CSS Insight said: “The unrelenting hype that has surrounded 5G for several years has seen a diverse range of applications put forward as the main drivers of adoption. Some of them will be relevant at different times of the technology's development, but the never-ending need for speed and people's apparently limitless demand for video consumption will dominate 5G networks.”
However, CSS Insight sees fixed wireless access as 5G's first commercial application. The report forecasts that the US will be an early adopter, boosted by leading advocates like AT&T and Verizon. However, the long-term opportunity will remain small and the report expects it to represent only a small fraction of total connections.
Although the industry is apparently obsessed with everything being connected in the future, 5G will account for a relatively low number of connections in the Internet of Things (IoT) during the forecast period. 4G will fill the gap and will continue to satisfy demand until narrowband technology is fully supported within the 5G standard. Network operators have only just begun investing in LTW technologies such as NB-IoT and Cat-M to support devices that have life spans of several years. According the report, significant numbers of 5G connections in this area are unlikely before the second half of the 2020s.
Other services, the so-called “mission critical” services, such as autonomous driving - regularly touted as a “killer” application in 5G - will have to wait even longer to come to the fore.
Geoff Blaber, VP Research, America at CCS Insight comments: “5G is about creating a network that can scale up and adapt to radically new applications. For operators, network capacity is the near-term justification; the Internet of Things (IoT) and mission-critical services may not see exponential growth in the next few years but they remain a central part of the vision for 5G. Operators will have to carefully balance the period between investment and generating revenue from new services.”


Remarkable Technology Quotes


bionic arm

Technology has revolutionised the way we live and interact with one another, and as such it has inspired people to describe it in a very clever or emotive way. While some believe that technology has decreased our humanity, others view it as a way to bring the world closer together. For good or for evil, here are some of the best quotes by people who have reflected on the impact technology has had on our lives.

“Technology is anything that wasn't around you when you were born.” - Alan Kay (Computer Scientist)
“All of the biggest technological inventions created by man - the airplane, the automobile, the computer - says little about his intelligence, but speaks volumes about his laziness”. - Mark Kennedy (Author)
“Any sufficiently advanced technology is equivalent to magic”. - Arthur C. Clarke (Author)
“Just because something doesn't do what you planned it to do doesn't mean it's useless”. - Thomas Edison (Inventor)
“It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity”. “The human spirit must prevail over technology.” - Albert Einstein (Scientist)
“One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man”. - Elbert Hubbard (Author)
“Technology is a word that describes something that doesn't work yet”. -Douglas Adams (Author)
“Humanity is acquiring all the right technology for all the wrong reasons”. - R. Buckminster Fuller (Inventor and Author)
“I think that novels that leave out technology misrepresent life as badly as Victorians misrepresented life by leaving out sex”. - Kurt Vonnegut (Author)
“You cannot endow even the best machine with initiative; the jolliest steamroller will not plant flowers”. - Walter Lippmann (Author)
“The real danger is not that computers will begin to think like men, but that men will begin to think like computers.” - Sydney Harris (Journalist)
“If we continue to develop our technology without wisdom or prudence, our servant may prove to be our executioner.” - Omar Bradley (General, US Army)
“The art challenges the technology, and the technology inspires the art.” - John Lasseter (Director)
“Science and technology revolutionize our lives, but memory, tradition and myth frame our response.” - Arthur Schlesinger (Historian)
“This is the whole point of technology. It creates an appetite for immortality on the one hand. It threatens universal extinction on the other. Technology is lust removed from nature.” - Don DeLillo (Author)
“This is why I loved technology: if you used it right, it could give you power and privacy.” - Cory Doctorow (Journalist)
“The most technologically efficient machine that man has ever invented is the book.” - Northrop Frye
“It's supposed to be automatic, but actually you have to push this button.” - John Brunner (author)
“Books may look like nothing more than words on a page, but they are actually an infinitely complex imaginotransference technology that translates odd, inky squiggles into pictures inside your head.” - Jasper Fforde (novelist)
“Technological progress has merely provided us with more efficient means for going backwards.” - Aldous Huxley
“Technology... the knack of so arranging the world that we don't have to experience it.” - Max Frisch
“Technology frightens me to death. It's designed by engineers to impress other engineers. And they always come with instruction booklets that are written by engineers for other engineers - which is why almost no technology every works.” - John Cleese
“The great myth of our times is that technology is communication.” - Libby Larsen
“Computers are useless. They can only give you answers.” - Pablo Picasso
“TV and the Internet are good because they keep stupid people from spending too much time out in public.” - Douglas Coupland (Canadian novelist and artist)


The downside of technology


brain workshop

Although technology has allowed us to find any place on the planet by using Google Maps or manage our finances from out smart phone, there's also a downside to technology.

