When we think of technological advancement, we think about AI, reusable rockets that fly off into space and robots that will take over one day. It’s those type of futuristic topics that really hold the attention of the general public. And why not, AI (and especially machine learning) is making waves in people’s lives every day, from voice assistants to chatbots. Reusable rockets are paving the way for a new way of looking at one of the most resource-intensive (and therefore environmentally harmful) endeavors in a way we can talk about sustainable space travel. And robots, after decades of wild fantasies, some more gloom than others, are finally here in a way this can be seen as a watershed moment. One area that is less in the public eye, but is a definitive improvement to people’s lives, is the way technology is affecting safety.
Technology is enabling us to monitor people and traffic in such a way that we can process a multitude of data streams from different sources, and create a coherent understanding of it all. For example, we can have machines monitor the roads and throw up flags if it thinks a significant incident has happened and respond quicker than any human could do. This could be in the form of cameras counting cars at intervals, and when a car goes missing, it would signal an operator who then can intervene. And although there is a clear flipside to all this monitoring, there are clear opportunities where ethical and moral use of tech can help keep people safer.
Another way technology is helping in heavy industry is by providing smart sensors that tie into an ecosystem of machine intelligence and human controllers. This could be something like the combination of thermal imaging and door fob entries to log the number of people present at any time, which in a time of calamity will be critical information. It could be a kiln camera that uses sensors and imaging to provide accurate readings, removing the necessity of human measurement and therefore increasing safety. This is obviously in line with how robots are stepping in and taking on the more difficult and dangerous tasks from humans.
Technology and the advancements of having highspeed internet over 5G, for example, helps the sharing of information, especially for first responders. Firefighters, medics and law enforcement being able to get to the scene quickly but also be briefed with as much information as possible helps them respond for efficiently Highspeed internet helps this process by enabling more and richer format information to reach the first responders in seconds.
And it’s not only through the airwaves that new technology is helping, but it’s also in our wearable devices. Take the technological progress made on devices for diabetics, being able to continuously monitor glucose levels in the blood, and alert someone if they might need some extra insulin. It’s devices that provide heart monitoring, that can alert trained professionals and medical experts if something seems to be off. Technology like that is helping to keep humans safe, and live fuller lives.