Have you ever contemplated how has technology made the world safer? If you have, don’t go anywhere because we’ve asked ourselves the same question too. Actually, that’s what motivated us to compile the list below. Obviously, nothing can fully prevent bad things from happening. But, applying technology can reduce their probability and make them less severe. In the end, no matter how far technology gets us, everyone should practice the well-known mantra, “if you see something, say something.” With that said, let’s get into how technology keeps us safe.
When we went over the pros and cons of mobile phones and computer use, we mentioned a few security-related entries. But, we also listed privacy, addiction, health problems, and isolation as adverse effects. Those are all issues that affect kids and teenagers very strongly and combined with the bad effects of social media, might require intervention.
Now, we don’t usually condone it. But spying software on their devices or a microphone/camera in the children’s room makes sense when it’s for their protection. It’s irrefutable that there are terrible people out there, waiting to expose their naivety and innocence. Simultaneously, with such devices by their side, kids always have a panic button. And, parents can track the kids’ location and check whether kids are doing what they claim.
Helping the elderly is one of the most fulfilling ways technology keeps us safe as a society. They often need help, but their dignity prevents them from asking and accepting it, or even moving to a hospital or nursing home. Well, they soon won’t have to.
Medical devices such as pacemakers, heart pumps, automated defibrillators, prosthetic heart valves, or stents were all products of technology that make the older generations safer.
Safe, independent living
Smart devices, with appropriate apps and sensors, are very useful. For example, they can monitor heart rate and palpitations, or blood sugar and blood oxygen levels, and thus detect or help treat existing or incoming health conditions. The elderly can also use them as timers and trackers, reminding them to eat, drink, walk, or take medicine.
Sensors can also be put on fridges, doors, or windows or held on the person. That way, families always know where they are and what they are doing. Most importantly, technology is advanced enough to not only detect falls, heart attacks, or other life-threatening events but automatically alert emergency services.
We already discussed medicine-related technological advancements when we compared science to technology. It still astounds us quickly breakthroughs happen nowadays. What’s more, they can be shared around the world instantly, all thanks to modern technology. Editing genes, eradicating diseases, predicting illnesses based on genetic markers, instant diagnoses via CT and MRI scanners and X-ray machines, revolutionary drugs, and introducing thought-controlled gadgets, to name a few, are all signs technology helps us stay safe.
4. Traveling and transport
One of the most popular uses of technology is vehicle safety. That’s because close to 1.35 million people die from road traffic crashes annually. Even worse, they’re one of the main causes of death for people ages 5 to 29. And while humans are unchangingly fallible, improvements can be made elsewhere.
Electric cars and trucks with driver support provide one of the most obvious signs technology keeps us safe. While they’re still expensive and not completely autonomous, their operating systems constantly monitor, provide warnings, and even take control away from humans.
In doing so, they prevent human error, reckless behavior, distraction, falling asleep, substance abuse, and much more. And, besides the ability to dial emergency services in case of a crash, since vehicles are connected to GPS, they can also send precise locations. All indications show that autonomous vehicles will communicate with each other shortly. This will not only organize traffic to perfection but also eliminate deaths and injuries.
Airports and airplanes used to be places of dread, but no more. The risks of airplanes plummeting are dropping with hardware and software improvements. Concurrently, facial recognition, fingerprint sensors, detection of fake IDs via extremely high-resolution cameras, X-rays of every baggage, and 24/7 monitoring at airports prevent human attacks.
Implanting a microchip negates the worry that comes with your cat or dog running away and not coming back. Not only can you find your pet’s precise location, but whoever finds the animal can read the pet’s name and your name and address off of it.
6. Home and workplace
Having numerous smart devices such as high-resolution cameras and sensitive microphones makes homes and workplaces significantly safer. Some examples include advanced alarm systems, infrared cameras, motion detectors, panic buttons, loud sirens, remote monitoring, anti-tamper tools, and even cloud backup storage. And, even if thieves take off with something, users can track them via GPS. Even if the item is too far gone, technology allows ways to lock it remotely, making it useless to thieves.
Also, don’t forget that personal assistant services can play custom sounds to deter intruders. Such devices can also monitor for smoke, changes in temperature, and even levels of carbon monoxide and other toxic materials.
Here are 2 examples of how technology keeps us protected in cities:
Massive network of IoT (Internet of Things) devices
City-wide device networks of sensors, microphones, smart cameras, drones, and satellites are slowly expanding worldwide. While they still need human input and don’t work together yet, Artificial Intelligence (AI) will soon take over.
For example, they can catch and record events, then analyze, recognize, and compare faces, vehicles, or license plates, then notify the authorities. The acoustic surveillance system was already implemented in some high-risk cities worldwide. It can detect and pinpoint gunfire or explosions, timestamp them, and send data to the police and/or EMTs.
Forest fire detection
Global warming is looming, and the death toll from forest fires is increasing. Fortunately, technology has a solution – cheap, disposable, highly-resistant wireless sensors. They serve as an early warning system of incoming forest fires, potentially saving millions in damage.
8. Online privacy and security
Worldwide implementation of HTTPS, tight privacy policies, and AES-256-bit encryption are obvious ways technology provides security online. Moreover, there’s an abundance of free proxy sites and affordable but powerful VPNs. What’s more, technology made it so that malicious ads, trackers, and files spread with more difficulty than earlier, and phishing is easier to detect. Thanks to technology, there are also more ways to create complex passwords and keep them safe too.
Technology is safe as much as you want it to be. When used correctly, technology cannot cause any harm. However, in the wrong hands, technology possesses the ability to cause threats to a great extent.
Technology makes it easier to prevent crime. For instance, there are security cameras to identify suspects using facial recognition technology, Real-time crime mapping for crime prevention, and many more.
Emergency alert systems are the best example of the involvement of technology in this field. GPS and other mapping techniques also help in faster response to the affected area. This is one of the biggest advantages of technology.
AI is not a direct threat to humanity. When accessed and used by the wrong person, AI can be dangerous. However, it is rather the problem of the “wrong person” instead of AI. So, when limited and watched properly, AI is not dangerous.