The Potential Role of Technology in Confronting 4 Major International Issues

Technological progress often faces resistance from those who focus on its potential risks rather than its benefits. Recent events such as privacy scandals involving major internet companies and ethical debates surrounding genetic engineering may have made people wary of new technologies. However, while it is understandable for people to be apprehensive, it is important to consider the immense benefits that new technologies can bring.

However, it would be a mistake to agree with the apprehensive individuals and completely dismiss the numerous issues that can be addressed through technology. The benefits of technological advancements are numerous and diverse, ranging from advancements in medical treatments and healthcare availability to improved communication, renewable energy sources, and more efficient transportation methods. To learn more about how various industries stand to benefit from 5G technology, check out this blog post.

While it is necessary to recognize the potential risks that come with using technology, it is equally important to acknowledge its immense benefits. Unfortunately, there are various pitfalls associated with the use of technology such as the dissemination of false information and the possibility of mass surveillance. Nevertheless, technology can be utilized to address some of the world’s most pressing issues. To demonstrate, here are six ways in which technology can be employed to address these issues.

Detection and Management of Degenerative Diseases

There is growing awareness of the importance of maintaining good health as a global issue. As a result of medical technological advancements, people are living longer, but this increase also means an uptick in the prevalence of degenerative illnesses. Unfortunately, limited knowledge exists concerning several serious conditions, including Alzheimer’s, cancer, Lou Gehrig’s disease, and Parkinson’s.

Despite awareness of the potential consequences, we have yet to discover a method to prevent or stop these illnesses. We are still uncertain about the root causes of these conditions, having only identified potential causes. Therefore, investing in resources to comprehend these issues is critical as they could affect anyone, including young people. This is where technology, such as advanced developments, can prove especially valuable.

In the foreseeable future, healthcare is poised for a revolution with the application of Artificial Intelligence (AI). With researchers leveraging non-invasive techniques such as Machine Learning algorithms, it is now possible to identify early signs of neurodegenerative illnesses. Predictive analyses allow researchers to detect subtle but significant patterns that may not be immediately observable to human observers, raising the chance of timely diagnosis and improved treatment options for those afflicted with such conditions.

The potential of AI-based technologies extends far beyond aiding with diagnostic procedures. For example, AstraZeneca (UK) and BERG Biotechnology (US) have formed a strategic partnership to investigate innovative treatments for Parkinson’s disease. Diagnosing this condition is tremendously challenging due to its complexity, which makes identifying biomarkers through conventional methods almost impossible. AI algorithms are needed to discover new biomarkers to enhance diagnosis and create fresh therapeutic avenues.

BenevolentAI has embarked on a ground-breaking AI initiative aimed at discovering a possible cure for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease). Although this affliction is severe and has no known cure, the accomplishments of this cutting-edge technology thus far have been promising.

Revitalising the Health of the Oceans

Regrettably, the reality of our polluted oceans filled with plastic is widely known. The extent of plastic pollution, however, is far more severe than previously believed as indicated by recent research over the past several months. Shockingly, the amount of plastic pollution is almost one million times more than previously estimated, a fact that has profound implications for our environment.

Microplastics represent a critical environmental issue, and the extent of the harm they cause cannot be easily measured. These minuscule plastic particles are dispersed throughout the ocean, sinking to the seafloor and eventually being ingested by marine creatures. The continued usage of plastic straws and shopping bags only exacerbates this problem by contributing to ocean contamination as these items break down over time. It is evident that swift measures must be implemented to safeguard both people and nature from the disastrous impact of microplastics.

Employing technological solutions may help alleviate the impact of this issue and prevent it from worsening. The Ocean Cleanup, a non-profit organization, is an example of this. They propose minimizing the amount of plastic in the world’s oceans by placing U-shaped screens in strategic locations that collect debris being carried by ocean currents.

The Seabin Project is a fascinating initiative that installs waste bins on floating platforms, outfitted with pumps and filters, in hubs such as marinas and ports. This equipment effectively eliminates debris and oil from the ocean, with particular focus on areas known to contribute significantly to marine litter.

Eliminating Carbon Emissions from the Atmosphere

Climate change is one of the most pressing issues of our era, capable of inflicting devastating consequences. A collective effort to mitigate climate change is critical before it becomes irreversible. Though several initiatives to tackle climate change are being implemented worldwide, their adequacy remains uncertain. It is evident that more must be accomplished to establish a sustainable future for generations to come.

While commendable efforts have been made to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, merely doing so will not suffice to decelerate the impact of climate change. Given the high levels of carbon dioxide already present in the atmosphere, we must also seek ways to remove it actively to make substantial progress. The industry often refers to this process as carbon sequestration.

Although several techniques exist for managing carbon dioxide, its most efficient management includes capturing and storing it in subterranean reservoirs. However, some companies are exploring the possibility of using CO2 in light of its commercial value. These businesses aim to exploit CO2’s potential as a production process component.

The C2CNT molecule serves as an exemplary instance of this notion. The organization has refined a process, which can convert carbon dioxide into carbon fibers. These fibers can then be applied to manufacture carbon composites, a considerably better substitute to metallic materials for an array of uses – from bicycle frames to aircraft components.

Breathe, the Indian research group, is investigating the possibility of utilizing artificial photosynthesis to transform carbon dioxide into methanol. This advancement is incredibly promising since methanol has a diversity of applications such as fuel, prescription drug components, and resins. This finding could have significant consequences for the environment and humankind as a whole.

Anticipating Impending Catastrophes

In the contemporary world, advancements in technology have enabled us to forecast climate shifts and other natural phenomena beforehand. Nevertheless, natural calamities and human-induced catastrophes remain unexpected and unfathomable, disrupting everything. Floods, landslides, earthquakes, hydrological shifts, and tsunamis are all instances of incidents that can transpire suddenly and create immense chaos. Furthermore, reckless human behaviour often leads to unforeseeable disasters.

If we possessed a deeper comprehension of the nature of disasters we may experience, it would equip us to prepare for immediate and medium-term consequences, while also allowing us to seek more enduring solutions for the long run. A dependable early warning system, capable of alerting us of an approaching disaster few hours prior, would be incredibly beneficial when contending with catastrophic incidents.

The Disaster Prevention Research Institute located in Kyoto, Japan, is committed to achieving the objective of devising innovative techniques to anticipate the ramifications of climate change, mudslides, and floods. They have achieved notable headway in predicting catastrophes and are endeavouring to develop more dependable early warning systems, utilizing spatiotemporal models of disasters.

IBM has a broad collection of volcanoes to study and has been leveraging its sophisticated Watson suite powered by Artificial Intelligence to detect any signs of imminent eruption among many active volcanoes worldwide. The corporation has been involved in this undertaking for several years, and although their objective remains unfulfilled, they persist in their efforts with optimism.

Empowering Humanity with Technology

It is apparent that modern technology has been harnessed in various ways to assist us in confronting humanity’s most pressing challenges. Although no new advanced technology has lacked imperfections, most of these innovations seem highly promising, instilling a sense of optimism towards the future of technological progression.

However, this does not absolve us from the responsibility of monitoring the effects of technological advancement. Yet, these and other applications attest that technology, is perhaps our mightiest tool to address these immense challenges.

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