Technology is evolving at the speed of light.
That’s something I’ve explored in my writing over the last year, from cloud computing and the space economy to the fourth industrial revolution and more. Indeed, with tech incubators like Afrilabs, venture capital funds like Startupbootcamp Africa, and enhanced digital infrastructure supporting local platforms, a new wave of innovation and creativity is sweeping the world.
But even with all the open source intelligence, not all technology is positive. For example, artificial intelligence trends (including exciting progress in writing and speech) don’t always address the ongoing issue of bias and the unfair outcomes it creates. It’s the same with cryptocurrency adoption, which is displacing old forms of money but has also led to the rise of hacking armies and is allowing a new generation of bank robbers to conduct cyber-crime on an industrial scale.
Unfortunately, the weaponization of technology doesn’t just happen on the dark web; it also happens in real life, as evidenced by the rise of killer drones and the risk of hackable hearts. It’s the same with constant surveillance (from Israel to China to the US), which can help us or harm us, depending on how we respond.
But how should we respond? Just like a business that wants to avoid ransomware hackers will guard against cybersecurity risks, individuals who don’t want to be traded, targeted, and tracked should consider private channels when they’re online (I use a virtual private network).
Back to the future
So, will friendly robots become overlords that destroy humanity? Or will the advances in big tech be nothing but overblown hype? Hans Christian Anderson captures it well in one of his Fairytales (also available on Audible as great bedtime stories):
This is the beginning. And when we get to the end, we shall know more than we do now.
Time will tell.
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