Science and Technology By Justin Hung

Part 1

The challenge of science and technology focuses on how the evolution of modern technology will impact future human life. This topic can be divided into the subcategories of the increases in computing power, breakthroughs in biotechnology and other fields of science, and the future of artificial intelligence.

Increases in Computing Power

Microchips in a computer

Moore's Law states that the power of microchips is doubled ever 18-24 months. Theoretically, computers may be over eight times faster in six years.

Neil Armstrong during the Apollo XI Mission

Since 1969, computers have become millions of times more powerful. Rooms full of $3.5M, car-sized computers used during the first manned mission to the moon barely match 0.00001% of the power of a modern smartphone that can fit in a pocket.

Breakthroughs in Scientific Fields

A prosthetic left hand

Biotechnology is not a new field of science, but its usage is much more developed now.

A magnified image of a DNA strand

Subfields of science, including genomics, gene therapy, are immunology, have been created due to developments in biotechnology.

Cracks in the ground caused by an increase in temperature

With the rise of technology in history, humans have created greenhouse gasses and caused a lasting rise in global temperature. Scientists work to combat this by developing renewable sources of energy which do not produce these gasses.

The Future of Artificial Intelligence

Wall-E and Eve, fictional portrayals of intelligent robots created by Disney

Artificial intelligence with the ability to learn is in constant development. Google developed an artificial intelligence system capable of teaching itself to play video games with skill higher than the world's best gamers.

A robot designed to play chess against real people

Renowned futurist Ray Kurzweil suggests that by 2029, artificial intelligence will be able to match human thinking.

Siri, a virtual assistant, on an iPad running iOS 8

Kurzweil and other scientists believe that it is very likely that humanity and machines may achieve singularity, the event where humans and machines become the same entity, within the next couple of decades.

Part 2

Development in science and technology is greatly accelerating. Today, nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technology, and cognitive science collectively cause development in science and technology to accelerate even faster.

Present-Day Computers and Artificial Intelligence

Cortana, a virtual assistant, running on a Nokia phone running Windows Mobile

Technology that humans create will eventually become as intelligent as us. Virtual assistants, such as Siri and Cortana, are readily available through our smartphones.

"Our technology, our machines, is part of our humanity. We created them to extend ourselves, and that is what is unique about human beings." -Ray Kurzweil
A Samsung Galaxy phone

In daily life, these assistants are able to interpret human speech and execute commands on our phones; virtual assistants do things such as sending messages, scheduling alarms, and organizing calendars to make our lives easier.

A railway transport system managed by computers

As technology continues to develop, automated systems will take over for many present day human jobs.

"The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to and inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency." -Bill Gates

Moore's law suggests that computer power is exponentially increasing and that humans and artificial intelligence will come to a singularity within decades.

An astronaut and a NASA robot

Some people fear that eventually, artificial intelligence will surpass that of humans. They suggest that due to present-day development, superhuman intelligence may rise above humans intelligence within thirty years and take over for everything that humans currently do, successfully ending the human era.

A fictional portrayal of artificial intelligence attempting to take over for humanity in Terminator

Presently, automated systems direct phone calls, run transit systems, manage toll gates, and connect devices across the internet. Phones can even be used to access household appliances such as lights and laundry machines via network connection.

Present-Day Biotechnology And Scientific Breakthroughs

Scientific studies are always in development, and because of this, there are no absolute goals.

Vaccines commonly used for medical purposes

In the fields of medicine, biotechnology is constantly being developed and used. Scientists plan to develop open-source biology which can be created and changed.

A lego model of DNA, the building blocks of life

Scientific risks include the possibility that the creation of synthetic biology will end humanity. DNA synthesis machines which are in development may eventually be capable of "printing" pathogens which can kill humans. Future terrorists may be able to create biological weapons by synthesizing life that is harmful to humans.

A model of a spike in HIV, the potentially fatal virus which causes AIDS

In order to prevent the self-destruction of humanity, some suggest controlling advancements in robotics, genetics, and nanotechnology. However, this control could lead to the end of science and remove personal freedom from scientists.

Part 3

The flag of Israel

Israel is the fourth most technologically advanced country in the world (following United States, Japan, and India).

The NASDAQ Stock Market, an American stock exchange

Isreal has more technology companies listed on the NASDAQ Stock Market than any other country in the world (excluding the United States)

Technology Used in Transit And Other Fields

A civilian drone

Isreal is a leading country in futuristic technological fields such as satellite, drone, and self-driving car development.

A self-driving Google car

Waze, the extremely popular community-based navigation app, was created in Israel. The app's widespread usage informs drivers in any community about the heaviness of traffic and any accidents or other events in their area.

A detailed traffic-jam map provided by Waze

Computers process data submitted by millions of Waze users around the world to create detailed, instantaneous traffic-jam news and updates from the road. Waze connects every user through the internet and changes the way that millions of people commute worldwide.

An artist's portrayal of the SkyTran concept

SkyTran, a company now based in Mountain View, California, started in Israel. This company created the futuristic sky taxi transit system which is going to be used for commuting near the Israel Aerospace Industries campus. The taxis, which can travel at up to sixty miles per hour, hold up to four people and glide magnetically on suspended metal bars.

Israeli Medical Breakthroughs

A medical lab

Israel is the birthplace of many of the world's most important medical discoveries and advancements.

A discussion about the ReWalk exoskeleton

Argo Medical Technologies created the ReWalk robotic exoskeleton. This Israeli biotechnological advancement enabled paraplegic runners in London and Tel Aviv to finish marathons.

A cancer screening machine

The development of GI View Aer-O-Scope disposable colorectal cancer screening devices was also an Israeli medical advancement. This self-navigating device that acts as superior imaging scope is flexible and will not perforate the colon. This advancement saves lives by making colonoscopy screenings safer, cheaper, and more widely accessible.

An iPhone home screen displaying different applications

Israel is a leading country in medicine and modern technology. Scientists in Israel have provided major contributions to the fields of biotechnology, modern transit, and internet-based applications.

Credits:

Created with images by FirmBee - "mobile phone iphone" • Pexels - "usb technology computer" • Unsplash - "astronaut american flag salute" • splotramienny - "prostetic proteza 3d" • ColiN00B - "dna dns biology" • Photonbox - "dry earth dehydrated" • RyC - Behind The Lens - "wall-e" • donjd2 - "Kids Playing Chess against a Robot at Maker Faire 2016" • Janitors - "iOS7 iPad" • n.bhupinder - "Nokia Lumia 635 Cortana" • krapalm - "android samsung samsung galaxy" • mikecogh - "Changi Airport Railway" • skeeze - "robonaut machines dexterous" • meškašiaurėj - "untitled image" • burnbless - "#medical" • mknowles - "Lego DNA" • NIAID - "HIV Spike" • Free Grunge Textures - www.freestock.ca - "Israel Grunge Flag" • kalleboo - "Nasdaq" • ki-kieh - "drone technique technology" • jurvetson - "“Driving” the Google Self-Driving Car" • diaper - "Thank you Waze. I love you!" • UC Davis College of Engineering - "NCNC Lab" • New America - "Jennifer French (Neurotech Network), Larry Jasinksi (ReWalk Robotics), Will Oremus (Slate)" • Muffet - "CAT scanner" • LoboStudioHamburg - "twitter facebook together"

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