Like what you've read?

On Line Opinion is the only Australian site where you get all sides of the story. We don't
charge, but we need your support. Here’s how you can help.

  • Advertise

    We have a monthly audience of 70,000 and advertising packages from $200 a month.

  • Volunteer

    We always need commissioning editors and sub-editors.

  • Contribute

    Got something to say? Submit an essay.


 The National Forum   Donate   Your Account   On Line Opinion   Forum   Blogs   Polling   About   
On Line Opinion logo ON LINE OPINION - Australia's e-journal of social and political debate

Subscribe!
Subscribe





On Line Opinion is a not-for-profit publication and relies on the generosity of its sponsors, editors and contributors. If you would like to help, contact us.
___________

Syndicate
RSS/XML


RSS 2.0

The relentless march of the microchips

By Mal Fletcher - posted Thursday, 27 July 2017


Will robots take our jobs? It's a question I'm often asked in my travels as a speaker and media commentator.

Will humanity cease to be the master of its own destiny? Will we become, as some noted scientists and technologists have suggested, a species surpassed and then subjugated by its own machinery?

It is axiomatic that all technology is amoral. We are not a product of the technologies we devise; we are a product of how we choose to utilise those tools. It is human choice that will determine whether or not technology produces more good than harm, to humankind and to its environment.

Advertisement

One of today's most exciting fields of tech-endeavour is nanorobotics. Nanobots are machines built from the microscopic level up. In nanotechnology, atoms are used as building blocks to devise machines that may one day soon, for example, be injected into our bloodstream to identify and destroy dangerous cancer cells.

Yet the same types of micro-machine could be weaponised using harmful chemicals, then injected into the air we breathe. We would ingest them without being aware of it.

Sadly, according to one report, less than three percent of research and development funding in the nanorobotic field is used to study its potential downsides.

The same might be said of other types of emerging technology. This week, a US company announced that it is offering its workers subcutaneous microchips. The chips, the size of a grain of rice and utilising RFID (radio frequency identity) technology, will be embedded in a worker's thumb or fore-finger.

The chips will supposedly make life easier by granting employees access through security doors and enabling them to open their computers and purchase lunch in the canteen.

The CEO of the Winsconsin-based company envisages a time when the 50 or so people who've already signed on will be able to use the chips to unlock their phones, share business cards and store medical information.

Advertisement

The group is following the lead of a Swedish workstation called Epicentre. It started offering its workers the same type of injectable chip a few years ago.

In the past couple of months, the Swedish transport authority has announced that it is considering offering customers this option to replace its version of the Oyster Card.

Meanwhile, some in the finance technology sector see implants as a natural progression beyond wave-and-pay payment systems. No more messing around with clumsy cards and creased-up cash in the supermarket, the thinking goes; now all we need is a wave of the arm and we're away.

  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. 2
  4. All

This article was first published on 2020Plus.net.



Discuss in our Forums

See what other readers are saying about this article!

Click here to read & post comments.

5 posts so far.

Share this:
reddit this reddit thisbookmark with del.icio.us Del.icio.usdigg thisseed newsvineSeed NewsvineStumbleUpon StumbleUponsubmit to propellerkwoff it

About the Author

Mal Fletcher is a media social futurist and commentator, keynote speaker, author, business leadership consultant and broadcaster currently based in London. He holds joint Australian and British citizenship.

Other articles by this Author

All articles by Mal Fletcher

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Article Tools
Comment 5 comments
Print Printable version
Subscribe Subscribe
Email Email a friend
Advertisement

About Us Search Discuss Feedback Legals Privacy