Although having a GPS might be very practical to find a destination while navigating unfamiliar routes, constantly looking down at a GPS app while driving might lead cause an accident as it distracts the driver from watching the road.
According to a study published in 2012 in the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, the human brain has a limited capacity in processing information at one time. Therefore, a GPS app might distract the driver from focusing on the road as they try to recall the on-screen directions, increasing the risk of accidents.
Hearing someone next to you talking on a phone might be distract you from what you are doing. According to a study by the University of San Diego, in this situation the brain tries to fill in the blanks in a halfalog - one half of a conversation. When this happens, people find it hard to concentrate on their present activity.
Although kindles have made available almost any you book you can think of anywhere and anytime, according to a study published on Research Gate, people who read a short story printed on paper are more likely to remember more details compared to those who read it on a Kindle.
The study's lead researcher from the University of Stavager in Norway, Anne Mangen, said that those reading on paper also have a tactile sense of progress as they touch and manipulate the pages. The experience is not the same with a kindle, as you flip through digital pages with the swipe of a finger.
“[The differences for Kindle readers] might have something to do with the fact that the fixity of a text on paper, and this very gradual unfolding of paper as you progress through a story, is some kind of sensory offload, supporting the visual sense of progress when you're reading,” said Mangen.
Although autocorrect might be very convenient at times as it fixes typos and it corrects mistakes, it might worsen your grammar and proofreading skills. Apparently, the brain is able to understand words as long as the first and last letters are correct. Nonetheless, once the brain grows familiar with typos and grammar mistakes, people may stop seeing the difference between what's correct and what's wrong. This phenomenon might lead to failure in noticing their own mistakes while proofreading.
Detractors, including industry leaders, scientists and scholars, argue that the abuse of technology in our daily lives may hinder contemplative thought, conversation, patience and a sense of play previous generations enjoyed.
Endless hours under the influence of hyper-connectivity might hinder human attention and depth of discourse. Meanwhile, shorter attention spans and a need for instant gratification can make it harder to concentrate on and solve complex problems. Always being online can affect genuine human interaction among friends and family.
Multitasking and spending just 140 characters or less on a topic has led to a distracted generation without direction or the ability engage in deeper thinking.
According to Mashable, technology has also altered our sleeping habits. Technophiles are used to falling asleep with their laptops nearby after watching an episode on Netflix on catching with friends on social media. Other read an episode of a book on their Kindle. Those habits might be keeping us from getting enough sleep. Some neuroscientists argue that the light emitted by electronic devices' screens might mess with your body's internal light cues and sleep-inducing hormones.
Although technology may have negative effects on our brain, it makes it easier for artists and non-artists alike to engage with creative media. According to author Clay Shirkey, social media prompts users to engage with texts, images and videos in a way that simply watching television doesn't. As social media encourages users to share images and words with a community, they feel more inclined to create and share something of their own, which includes but is not limited to a Flickr album, a book review, a contribution to Wikipedia or a DIY project.
"We do things because they're interesting, because they're engaging, because they're the right things to do, because they contribute to the world," said Daniel Pink, author of Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, in a conversation with Wired and Shirkey.
"Once we stop thinking of all that time as individual minutes to be whiled away and start thinking of it as a social asset than can be harnessed, it all looks very different," said Shirkey. "The buildup of free time among the world's educated population — maybe a trillion hours per year — is a new resource."


Technology revolutionises the Church



church tech

If you enter a Mormon Church, you'll come across a group of missionaries holding an iPad and although you might blame it on Millennials, the truth is that missionaries use those iPads for religious purposes. They use those iPads with contact one another, to keep the Book of Mormon and other religious books handy, and to organise their lives around the Church. Technology hasn't just impacted the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) but most Churches.

Whether it enhances the worship experience as projectors empower the words on screen or allow religious communities to stay in touch in their everyday lives, technology has proven to be a great addition to the church. Technology serves as a tool to empower the religious message and to allow to reach more people on a global scale. Social networks has also helped to advertise church programmes and seeking assistance for outreach programmes.
Technology has also impacted the church's ministry. Pastor Joan Gumbs of How Ya Livin' Now share with Family and Religion that one of the negative effects of technology on anyone including Christians is the addiction element.
“Times have changed, and one can find oneself being addicted to the Internet. It is amazing to see during a service, church members checking out their Facebook profile. And if that wasn't bad enough, they an also be found tweeting about the service on the Twitter platform,” she shared.
According to Gumbs, this addiction to technology can lead to alienation of some church members from others.
"Whereas there has always been cliques in the church, it was never as bad as it has become since the advent of technology in the church. If you don't have an iPhone or iPad you are not a part of the 'in' crowd," she said adding that this kind of materialistic behaviour should never be a part of Christendom.
While technology has helped the church attract non-believers to their religion, it has also led to many believers falling into the trap of being distracted from God. As people's fascination with technology grows, their beliefs start to be replaced by Internet and new electronic devices.
In this day and age, even believers are so consumer by social media that they forget to pray at night or would say a quick prayer before falling asleep.
According to Gumbs, many Christians spend more time sharing Whatsapp chain messages than spreading the word of God. The fascination with social media is such that it even steals time from community outreach.
“Some church members have abandoned actual visitation of members or those in the communities and instead replace it with 'Whatsapp groups' and 'socialising' on their phones," said Gumbs.
It's common now to see parents enjoying the message while the child sits beside them engrossed in their tablets. Although it might seem like a negative occurrence, Gumbs begs to differ.
“While it may seem counter-productive giving children tables to quiet them down in church, the reality is, tablets can be effective tools. For instance, a tablet, which is a mini computer, can have Christian programmes designed for children that can keep them engaged during service, so as not to disrupt the service," she shared.
Meanwhile, social media can also hurt the church as members of the community might tweet or post on Facebook something they dislike about the church and that might go viral, hurting the assembly.
"They can also use the video camera feature on the phone to video anyone in the congregation or on the podium for the same reason," she said.
"Technology of the 21st Century allows man to call his neighbour in Timbuktu on a device in which they can see each other even though they may be thousands of miles apart. Technology allows churches to better communicate with their members, especially those living afar," she said, adding that nothing is wrong with technology. "It has always existed and will continue to do so, with or without those of us who oppose it."


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