The role of Technology in Today’s World and in the Future
Technology is an essential part of our lives today and few can imagine living without. We achieved a lot with the help of technology, for example we have the possibility to travel, keep in touch with friends on the other side of the earth and cure many illnesses. It means more freedom and choices for people but at the same time we have to consider the social imbalance, weapons of mass destruction and natural resource depletion. Jane Godall asks for a reason: “We are the most intelligent species walking on earth, how it comes we destroy on what we depend?” What has achieved so far is irrevocable, but we can still determine where it goes in the future.
One of the most important things everybody has to deal with is to overcome the short-termism, which prevails in governments, companies and individuals. Additionally we know, that decisions one individual takes are not necessarily good for the society as a whole. This doesn’t make it easier.
I think it is important to bear in mind the mutual goal: to keep the planet with mankind and all its beautiful animals and plants alive. This implies to make technology as positive as possible for humanity and the environment in the long run. The technology we create now creates the future and it should be for the people and make things easier and not more complicated. So what kind of society will we be?
Technology shapes the future and it can help to make it compatible with nature. It can help us to develop clean energy, transport possibilities with less emissions and low-energy houses to save resources. Technology is not only about technology itself or more efficiency and discovering new methods and processes; we have to add the component of art which is about to make wise choices for the future of technology. We should not develop technology because of itself, but to develop it, because it adds value to society and simplifies human life. For this, it needs to be discussed with experts from many fields and we have to relate the technology to the organization and the culture in which it should operate. And remember: There are no side effects – they are part of the technology.
TED Talks with further interesting information (last accessed 30.06.2012):
Damian Palin: Mining minerals from seawater, http://www.ted.com/talks/damian_palin_mining_minerals_from_seawater.html
Danny Hillis: Back to the future (of 1994), http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/danny_hillis_back_to_the_future_of_1994.html
Harvey Fineberg: Are we ready for neo-evolution?, http://www.ted.com/talks/harvey_fineberg_are_we_ready_for_neo_evolution.html