Emerging Technologies That Will Change The World Order

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by rasmasyean, Jun 11, 2011.

  1. rasmasyean macrumors 6502a

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    #1
    I just wanted to make a thread for everyone to share their views on current developments that they think will have a major impact on the near future.



    I’ll start with the X-47B Unmanned combat drone.



    I think this completely autonomous aircraft will really change things. It will reduce the number of trained pilots and even ground most of them. Over all this will enable any military that has something like this to pretty much dominate the reachable air space by virtue of production capabilities. I mean staying aloft for 5-7 days!!! Omg! Talk about big brother...

    But even though this is made for military, I can see a lot of this technology transferred over to stuff like air shipping and first, then passenger transport. I mean, if it can land on a carrier by itself better than a human and all… But I know at first ppl won’t trust it so you would like have to have at least “standby pilot backup” initially. But really, all it takes is a couple of mouse clicks from a freight coordinator dude or whatever and it’s off on its own!
     
  2. CaoCao macrumors 6502a

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  3. edifyingGerbil macrumors regular

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    #3
    I don't think it will ever replace a pilot; pilots don't just fly the plane, they also listen for problems and they look too, something a machine can't do. They furthermore have intuition, an algorithm for dealing with chaos/spontaneity.

    If violent turbulence is experienced, for instance, and the plane is losing altitude then it's sometimes required to lower the nose in order to prevent a stall.

    If the more senior pilot in the Air France flight that crashed in the Atlantic had been in the cockpit it is theorised it would not have crashed because he would have known to lower the nose rather than raise it. Because it was raised the plane lost altitude and crashed, killing all aboard.
     
  4. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    #4
    Green Tech.

    Once it becomes economically viable (meaning high enough efficiency at low enough costs), the ability to completely power your own home will quite literally change the concept of power in the world.

    I'm extremely interested in the leaps and bounds we're making in solar. Not only do we have silicon based methods mimicking the course silicon did for electronics, we also have new materials that will allow us to build power generating materials into or on any surface.

    Let's not forget the new methods that eliminate (or better yet, can be used in conjunction with) silicon based solar panels and instead focus on nano antennae that generate power through resonance frequencies.

    Of course this all hinges on the real bottleneck of the green revolution: BATTER Y TECHNOLOGY which we should be pouring R&D money into.

    Very very cool and inspiring stuff. Let's just hope that the research labs coming up with this stuff are actually interested in bettering mankind rather than making a quick buck and shelving the patents when the energy companies come knocking. / pessimism

    http://io9.com/5798638/a-tiny-antenna-could-revolutionize-solar-panels
     
  5. bobber205 macrumors 68020

    bobber205

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    #5
    I honestly expect China to be the green power leader in the world in the next 10 to 20 years. Given how their society and government works and the fact they don't have "fiscal conservatives" to stop them from pouring limitless dollars into research and testing.
     
  6. Apple OC macrumors 68040

    Apple OC

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    #6
    social media like Facebook causing government upheaval ... Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Syria, ... and coming soon Iran and others
     
  7. Huntn, Jun 11, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2011

    Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #7
    This kind of failure could be programmed so the aircraft would recognize it. Just a matter of money, memory and cpu power.

    We have probably seen the last manned fighter aircraft made. Aircraft without people in them have a 50% less profile, cost substantially less to make due to the human support systems not required, and can be designed to substantially perform better not having human limits to worry about. I admit humans hold the edge regarding tactics, but if the airplane had adequate sensors, it could fight and beat a human flown aircraft just because it could pull and sustain 15gs and humans can't.

    As a pilot I think pilots are good :), but when you look at any modern airliner, it can do just about everything on it's own, it could do everything if the money was spent. Airbuses have flight laws that prevent the aircraft from stalling (based on accurate data), won't allow 60° angle of bank to be exceeded, and other similar types of restrictions.

    If I understand current technology correctly as it is right now, drones can taxi to the runway on their own, execute their mission, land and taxi into their hanger on their own. I think commercial aircraft will always have a caretaker pilot at the wheel because I don't think the flying public will accept an automated pilotless airliner.

