Mapping the world's opinions

Welcome to Technology

This is a place to read about and contribute to discussions about technology. Discover the controversies surrounding the world of artificial intelligence, social media and net neutrality.
Welcome to Technology
Welcome to Technology
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Should we break up the Big Tech companies?

Amazon, Google, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft and others are now some of the largest and most powerful corporations in world history. Their reach is global, their resources and power eclipsing all but the largest nations. With their monopolies on entire market sectors and their political impact, has Big Tech become detrimental to the public good?

Is 5g technology dangerous for human health?

The telecom industry is trying to roll out technology that may have very real, unintended harmful consequences. Scientific studies, both recently and over many years, have identified harmful effects on health when testing wireless products under realistic conditions. Some people are very concerned that the increase in radiation exposure by 5G leads to damage that cannot be reversed. Are these stud...

Has surveillance gone too far?

The Post-9/11 political consensus put a greater emphasis on state surveillance. Increasingly sophisticated technologies gave state actors the power to track and watch ordinary people like never before. While supporters argue that this is a small price to pay for increasing safety and preventing terrorism, others see this as a serious contravention of human rights. Is the extent to which we are now...

Was Twitter correct in fact checking Trump?

On May 28th, Twitter added a fact check to a Trump Tweet about mail in ballots. The President has argued that this is a type of political censorship. Is Twitter a public square or private forum? Does a fact-check limit free speech? Was Twitter correct in fact-checking Trump's tweets?

What are the pros and cons of social medias impact on mental health during the coronavirus pandemic?

The coronavirus pandemic has led to significant lifestyle changes and isolation measures across the world. Social media has provided a platform for people to stay connected, communicate with friends and family, and engage with the news and current affairs. However, there is a lot of research and concern for the role of social media in the increasing mental health rates, particularly amongst teenag...

Mapping the world's opinions.

Are we living in a simulation?

Ever since The Matrix was released in 1999, many have questioned the parameters of the world we know and experience. Though the movie was a worldwide phenomenon that sparked up this debate, the philosophical underpinnings and implications of this potential reality give it new meaning in a modern, technologically advanced world where everything seems possible.

Do video games cause violence?

For decades, parents, psychologists, and neuroscientists have studied the potential connection between violent video games and the level of real-world violence displayed by the children and young adults who play them, especially those shown on the national stage for criminal activity and mass shootings. A plethora of research and academic study has erupted from this debate, contributing to our gro...

Should we explore space?

Humans have been fascinated with space for centuries. Mayans made a calendar from the stars, Galileo made a telescope, and a man was put on the moon. Space is vast, and scientists still don’t know a lot about it. Is space worth still exploring? Now that the space race has died down, does humanity need to continue to learn about space?

Do we need manned space flights?

Seeing a man on the moon was one of the coolest things of the 1960's. Since then, shuttle have been sending many, many people up to complete missions. These are costly and incredibly dangerous. Are manned missions economically viable or is it more effective to focus on less expensive drone missions?

Should mobile contact-tracing be used to tackle COVID-19?

Contact-tracing apps - mobile applications where individuals can track their symptoms - have been proposed as a possible salve to the spread of coronavirus. Experts believe that at least half the population needs to use contact-tracing apps for them to work. The challenge will be convincing the public to opt in after years of trust issues with big tech.

Should we boycott Facebook because of Cambridge Analytica?

Cambridge Analytica is a British political consulting firm. In March, allegations broke that CA obtained private information from an estimated 50 million Facebook users without their permission. This data was then shared with third parties, including Donald Trump’s presidential campaign during the 2016 US Presidential Elections. The issue has raised concerns about privacy in the age of Big Data, a...

Do tech monopolies stifle or spur innovation?

A technological monopoly occurs when one company exclusively controls the right to sell a service or product. A company that holds a technological monopoly is free to set prices as high or as low as they want, due to the lack of competition in the given field. This debate is centered on the role of the government in the economy and whether tech companies have an incentive to self-regulate their in...

Is free software better quality than closed software?

There is no singular way to define the quality of a software; there are many ways to define it. It could be defined by user satisfaction, the efficiency of the code, or the software's technological impact. With this in mind, how does free software compare to closed software?

What is the best front end framework for building websites?

'Front end' development concerns the visual presentation of data and input, for instance, website design. But there are many different frameworks that can assist with and facilitate front end development. Out of all the front end frameworks for building websites, which is the best?

Are chatbots useful?

As AI and Machine Learning progresses in leaps and bounds, it is built more into our everyday lives. Chatbots have taken over customer service, and virtual assistants like Alexa and Google Home are more and more ubiquitous. But is this a good thing? Or is it simply disconnecting us from real people?

Will artificial intelligence lead to the end of humankind?

The term artificial intelligence (AI) was coined back in 1956. While science fiction often portrays AI as robots with human-like characteristics, AI can encompass anything from Google’s search algorithms to IBM’s Watson to autonomous weapons, and it's progressing rapidly. AI today is properly known as narrow AI (or weak AI), as it is designed to perform a narrow task (e.g. facial recognition or dr...

Is Bitcoin the future?

Since its inception since 2008, the world has looked at Bitcoin with cautious fascination. In 2013 Bitcoin started to generate interest as investors and buyers explored the possibility of Bitcoin emerging as the predominant international currency. The bursting of the Bitcoin bubble several years later did much to dampen its outlook but is Bitcoin the future of money?

How does social media affect mental health?

The relationship between social media and mental health is complex, as social media takes over more and more of our lives. Many people instantly assume social media has a negative effect on mental health, but can there be positive effects too?

Is net neutrality good or bad?

Net neutrality is the idea that internet providers must not treat websites differently. All websites, irrespective of their content, equipment, or location must be treated with the same priority and speed. For net neutrality’s proponents, it is essential for preserving the internet’s commitment to information sharing and the establishment of a level playing field for all participants, but what are...

Do cell phones cause cancer?

The International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified the radiofrequency fields generated by cell phones as "possibly carcinogenic to humans." With billions of people around the world using cell phones on a regular basis, any link between cell phones and cancer would represent a major public health risk. What does the science say? Has enough research been done? And can existing studies be...

Have emojis changed the world?

In just two decades, emoji has become ‘the fastest growing language in history’. But are there more complex implications to their popularity? With more than 92% of internet users now using emojis, and billions used every day, do the simple digital pictograms have wider implications for society, relationships and even the way we're hardwired?

Will AI take our jobs?

Since the dawn of the information age, society has worried about artificial intelligence replacing human labour. We are now seeing rapid advances being made in this technology that makes the question of critical importance. What will the future of automation look like, and will AI take our jobs?

Is social media outrage a positive force in society?

The age-old maxim goes, "if you're not outraged, you're not paying attention". This has never been more applicable. Nothing drives social media engagement like outrage and social media platforms have embraced models designed to inflame and spark anger. The success of positive social and political movements like #MeToo and the Arab Spring largely stem from social media outrage but is it a positive ...

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