2018/11/26: Social issues and user experience are the most intriguing among them.
At Gartner’s Symposium/ITExpo in Barcelona, Spain, earlier this month, the research firm shared a report on 10 strategic trends affecting the Internet of Things (IoT) from 2019 to 2023. In the report, titled Top Strategic IoT Trends and Technologies Through 2023, according to multiple published reports, the firm identified the following as the 10 most impactful IoT trends:
Artificial intelligence (AI)
Social, legal, and ethical IoT
Infonomics and data broking
The shift from intelligent edge to intelligent mesh
Trusted hardware and operating systems
New IoT user experiences
Innovation on the chip
New wireless networking technologies for IoT
That’s an intriguing and comprehensive list, but not all the points come with of equal certainty or importance, and some — AI, wireless networking, edge computing and mesh computing — are already on the radar of many industry observers. So, let’s take a closer look at a couple of the most interesting and under-appreciated factors affecting the future of the IoT: social concerns and user experience.
2018/10/03: The announcement from a new genetic technology had successfully eradicated a carefully contained population of Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes grabbed headlines last week across the world. It not only indicated an incredible piece of science. It also opened a Pandora’s box of complicated ethical questions.
The technology works by creating a disruption to a particular gene found in the sex cells of mosquitoes. By manipulating something called the “doublesex” gene, the researchers were able to ensure a stream of female descendents possessing a biological mix of both male and female mosquito parts. These “intersex” mosquitoes are both genetically and phenotypically revolutionary.
Is it desirable for humans, rather than evolutionary forces, to determine both the species composition and the genetic make-up of the organisms that surround us? As technologies reach deeper into the surrounding world and become more precise, is it morally acceptable for humans to drive engineered changes through systems previously determined by ancient forces lying beyond our species’ reach? To some extent this means the transformation of nature into artifact.
Such a future would mark a new period in earth’s history in which one species takes up a novel role as planetary manager and designer. This species would do this consciously, deliberately, and – in the case of gene drives – quite dramatically.
Such a tightly engineered future may be inevitable. It may, in many ways, also be highly desirable.
What it shouldn’t be is a future we find ourselves immersed in without the chance to debate it, to reflect on it, and to fully understand the arguments both in its favor and against it. This is a discussion that is only just beginning.
In the meantime, hundreds of thousands of children continue to die of malaria.
2018/08/02: a truly sustainable and ethical future for fashion requires a seismic cultural shift in how humans work together. Not, sadly, a technological one.
More serious in the long term is growing conjecture that current programming methods are no longer fit for purpose given the size, complexity and interdependency of the algorithmic systems we increasingly rely on.
The article suggests re-thinking our legal system to assign blame for any badly malfunctioning algorithms... Solutions exist or can be found for most of the problems described here, but not without incentivizing big tech to place the health of society on a par with their bottom lines.
A set of five admirably compact and well-chosen principles that cover a lot of bases: democratic accountability; transparency and auditability; progress harnessed to public service; and an eye for the social dimension of technological decision-making.
Can ethics be quantified? Or, better yet, can a lack of ethics be quantified?
By now, you might have heard: continuing a long string of jaw-dropping mishaps, Uber lost it's license to operate in London. Let's talk about it for a moment, because I think it's a perfect mini case
A Free Paper for Free People
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