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|STRASBOURG Sean Harlow Jersey , May 27 (Xinhua) -- "We can use robots, but we should watch out that we are not becoming robots ourselves," warned Dutch expert in science and technology Rinie van Est during an interview with Xinhua after participating in a bioethics conference here.
Van Est is a research coordinator at the Rathenau Instituut in The Hague, the Netherlands, where he has worked since 1997, and where his work on emergent technologies is regularly requested by the Dutch parliament, and has recently been commissioned by both the European Parliament and the Council of Europe.
"The idea is Duke Riley Jersey , to use robotics, we first have to reorganize the way we live," he said. "To what extent are we actually making our world robot-friendly, and to what extent is that at the cost of humans?"
While in Strasbourg to work with the Council of Europe, he distributed copies of an essay he published for the Rathenau Instituut, "Intimate Technology: The battle for our body and behavior," in which he examines the ramifications of what he calls a big trend in technology today: its increasing closeness to our bodies Takkarist McKinley Jersey , and its connection to the data-driven world.
"To explain intimate technology, I say there are two things going on. So the computer is becoming smaller and smaller: that's miniaturization, that's the nano-aspect of it...This technology is becoming very close to you, but as it comes closer and closer, it can measure all kinds of things about you," he said.
One of his primary examples is the Nike+ shoe, which is embedded with a microchip that gathers information about steps taken by its wearer. This allows the user to measure their performance and share that information with others.
"The technical trend is that technology is coming closer to the body Austin Hooper Vapor Untouchable Jersey , but at the same time it is also being connected to the internet, so the data that you collect about your sporting behavior, you can share it with other people via social media, but it also goes to Nike," he said.
The question raised by van Est is about how that data will be used, by whom, and in whose interests. In the example of Nike+ Deion Jones Vapor Untouchable Jersey , he was quick to point out that data measuring how someone walks can be used to measure sports performance, but also to predict dementia. Thus, it goes from being personal performance data to bio data and, in this case at least, it is controlled by major corporations.
"For the last 5-10 years we've grown accustomed to giving away our social data for free to big companies," he explained. "At this moment we are starting to do that on a massive scale with our biological data and we have to be aware of that."
"Are we aware of what companies or governments can do with that data?" These kinds of inquiries have led van Est to study e-coaching in "Sincere support: The rise of the e-coach" for the Rathenau Instituut. E-coaching describes a wide variety of tools, generally available as apps (applications) for smart phones Vic Beasley Jr Vapor Untouchable Jersey , which take data from users in order to "coach" them in various activities, from sports to dieting to sleeping habits.
"If you look at e-coaching, it's an apparatus that can have a huge impact on your social life. It intervenes in a behavioral way. You could say these are social engineering techniques," van Est said.
"When we have human coaches, we have all kinds of principles we use to ensure this practice of coaching is beneficial to people," he explains, listing principles such as confidentiality Devonta Freeman Vapor Untouchable Jersey , being current in the field, and informed consent. These same principles, however, are not always available with e-coaching tools.
"We seem to have forgotten that we had a kind of practice that has developed over the years and which is steered or governed by these principles, which are very sensible," he said.
This observation leads to the heart of van Est's concerns and his work: looking at how we live in an increasingly technological world, but without losing the skills which human culture has developed over the history of the species.
"We've always used technology to control our environment Julio Jones Vapor Untouchable Jersey , but since the Second World War, we use technology more and more to gain control over our bodies, but also our social lives," he said. "We have to be aware of this big trend, and see it maybe not as an inevitable thing, but a thing we can shape, and we constantly shape it by making all kinds of political and economic choices."
His concern for awareness is at the heart of his most recent work around robotics: "To what extent are we computerizing Austin Hooper Falcons Jersey , robotizing, or organizing our social lives in different ways? That's a big question: do we become more or less human in that way?"
The final argument in his essay is for humans to become what he calls the "wild cyborg," embracing technological advance, but not at the expense of our human characteristics.
"Let us apply intimate technology in such a way that we become human cyborgs. That machine-propelled interactions remain human in nature. And in deploying machines with people's traits, we do so in a human way," he declares.
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