Technological Dictatorship in 2050

The future of individual lifestyles with highly advanced technology

The future of design group decided to explore the future of individual lifestyle with highly advanced technology. As part of the process, we were to analyse the sociological,  technological, economic, environmental and political impacts of this scenario to the future individuals. Through ‘futuring’, we are able to predict and demonstrate hypothetical and/or factual futures; this process is an aid to help us project our imaginations into the future that considers the consequences and outcomes of present events. Developing this scenario illustrated the plausible futures for the relationship between humans and technology.

Technology will play a significant role in the lifestyle of the individuals in the future, as also predicted by Google’s Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt, in which he stated that

mobile technology and social media will change the world, because they will be ubiquitous

from his interview at the Aspen Ideas Festival. Ubiquitous being synonymous to omnipotent, technology will develop and be used in ways that both improves and destruct human experiences. Technological devices will be utilised in areas from politics to projecting personal emotions.

By 2050, technology will be much more accessible to the citizens that it gives them more power as well as protection from authorities that exert illegitimate power; technology will become much easier for people use and to publicise information – “and embarrass the government and its leadership”. Decisions will increasingly be based on data and analysis rather than on experience and intuition. For example, in 2015, police departments from certain locations in America, began using computerised mapping and analysis of variables like historical arrest patterns, paydays, sporting events, rainfall and holidays to try to predict likely crime “hot spots” and deploy officers there in advance. This type of technology positively contributes to the betterment of the society, making it safer to live in. It will not be long until this type of technological advancement will spread worldwide justifying an aspect in which technology have already started dictating how we live as a society and the effects this development will have to each individual.

The era of big data challenges the way we live and interact with the world

This quote originated from the book Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work and Think by Viktor Mayer-Schonberger. It focuses on the ‘data itself and how we use it’ rather than the machines that calculate data. This was relevant to the research analysis as it considers trends from across the spectrum of society. Professor Brynjolfsson stated that the decisions individuals make will be largely based on data and analysing data rather than ‘experience and intuition’, the way humans live will “start being a lot more specific” observed by Brynjolfsson in his NY Times interview. This statement supports  the idea of the future being largely dependent on highly developed technology with which it will become a necessity to each individual in a society.

Technology has increasing potential to bridge the chasm between what is felt inwardly and displayed outwardly.

The Future of Design group has also concluded that technology will also significantly affect the improvement of future individuals who have communication disabilities such as Autism. Rosalind Picard, an author from The Royal Society Publishing has developed a future scenario focusing  on the Future affective technology for autism and emotion communication ; this article explores the scenario about technology aiding individuals who are unable to physically express their emotions. It presents new technology that is being developed to give people expanded tools to bridge the chasm between internal feeling and external display, while maintaining important control over what is communicated and to whom. Picard’s research became significant to our scenario as it explores the respectful and effective relationship of technology to the individuals. By 2050, individuals who are incapable of expressing their emotions will be able to, through technology.

There is a wide variety of plausible causes that will lead to an individual’s high dependency to technology. Through researching, we are able to gather facts that will support the way we imagine and project the future. Drawing from these information, is 2050 the kind of society you would want to be involved in?

 will technology be used ethically?
are we finally to be mastered by the tools with which we aspire to master the world?

 References:

Eric Schmidt on Technology vs. Dictatorship – The Atlantic. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.theatlantic.com

Mayer-Schonberger, V, 2013. Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work and Think. 1st ed. UK: John Murray (publisher).

The New York Times. 2015. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/12/sunday-review/big-datas-impact-in-the-world.html?_r=1

Future affective technology for autism and emotion communication | Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. [ONLINE] Available at: http://rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/364/1535/3575.short#sec-1.

Three Scenarios for the Future of Technology and Strong Democracy – BARBER – 2013 – Political Science Quarterly – Wiley Online Library. [ONLINE] Available at: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.2307/2658245/abstract.

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