    In another direction, I am a strong believer in the possibility that humans will voluntarily become cyborgs in the near future. The first time that a chip can be implanted in the brain that allows people to access a network without any other interface, or increase access to computational power, it will happen, along with genetics to artificially keep the appearance of the body young and increase life span. As some scientists say, on an evolutionary scale, the human brain and body takes a very long time to improve. Any artificial assistance we can give it will most likely be gratefully accepted.
     
  8. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    #8
    Talk about winning the future.

    We'd be unleashing Americas formally stunning manufacturing potential into creating the worlds first truly sustainable green country. If we were serious about the future rather than short term gain we'd stop propping up the institutions of the 20th century and build the infrastructure needed for this century which is drastically different with the pace of technological advancement. Ours reflect the needs of the world decades ago and its really starting to show its age.

    We need to tell the politicians saying we can't afford it, while spending $10 billion a month on wars, to get the hell out of office. We need fresh thinkers with an understanding of how technology is going to influence the future to be elected. America needs a firmware update, and a reboot.
     
  9. mrkramer macrumors 603

    mrkramer

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    #9
    but what happens if you lose your accurate data? I would imagine that a computer could use known settings to fly at cruising altitude, but if you have any major problems with getting incorrect data is it possible for a computer to successfully land an aircraft? I think you will always need a pilot on hand if just for emergencies, but maybe I'm wrong.

    Also if you have a problem with a plane over a populated area where the plane is definitely going to crash is it possible to program a computer to ditch the plane somewhere where it would stop people on the ground from being killed? I'm thinking about that plane that ditched in the Hudson a little while back, would a landing like that be possible for a computer to make or would that plane have gone down in the middle of the city if it was run by a computer?
     
  10. CaoCao macrumors 6502a

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    #10
    four separate computers that vote so if one gets corrupted the other three can shut it down and decide
     
  11. bobber205 macrumors 68020

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    #11
    Don't know how many others are in a position like me but if gas went up to 8 or 10 dollars a gallon it would make tremendous sense for me to buy a hybrid/electric car. Right now it's close to making 'sense' but not quite.

    How much would it honestly cost if the government came out and said "Anyone that wants to buy a hybrid car gets half of it paid by the Feds?". I would love to see us go into debt to support a cause like that. :D
     
  12. Liquorpuki macrumors 68020

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    #12
    If the utility is trying to encourage the infrastructure as well, I think you can get somewhere between $8-10k subsidized on a Leaf or Volt.

    Problem is, not enough charging infrastructure. Especially if you rent.
     
  13. CaoCao macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    You could have federal tax go up 1¢/week which would be a major tax gain
    378 million gallons/day (of gasoline)
    x365 (days in a year)
    137,970,000,000 gallons/year
    x0.265 (average tax per week)

    Year 1 $36,562,050,000
    Year x=((71744400000x)+36562050000)

    so for year 10! we get 4,348,124,550,000...

    Why spend money to encourage it when you can get money and encourage it?
     
  14. stroked Suspended

    stroked

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    #14
    and hopefully the US
     
  15. mrkramer macrumors 603

    mrkramer

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    #15
    I was thinking more you lose accurate data to the computers, like the AF crash if you don't have accurate data haw can the computer land the plane? I guess you can add a few extra air traffic controllers who are trained to pilot drones similar to current military drone pilots and they can take control and land the plane.
     
  16. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    #16
    Amen. Though, as sad as it is to say, it seems to me that America is a land disconnected from its own political process.
     
  17. MacNut macrumors Core

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    #17
    Green tech will be no different from big oil. Someone will corner the market and charge up the ass for it.
     
  18. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    #18
    Thats if we allow for all the big companies to just buy up the patents. They aren't the ones paying for these developments, its the taxpayers funding university research. Being a cynic, however, I tend to agree with you.
     
