Humanity has always required the advancement of science in order to move forward as a civilization and leave behind history. However there have always been those crossroads where new technology may give our lives a new hell, or a new convenience. Such as the dynamite, its intent was for the convenience of clearing mines, however it was also possible to use this new technology as a deadly weapon. We are currently at that crossroad; the advancement in technology we are currently making will change the world for the better or worse, and understanding the use of the technologies can give us the most efficient beneficial to ourselves.
An example of this kind of future technology is virtual reality. Virtual reality is a technology that is defined as computer generated simulations that allow for human interaction. In general we recognize this from the VR games that are so popular nowadays. However there are components to these mere games that seem harmless enough that will change the world. Virtual Reality can influence the human mind. If developed well, and made more realistic, repeated actions in simulated situations will allow us to gain experience in a safe environment. In good cases this can be used as treatment options for various obtainable psychological disorders such as PTSD, social anxiety, and phobias. In the future it seems that it will be an option to use Virtual reality to cure depression, addiction, and eating disorders. However influencing the human mind doesn’t just give, it can take. It can give people psychological disorders’ depending on what the program uploaded is designed to do, and may cause many other crimes to become committable due to this technology. The debate still continues about if it is right to manipulate the human mind to conform people to society using this technology.
Speaking of minds, the next future technology that may change the world are A.Is. Not the ones that are like terminator, although it is very possible our future might end up in a similar situation. As most of you may know A.I stands for Artificial Intelligence, a computer generated mind doing the tasks of a normal human of visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, etc. All the mundane tasks such as driving, organizing mass amounts of numerical data, and calculations can be accomplished with no human attention, and will allow humans a lot more time to ponder upon other matters. However misuse of this technology is also possible such as hacking, faster calculations in plans to harm people, and over reliance dulling our minds of the most basic thinking, etc. There is also the chance of A.I becoming sentient, from one reason or another. Because the creation of a sentient being is possible through the evolution of this technology, it is a problem in ethics because it would mean that we have created a being solely for the purpose of slave labor, possibilities include the A.I being ill treated, and erased from creation, the same level of killing a person.
Technology is best used when it is best understood. Implementing a technology means that the benefits and the harm it will bring are both accepted, and therefore requires more thought on whether the technology should advance. We are at the crossroad where we should either accept the new world, or we should reject it in fear for the future, but doing nothing will not change anything nor it will it be a efficient use of the resources we have.