Transportation, communications, retail, farming, leisure – there is hardly any field that hasn’t benefited from modern technology. AI is on the rise, and so are AR and VR. “Smart” is no longer enough; devices need to be “intelligent” and perform on par with humans.
With such a high demand placed on technology, no wonder that companies are racing head to head in coming up with something better, faster, stronger. Here are three of the fields that have benefitted the most from keeping up with the times.
After thousands of years of medical advancement there is still a lot to be discovered about human anatomy. But whatever we already know is quite intriguing and equally complicated.
To ease the process of understanding the human body, 3d4medical has created an interactive representation of its structure. The software presents all major systems – from skeletal to cardiovascular. It also includes 3d cross-slices of organs, bones, and tissue so users can understand them from every angle including one that is not readily visible during an autopsy.
What makes this software even more useful is the ability to take notes and find more info at the tap of a button. To ensure accuracy the company works with a team of renowned academics.
Technology is as useful in medicine for theoretical learning as it is in easing patients’ lives. As a testament to that, in 2016 the FDA approved the first “artificial pancreas” – a closed-looped system that self-regulates insulin production.
Diabetes has been a growing concern for decades. In 2014 the WHO reported that 422 million people suffer from this disease worldwide, with 1.6 million dying each year due to the illness. It’s a stubborn condition whose grip keeps tightening all over the globe. Some forms of diabetes require constant monitoring of insulin levels and timely application of the life-saving hormone.
The artificial pancreas, a device that’s been in development for half a decade, takes some of the work off the patient’s hands, who, under normal circumstances, can leave the device to monitor and administer insulin. This breakthrough is a huge leap towards the development of completely autonomous insulin regulating devices.
The majority of the world still utilizes an educational system that was designed to produce factory workers during the Industrial Revolution, a system that cannot produce capable professionals for today’s needs.
The Internet is the new revolution which calls for a novel approach to education. However, creating software is becoming ever more complex, with users expecting constant improvement in functionality but not at the expense of UX. It takes serious skills to create a great product that is also easy to use. Hence, it’s essential to start learning how to do it early on or at least build a solid foundation.
Enter the Raspberry Pi Laptop – a modular device developed by the Raspberry Pi Foundation. The keyboard of the laptop slides back to reveal access to the motherboard, where students can plug in a variety of devices – thus experimenting both with programming and electrical engineering at the same time.
We already mentioned the application of technology for medical students but our next pick, though aimed at these students, has the potential to work in other fields as well.
The Osmosis adaptive learning platform helps aspiring medical professionals in reinforcing their learning. Medical students have a lot on their plate – long and exhausting study sessions, dealing with complicated professional jargon, and carrying an individual responsibility towards human life. Once stepping on the path that is medical education, students need all the help they can get – from peers and professors to family.
But people are not always available and not always capable of helping. So, what if medical students had a private on-demand tutor in their pockets? This is what Osmosis is – an AI that follows the student’s schedule, providing supplemental study materials before classes and quizzes afterwards.
AR/VR tech has a long way to go until it provides an experience that mimics real life as close as possible, and why not even provide a better one. Some of the current limitations of AR/VR tech have to do with its physical requirements and with the level of realistic action in using it.
We are yet to witness a true standalone headset that doesn’t require the use of an external device such as a smartphone or a computer. With regard to realism, for the most part, AR/VT tech still feels like a game. The most vivid experience of real life is feeling and noticing emotions. While haptic feedback and motorized gaming chairs do stimulate players’ senses, how about their emotions or those of other players?
To solve this problem, Intel has come up with RealSense – a software/hardware combo that exceeds the capabilities of ordinary AR/VR tech. RealSense devices use three lenses to understand depth, size, shape, and movement. This allows for an accurate digital representation of real-life objects. The technology can even represent the user’s facial expressions though this tech has a myriad of other possible uses beyond gaming and creating realistic avatars.
The examples in this article are only a ripple in the sea of life-changing advancements. Unfortunately, tech can also be used for malicious practices. This is most apparent in the gaming industry and especially with games that involve prizes.
When it comes to money some people lose their virtues. A field that has a lot to lose by this is poker – a game that has been growing in popularity in recent years thanks to technology. But, while prohibited on most platforms, the use of online poker bots is a thing in the poker industry. Getting the help of a computer in calculating odds or in other way getting an edge over other players can be hard to detect despite the best efforts of poker companies to keep their games bot-free.
The issue has gained attention in the poker community and last year the online gaming company 888poker published an article on how to recognize and beat bots when playing live poker online. In other words, the company took care to expose one of the dark sides of gaming technology.
Appeal for a responsible use
There are countless more examples of tech that is reshaping whole industries. Surgeons have been operating with robots from miles away for some time now. Teachers and students no longer need to be physically present in a classroom. Gamers can play Texash Hold’Em from the comfort of their homes and still feel like they are at the center of the action.
Yet, as mentioned with poker, whether technology will help us or break us is up to us. Our hope is that we’ll use these unearthly advancements for good, not evil, because technology will only get better and smarter and it’ll be a shame not to appreciate it for the right reasons.