  19. localoid macrumors 68020

    localoid

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    #19
    The Singularity is Coming

    There are three distinct ideas someone might have in mind when they refer to a 'technological Singularity':

    1. Intelligence explosion: When humanity builds machines with greater-than-human intelligence, they will also be better than we are at creating still smarter machines. Those improved machines will be even more capable of improving themselves or their successors. This is a positive feedback loop that could, before losing steam, produce a machine with vastly greater than human intelligence: machine superintelligence. Such a superintelligence would have enormous powers to make the future unlike anything that came before it.

    2. Event horizon: All social and technological progress thus far has come from human brains. When technology creates entirely new kinds of intelligence, this will cause the future to be stranger than we can imagine. So there is an 'event horizon' in the future beyond which our ability to predict the future rapidly breaks down.

    3. Accelerating change: Technological progress is faster today than it was a century ago, and it was faster a century ago than it was 500 years ago. Technological progress feeds on itself, leading to accelerating change much faster than the linear change we commonly expect, and perhaps change that is faster than we can cope with.

    Futurist Ray Kurzweil predicts that machines will reach human-level intelligence by 2030 and that we will reach "a profound and disruptive transformation in human capability" by 2045.

    The Singularity FAQ
     
  20. rasmasyean thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    Well, assuming you develop a robust enough simple remote control system, a ground pilot can fly the plane, just as they do with Predators and whatever current drones we have.

    As for the pilot better off in the cockpit regarding landing, they actually did an experiment where they blinded the cockpit and found that pilots (once trained) actually landed planes BETTER because of all the sensors and video feeds at various angles vs. "looking out a window". It was on the discovery channel. And since computers can theoretically process all this sensor information simultaneously and at light speeds...that only leaves programming error and the now "crude" visual interpretation technology we have to be a hindrance. But maybe its better not to "see" and just simplify it by "scanning"?
     
  21. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

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    #21
    All three of your points have already been "discovered", in fiction.

    Colossus, The Forbin Project. :eek:

    I suggest you use Apple Reader for the quote. More chilling that way. :D
     
  22. rasmasyean thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #22
    They've actually worked on technology where the computer can "learn" how to fly a plane that has been severely damaged. The idea is that a computer can itterate and adapt to flying the plane in different "configurations" much faster than a human can before it crashes. There have been photos of Israeli jets that came back with like practically an entire wing gone. Prolyl F-16's or something. Maybe this is the technology at work...where the computer can sense what flap angles and engine power is needed on the fly to control the "brand new plane".

    Whether they deem it's "worth it" to avail this type of stuff to the public is another story...then there's cost. But theoretically, in some circumstances, having a computer adapt to "turbulence" might be better than a pilot. And judging that many of the advanced planes "fly by wire" so the pilot really has no "feel" for the plane anyway. I think the stealth bomber and fighter triangle planes are only possible because a computer does the controls while the pilot just points a joystic and presses buttons or whatever.
     
  23. localoid macrumors 68020

    localoid

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    #23
    Fear of intelligence is an unnatural order...
     
  24. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    #24
    The Singularity Is Near was an awesome documentary
     
  25. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #25
    It depends if the discussion focuses on what is possible right now or what has been designed right now.

    Right now because humans possess faster, more capable CPUs, we have the edge for unusual circumstances, we have a lower failure rate than computers, although humans have been known to misread the situation and crash a plane that could have survived. There are some things we can do better than the airplane, like land the plane. I can't speak for other makes, but the Airbus autolands acceptably, but pilots are better. Part of the reason maybe its 386 processor. ;)

    And consider that the aircraft was designed with a human interface. When a fault occurs, a pilot must read an electric checklist and throw the proper switches. The makers wanted a human being in control. However, put a more capable computer in it, allow it to throw switches itself, give it enough information and I'm sure it could do a fine job of dealing with faults, even deciding where to go, and configure itself for landing if those capabilities were added to the aircraft.

    Ultimately it is a comparison between us and machines as computers. The more capable the CPU, eventually the computer will out perform the human.
     

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