The Internet of Things and The Rise of Technocracy

In my blog ‘Digital Technology – What Now?’ I spoke about the plethora of technological discoveries and advancements we are making on a daily rate across the globe. The futuristas, the technological innovators, the neuroscientists, the strategists, the lateral thinkers creating systems far beyond anything we’ve ever seen.

First, we had the radio, the telephone, the television, the DVD player, the CD player, etc; all of these appliances being ‘one way’ appliances (arguably, with the exception of the telephone). We are now beginning to look at technology in much more psychological and scientific ways. Now, like never before, we are looking deeply into our neurological self and applying this to economics, marketing and smart devices. We’re not just looking at technology as one way road, we’re looking at how we, as human beings, can interact and work with it by truly understanding how we work neurologically. We are beginning to look at ourselves more humanistically, i.e. as individuals and not just as a particular gender, age or race. So taking this all into consideration we are now looking at technology in a very different way.

The Hoover Dam of technology I referred to in this blog is finally beginning to show cracks. There’s trickles forming down the brick face. Cracks are appearing across the whole dam. As the build up increases soon the dam will break and there will be the most monumental, life changing tsumani of smart systems changing the face of modern life.

A great example of this is the Internet of Things.

‘The Internet of Things (IoT) is the network of physical objects or “things” embedded with electronics, software, sensors and connectivity to enable it to achieve greater value and service by exchanging data with the manufacturer, operator and/or other connected devices. Each thing is uniquely identifiable through its embedded computing system but is able to interoperate within the existing Internet infrastructure’

We still have a long way to go before the Internet of Things is fully integrated into our daily lives but, I for one, can’t wait.

In this video Dr. John Barratt talks about the impending arrival of the Internet of Things and the importance of human wisdom and compassion to ensure control of this technology that will ultimately change our lives. I agree strongly that think this is key.

Watch: The Internet of Things – Dr. John Barratt at TEDxCIT

Dr. John Barrett is Head of Academic Studies at the Nimbus Centre for Embedded Systems Research at Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) and Group Director of the Centre’s Smart Systems Integration Research Group. His research is focused on packaging, miniaturisation and embedding of smart systems in materials, objects and structures.

In my blog ‘Are We Losing Our Ability to Be Human?’ I talk about the gradual diminishment of our ability to be human. Technology is, arguably creating dehumanization. Whilst we dive headlong into the fray of ‘what will be’, we must be mindful of retaining our humanism. We must ensure we utilise the Internet of Things for the betterment of mankind, because, as Barratt says, the opportunities to use this technology for negative purposes is a very real concern. We are already reading about terrorists utilizing smart devices to glean information and knowledge.

We are about to release a beast, a gigantic technological beast that will encompass us all. The secret to ensuring the beast is properly trained to help us as a race will be solely down to wise and considered human interaction. We cannot relinquish control to artificial intelligences and at the same time expect to retain it. We must create a balance of human input and artificial intelligence.

In my blog ‘Are We Virtually There’ I refer to the movie ‘Her’ where ‘Samantha’ played by Scarlett Johannson eventually becomes an independent intelligence making her own decisions and interacting freely and by her own means with other artificial intelligences. There are hundreds of sci fi and dystopian novels that talk about the over powering of the human race by robots and AI’s.

Could this happen? If, sorry, when, the Internet of Things happens everything will be linked, if we think we’re plugged in now, then we’d better think again. There’s no denying we’re heading for a technocratic world. Technocracy, as Barratt says in the video is already well and truly here. We are only a mere twenty years since the birth of the internet and look at what we’ve achieved already. We’ve really only just touched the surface ..

Buckle up, we’re in for a big ride..