There was quite another article on the ABC (Australia) website lately on the emerging technology of drones or UAVs as they are also called. These along with the google car might have been the hyped technology of 2012.
The article itself is a bit over-cooked. Here is a taste...
Today's hobbyist's plaything is tomorrow's gadget for the rest of us. As the cost of a drone drops below a hundred dollars, we'll see them used everywhere. Their mounted cameras will give us eyes in places we can't reach easily ourselves, and will find countless industrial uses. We may not have personal jetpacks, but we will be able fly with our eyes.
Suddenly we can see everything, everywhere. We are stumbling into the Age of Omniscience almost accidentally, and before we know it there will be no place, high or low, where we can not be seen.
This will vex celebrities first - think of the helicopters that hover over every important event; now imagine them as quadcopters, in their hundreds and thousands. Within the next year, a jealous husband will be able to hire a private detective to track his wife by drone, and be able to witness her comings and goings for himself.
Creepy men will stalk their ex-girlfriends by drone, leading to an expansive application of restraining orders to cover 'personal airspace'. The right not to be seen will be debated in the courts, the public sphere, and on the floor of Parliament. It will all come to nothing, overwhelmed by an emerging army of cheap drones.
But what caught my attention is the comments, as always a combination of the shallow, the fearful and the insightful. Not so very long ago the patterns of technology - the early hype, the slow delivery, the reduced expectations of the emerging products and the unintended consequences were not topics widely discussed and poorly understood.
Now we know that almost anything made for good or ill can be reconfigured to serve the other purpose. What's more the general public knows it.
But the question is - as we have have improved the awareness of technology's 'issues' in the general public - there is much more scepticism than there used to be, BUT how do we now use that to 1. raise the profile of the moral issues around technology and 2. actually force this debate back into the sphere of the makers to get better thinking through of technologies as they are created.
The tired well worn pattern of comments like those below are both seeds of hope and the fruit that can feed despondency and anomie. We need to raise the horizon of the vision somehow. Technology is our creation and we are responsible for it - not someone else we are all responsible.
- Yes. This is the scary part!
Now, ANYBODY can have one.
28 Dec 2012 1:52:59pm
- 28 Dec 2012 1:47:57pm
- 28 Dec 2012 1:28:17pm