Great ideas come with great risks. Great ideas that materialize come with even greater risks. It’s the reason why I don’t adhere to the Precautionary principle, but rather the Proactionary principle. Where I see risks, I don’t cower from it, destroying its cause in fear of having to face it. No. I’d much rather face up to it, understand it, and defeat it. For what causes great risks comes with even greater benefits. I look at cameras, everywhere, and don’t fear of govts and intelligence agencies watching my every move. Rather I feel comfort in the fact that, if something were to happen to me, someone would know my story – someone would know where I am, or where I was.
The same goes with new GPS systems. If you have an Android, and you’ve provided me with your keyword – mine is simply ‘GPS’, FYI – I can text your phone the keyword and in a few minutes have a trace of your location. Many may fear this of being abused by someone who’s just trying to stalk you, but I have little worry of it. I instead see great benefits for everyone – family, friends, and parents especially. If a parent wishes to know where their child is without intruding in their own personal lives, simply text their phone the keyword and “covertly” retrieve their GPS location. Parents, I’m sure, during a time when cell phones didn’t exist would likely have benefited greatly from tech like this.
Facial recognition systems (FRS) are another controversial idea. Fear of “Big Brother” knowing who you are, your background, is a likely cause of concern for many regarding the tech. Honestly, though, during this age they already know who you are. Avoiding FRS won’t stop “Big Brother” from knowing you, nor finding your general location. So instead of attempting to run, I’d much rather attain its benefits. Imagine having a facial recognition system on your Google Glass device? Sure, if you don’t want to be seen, then only allow those to retrieve your info when asked. But imagine if you’re a child that’s missing, or a parent whose child is missing, and said child’s face and information is logged into an Amber Alert system. Say you have an app on your Glass device that quietly reads everyone’s faces you walk by and alerts you when you come across a face that is reported missing. You could then call it in to the police, or better yet have an instant notification to local police stations when a missing child has been located via Glass! No parent would say no to this.
These are just a few examples. Point is that if a technology has great benefits behind it, but also great risks, we mustn’t allow the risks to dictate us. We instead should figure out how to conquer them and consequently learn to make said tech better and more efficient.