Technological innovation has defined our last few generations, as the unbelievable pace of scientific achievement has led to new ideas, provisions and conveniences we could once only dream of. In particular, our technological growth since the turn of the century has utterly changed our relationship to the world and to one another.
Today, though, the news cycles are taken up with stories of technology’s dark side; concerns over AI development and the weaponization of data consume headlines, making for a summarily dystopian angle on the future of our tech-enabled society.
While these concerns are very real and thoroughly deserving of honest scrutiny, there is much to be thankful for when it comes to tech and its ubiquity in our daily lives. What are some of the chief ways in which technology has demonstrably made our lives easier?
A Golden Age of Communication
Perhaps the most obvious improvement made by technology relates to communication. International communication was made dramatically easier by the invention of the telephone, but even easier still by the invention of the internet in the 1970s.
Expansion of internet networks, coupled with the invention and expansion of wireless communication technology, has led to the present moment – wherein we can instantly contact people on the other side of the world via video message for practically no cost at all. The sheer impact of this feat is perhaps impossible to truly realise.
Instant Access to Knowledge
Likewise, access to information has become much more equitable than ever before. The internet has become much more than a vehicle for communication; it is also a repository for information and the communication of ideas. We are able to instantly find the answer to any question on our lips – and also to contribute to the growing trove of publicly-accessible information with our own answers.
Growth in Opportunity
Widespread and largely unfettered access to information has emboldened many of us to learn more, to upskill and to take on new interests. As a result, we are easier able to discover passions and talents – and to effectively turn them into opportunities.
The internet and the development of powerful computers means more of us can undertake complex work wherever we are. This is revelatory for disabled and disadvantaged communities who may have otherwise been precluded from gainful employment in inaccessible cities or industries.
This is also revelatory in terms of equity. Where people would previously have had to entrust expensive private enterprises with growing their wealth, the advent of new digital trading platforms has allowed people to grow their wealth themselves through CFD trading, foreign exchanges or trading assets.
Safety and Security
Our new technological world is also a safer one. With banking and currency largely digitised, the risk of theft and robbery is reduced; likewise, increasingly sophisticated technological barriers reduce the risk of cyber-crime, keeping our assets and information safe from bad actors.
Our lives are also safer for new technology. Sensors and AI-assisted algorithms in vehicles can allow cars to ‘read’ the road and avoid incidents; AI and automation in the workplace also remove the risk of mechanical injury from workers.
A Smaller World
Lastly, our world of modern convenience is a smaller one. Travel innovation has made it easier than ever to see the world, reducing months-long voyages to 12-hour flights. Domestically, travel has improved dramatically; public transport solutions are getting better for the environment, and GPS tracking technology has made route-finding the simplest of endeavors.