June 24, 2020 | 5min read
#PositiveTech: Positive Effects of Technology on Society
Let’s have a look at some examples of positive effects of technology! We did some research and gathered a few amazing tech innovations that have a positive impact on society.
#PositiveTech has always been at the forefront of our mission, so dive in and get inspired with us by Winterlight Labs (monitoring cognitive health with tablet-based tech), M-Connected (digitalizing medicine packaging), RapidAir (fighting pollution with data), Wayve (changing the way we think of smart-cars) and more!
First, tech innovations in healthcare. In the world where we producing and wasting huge amounts of medical drugs, mental health is still a taboo in some cultures and we’re just starting out to understand a bit more about those diseases and how to treat them, here are two awesome initiatives that might drive a little bit of change in the healthcare industry.
A Canadian company called Winterlight Labs specializes in computational linguistics, cognitive neuroscience, and machine learning. Their award-winning tablet-based technology is designed to help detect and monitor Alzheimer’s disease and other cognitive disorders. The tool records a sample of a person’s speech describing a picture shown on the screen. After a few minutes of analyzing rhythm, pauses between words, rate of speech and other hundreds of variables, the solution gives detailed data on one’s cognitive health. According to Winterlight Labs, the technology has between 85% to 100% accuracy in identifying Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and aphasia in the laboratory conditions. source: Newswire
On a mission to reduce millions of pounds spent on unused medicine in the UK, companies are looking for digital solutions like the smart packaging. One of them is an IoT company called M-Connected who wants to digitize medicine packaging by embedding GPS technology into labels (printed electronics). It will give information on where a specific drug is in the supply chain and control its production in a more efficient way. source: Chemistry world
If you ask a random person “how does technology affect the environment?” they’d probably say “badly”. But, here’s a couple of examples that will prove that technology and the environment come together also in a positive way:
In most big cities in the world air pollution monitors detect the level of pollution only in real-time, meaning they can’t predict when the change in air quality will happen. Being set up in different locations, they also only analyze the air in the close proximity which results in less accurate readings. According to scientists, air quality can change drastically in small distances and periods of time. The RapidAir software wants to solve these issues by collecting detailed data and predicting the air quality in small areas, like built-up streets, where pollution holds up especially bad. The technology can influence how we design and build our cities—with a clear air in mind.
Environmental awareness and technology are changing how humans approach and use oceans and seas. A great example here are unmanned robotic boats that explore deep waters and gather data on temperature, waves, pollution etc. This data would be of significant value not only to weather forecasters and seafood companies but also to the oil and gas industry. source: The Economist
The main goal of a smart city is to improve the quality of living of the citizens through technology and the initiatives mentioned below are doing just that.
There’s a huge flow of data in the public and private sectors of big cities— and most of it goes to waste. Thanks to the open data approach, governments can release useful chunks of data to companies from various sectors like public transport, healthcare, fintech, environment, services, travel etc. This results in more accurate and transparent data in mobile apps, public information, online platforms for everyone in your city! source: hub.beesmart.city
Most self-driving cars rely heavily on sensors and maps — very unreliable factors. Wayve—founded by a team from Cambridge University Engineering Department— is developing a different kind of smart car, one that relies on machine learning and is truly…’smart’. By combining reinforcement learning and computer vision, Wayve car can learn how to drive itself and constantly improve its functions. Safe, efficient and…pretty cool!
In the XXI century it’s safe to say, that technology affects culture and culture affects technology like never before. Holograms, mixed realities, AI, autonomous cars… Just to name a few.
From November 2017 to April this year visitors of the Tate Modern gallery in London could try out an immersive VR experience at the Modigliani exhibition and visit the artist’s studio in Paris. They could see almost first-hand, the artist’s modest living conditions, his work and learn about the last years of his life in the French capital. VR and AR can encourage young people to know more about art as well as give something new and exciting even to the frequent museum-goers. source: Tate.org.uk
We already use the benefits of AI while planning our travels—with booking hotels, searching for flights and cool destinations. But AI keeps developing: it will soon enhance the personal automation factor with personal travel assistants like Alexa or self-driving cars. The future is almost here, so it’s about time to figure out all the benefits as well as the perks of this social and economic change. source: weforum.org
What do you think of our list? Do you know some other cool #PositiveTech initiatives and products? If so, let us know!
The article was originally printed(!) in our first ever magazine. Learn all about our special passion project Polimag.
Senior Communication Specialist