Will Machines help us to be better People ?

Cisco defines the Internet of Everything (IoE) as bringing together people, process, data, and things to make networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before-turning information into actions that create new capabilities, richer experiences, and unprecedented economic opportunity for businesses, individuals, and countries.

Cisco’s message is obviously mainly economic and perhaps unintentionally, they forget to include other sociological, educational or philosophical aspects. And precisely are these aspects that interested me highlight in this post.

I read that people always tend to seek the easy way out looking for something that would make their lives easier, but are these people also seeking how to be better people? and if not so, how could IoE help ?.

Many tech evangelists and futurist are convinced believers that the IoE revolution will eventually allow us to become better stewards of our finite resources by improving how we sense, understand, and even we manage our environment and our lives. In this utopic future it is expected that we will do more in less time and smart machines will help us to be better people.

On the opposite side, if we imagine a dystrophic future world, Could not these smart machines, however, control us and cause negative effects on our lives?.  (Suggest to read Isaac Asimov´s novel “Nine Tomorrows”).

But, let’s be positive and come with me to discover some ways how machines will could help to be better people.

People will be educated by Machines

1.1 The connected Family – No more discussion with neighbors. Home burglaries prevented by machines.

Our future connected homes, will be smart. Are we really good families?. Although we like to think that we are very respectful with the environment in our home, the truth is that most households wasted energy, water or food. Never more in the future. Appliances will educate homeowners or renters to make good use of these valuable resources. Impossible to change a thermostat out of the range of temperature allowed, put the volume TV too high or turn the washer after 10 pm. As for the thieves, the machines will make them give up the intention of theft. Just think in Minority Report movie.

1.2 The connected Driver – Cars will educate us in our driving

Our future connected cars, will be smart. Are we really good drivers?. How many times a day you’re angry about illegally parked vehicles or double row, reckless drivers, children without seat belt, drivers talking on phone while driving. Never more in the future. Our future connected cars will prevent us from traffic violations, will not allow us to be rude drivers, and will be able to predict when we will be tempted to run too fast or skip traffic lights. The fines and punishments will be instant and the machines will keep us from doing evil deeds driving.

No more frustration with rude or aggressive drivers, the future connected cars will make us better drivers.

1.3 The connected Patient – Refrigerator controlling my health?

Our future connected hospitals, will be smart. Are we really good patients?. How many times we do not take medications as prescribed, we take rest that doctors have recommended us, or do not go to hospital for periodic scheduled health reviews or our doctors do not find our clinic history. Never more in the future.

The future connected Patient not to be worried about to forget to connect the devices to gather health data or to take the dose of medication at the right time. Connected health care devices will collect info from small pills, personal wearables, medication containers and will communicate with our hospital and also with our refrigerator and other home devices to make us be better patients.

With real time recommendations from the best doctors, with machines that control what we eat or drink while we are in treatment or how we are doing our exercises, will not patients’ quality of life be much better ?.

1.4 The connected Farmer– Agro-Industry economically sustainable without long-term subsidies.

Our future farms, will be smart. Are all farmers really good farmers? Many farmers waste money on excessive chemicals and nutrients that pollute the environment and weaken the ecosystems farmers depend upon: clean water, healthy soils, beneficial insects, mistreated animals, and more. Never more in the future.

In the future, farmers can go online and access detailed data from a state network of weather stations, helping them to plant crops that have the greatest chance for success, calculate the optimal amount of water to apply on a given day to irrigated crops in their region. Machines will assists farmers to improve soybean yields, reduce use of fertilizer and pesticides, and increase profitability. Machines will help farmer to better use of fertilizer, herbicides and insecticides, and equipment. Machines will allow for the distribution and delivery of food from places where there is abundance to places where there is scarcity.

Might seem like an impossible dream today, but it is not; in the future interconnected machines will allow farmers to create profitable farms that will produce an abundance of healthy food while improving the soil, enhancing biodiversity, and protecting habitats.

The Internet of Things will bring new business models based on new sources of revenue for environmental conservation, therefore farmers will generate income not just from the crops they will sell but also from protecting watersheds, increasing biodiversity, or capturing carbon in the soil.  Day by day we will see how consumers are willing to pay more for food grown on farms using sustainable practices.

1.5 The connected Citizen– Smart Cities dealing with social issues

Our future cities, will be smart. Are we really good citizens? In many cities nobody look after older people, violent crime is intolerable, healthcare is only available for the richest, education is not a right,  and there is nobody by raising awareness in create a sustainable, environmentally friendly urban landscape. Never more in the future.

As more and more machines are going to improve society by controlling our cities, the citizens are going start to realize the benefits of using IoT technology.

Machines will keep an eye to prevent acts of vandalism commit to ensure that we respect the environment, that we meet the traffic laws, which are civic and fulfill our duties.

Part of the city informational network will be provided by citizens who will play an important role by becoming themselves in sensors that collect information about road and rail lines aspects, weather conditions (temperature, humidity and atmospheric pressure) or indicate the global positioning (GPS).

Summary – The future connected “Tomorrow” (positive view)

The current technological boom, and the increasing consumerism is doing that every day appear more machines that are playing an essential role in our lives and have already become a vital necessity in every activity that we, or actually they, carry out.

Either at home, in the car, at work or anyplace, we will soon have a dependence of these machines. In this post I wanted to reflect the positive aspect of machines in our lives and I have considered that the machines will take the right decisions that will make be better people but without controlling us, but the risks to become too dependent on machines exist and we cannot forget.

For additional information please contact: francisco.maroto@oies.es

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