Archive for the ‘ethics’ Category

There are many possible uses for the Internet of things, but as any other technology, we cannot deny that this system have some dangers, too. How are we going to protect our privacy when the Internet of things will be extended? What would happen if, like it happened with some other technologies, it would be a failure in the system? This article offers a more sceptic point of view about the Internet of things. It exposes the concerns about a world where everything is connected and makes us think about the negative consequences that this system could have.

Are you interested in knowing more about the risks of the world that is coming? Check this article:

http://theconversation.edu.au/the-internet-of-things-this-is-where-were-going-3965

By Aneley Lampugnani

One impressive possible feature of the internet of things is improved health care. It will be possible for symptoms and behavior to be monitored in real time allowing for better diagnoses and more specific, accurate treatment suggestions. The company My Basis have the first health and heart rate monitor that one can wear on one’s wrist. Calories burned, sleeping habits and physical activity are all measured by the small yet powerful device. The measurements are linked to an individual online dashboard.

Being under complete surveillance while as seen in this case could be for our own good, could undoubtedly lead to instances where we question whether or not this is too much. While the list of positive possibilities seems long, this new incredibly detailed communication is all happening outside of our control which could lead to the results being different than those we envisioned.

 

References:

http://web.ebscohost.com.molly.ruc.dk/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=f75f38a5-a247-47b5-ad11-1a0ed15cf145%40sessionmgr115&vid=1&hid=107

In the morning you are in such  a hurry. Just right before going out of the house your car keys and cell phone seems to just have gotten up in smoke. The same as always when the dear Uncle Murphy comes across with his Law.  (…)  Ever been there?

What if you could have a control panel on a cloud that could locate all your important belongings as the phone, keys, passport, credit card, luggage, including your dear ones?

Nowadays, the police can locate your iPhone, tablet or laptop if you have installed an anti-theft programme but what if this idea would become adapted for your home, office or on the go( GPS ) use?

If talking in terms of safety, it could be  a bone-chilling experience if somebody could unlock your personal document and belonging locator and use it for purposes just as diverse as imagination. On the other side, if all of the items would be marked by an in-built chip, a higher security service would/should have access to locate almost everything in a much broader map.

How do you see the pros and cons,  and development  of the item locators?

Although the Internet of things is a term that still sounds futuristic or weird for some of us, is a concept that is already tangible in some applications.  In this sense, there can be found some projects and new technologies that are  using this idea  to construct better cities, where life is simpler and systematized.  We can understand this umbrella of ideas under the concept of “Smart Cities”.

“The concept of smart cities has emerged during the last few years to describe how investments in human and social capital and modern ICT infrastructure and e-services fuel sustainable growth and quality of life, enabled by a wise management of natural resources and through participative government (Caragliu, Del Bo, Nijkamp)” ( 27-02- 2012: http://www.theinternetofthings.eu/content/call-papers-smart-applications-smart-cities-new-approaches-innovation )

So, after reading about Smart Cities I decided to look for some examples of The Internet of Things building Smart Cities, and the followings are good iniciatives that are already working:

IBM’s Intelligent Technology is an application that tries to manage and predict the traffic flux in the city of Zhenjiang, China, in order to improve the circulation all over the city.

The Trash|Track project tries to make awarness about the (in)sustainbility of the trash in the world nowadays while monitoring the location of the trash. It consists about different small, smart, location tags installed in trash items  so that objects can be followed through the system’s waste management system. In this sense, the people can see all the journey that the trash is doing in real time visualization.

Learn more about Trash|Track project

 

Articles:

5 ways the Smart City will change how we live in 2012

Smart cities aim to predict – and manage- traffic future

City of Zhenjiang, China and IBM Collaborate to Build a Smarter City

Posted by Clàudia Aragon.

The internet of things and a smart grid, a highly efficient power grid that uses advanced programs and wirelessly connected devices to distribute power without wasting it, can play a huge role in saving environment and making the world more sustainable.

Internet of things can make the world greener by:

– cutting energy losses for example in lightning, heating, air conditioning and transport via smart software

-saving water by using smart internet operated watering systems

-making people more conscious of the amount of trash they are producing by making all the wasted objects traceable

Telecom company Ericsson’s chief executive Hans Vestberg argues that “By 2020, there will be around 50 billion devices connected to a wireless network — and a huge chunk of those devices will be able to drastically reduce carbon emissions and environmental impact by virtue of being connected to the Internet.”

Devices connected to internet can be more efficiently operated and therefore the network can be used to save energy and the world.

References:

http://gigaom.com/2012/01/13/how-the-internet-of-things-could-make-the-world-safer-greener/

http://www.fastcompany.com/biomimicry/how-the-internet-of-things-is-turning-cities-into-organisms

http://gigaom.com/cleantech/the-internet-of-things-energy/

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/03/24/idUS3370623720110324

Have you ever wondered why certain posts by your facebook friends show up on your feed, while others are noticeably absent? What you see and what you don´t, is actually no coincidence. In fact, facebook disseminates a lot of the information that is shared among its users. The communication which takes place on facebook is aided by an algorhithm called Edgerank. Edgerank ranks users status updates, determining which posts show up on other users’ screen. This is done by calculating users’ facebook activity in terms of a set of variables – often referred to as Affinity, Weight and Age.

Edgerank mediates the connectedness, interactivity and frequency of posting, tagging, liking, commenting, upload of pictures etc. It does so by calculating and qualifying your actions with a certain score according to the activity. But to what extent?

Edgerank arguably is meant to optimize your facebook experience, by making sure that what you see will actually catch and maintain your interest. For example, it makes sense that you are not as interested in the posts by peripheral friends as by those close to you. In optimizing the users facebook experience by means of the Edgerank algorithm, there is a ranking and connecting process going on that is outside of user control.

This has severe impacts on our conception of social life, how we interact – and, indeed how information is presented to us. Edgerank presents us with a certain set of rules, a lens through which we see, obtain and publish information. But who defines the scope of things and why are these not explicitly spelled out?

References:

Google AdSense is a conception of publicity that appeals to the personal interest of each surfer. It is proposing a new advertising system based on algorithmic codes in order to choose the most interesting commercials for each one.

This can be a good way for the surfer to find what he finds interesting based on its individual researches on Google or in a website associated to this service.

In general, this service is seen as a good tool for the publishers and also for the users, because it helps putting in contact each publisher to the proper users. However, Adsense uses tracking cookies to find the surfers personal interest, and that can be seen as a violation of privacy. The tracking cookies make it possible to find out which websites the user has visited, and that way the advertisement can specialize to the user personally, which can make him feel like being watched. But for that reason there is a tool that allow the users to desactive this service.

Reference: http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-google-adsense.htm