Technology can overwhelm us and make us imagine the weirdest scenarios. However, it isn't as scary as it seems.
With the astonishing evolution of technology, it’s easy to be overwhelmed or even scared. Once you’ve started getting used to how your new tablet or smart TV works, a new version of your gadget appears with a completely different software and even more sophisticated functions. So if those simple changes can be upsetting, think about those advances that are even more elaborate and which we don’t fully understand, such AI, hacking, and robotics. The possible outcomes of the advances on these areas can seem kind of apocalyptic, especially if we think about all those Hollywood blockbusters about machines revolting and killer robots. However, there’s no reason to really worry about a robot rebellion happening any time soon. For now, the only thing we should worry about is the use we give to gadgets and technology in our everyday lives.
With these things on my mind, I decided to do some research on the internet for a while and look for the most bizarre yet common questions about these tech issues. Here are the three of them and their answers.
What happens if your sex robot is hacked?
Recently, one of the news that took the internet by storm was about sex robots. In cities like Barcelona, there are sex doll brothels where people go and pay quite a lot of money to spend some a couple of hours with their favorite doll. To make the whole thing even more eerie, companies like RealDolls are planning on inserting AI technology in their sex dolls to make them learn what the user likes and act based on that. That doesn't sound that strange, right? Well, after cybersecurity expert, Dr. Nick Patterson, stated that robots could be hacked to the point that hackers could have complete use of their limbs, many people have wondered if it would be possible to hack these sex robots and what would the consequences of that be. If you think about it, you'll probably start imagining a Terminator or Blade Runner-like outcome. However, it's a lot simpler than that.
Yes, once the robot is hacked, the hacker has complete control over it, but the worst thing they could do is make the user have a bad time. According to cybersecurity expert Jason McNew, these robots are mostly made from silicone, so they wouldn’t really harm the user. However, if the hacker makes them clasp too hard or make any kind of strange movement… Ouch.
Can I be hacked through Wi-Fi?
If you’re afraid someone will steal your data through your Wi-Fi, you don’t have anything to worry about… as long as it's secure. Public Wi-Fi, in fact, is one of the easiest means for hackers to meddle with your info and steal it. One of these methods is the famous Man-in-the-Middle attack (MITM). As you might guess from the name, hackers put themselves “between” you and the server. So, the hacker creates fake websites that seem to be legit (for instance, bank or e-mail sites) so that they can steal data like your username and passwords. Although this might happen in any kind of Wi-Fi server, public Wi-Fi is mostly vulnerable to these attacks because navigation data isn’t encrypted.
Can machines develop feelings?
I must confess, when I found this question, I thought it was kind of cute, especially because there were people concerned about their computer’s feelings. The answer to this question lies, on the one hand, on the development of AI, and on the other, on how we understand the “usefulness” of feelings. According to Professor Don Norman in his book Emotional Design, emotions are an essential part of social interactions because they control the way we react to life. For instance, if we’re stuck in traffic, but we stay calm, we won’t react in the same way as if we were on a hurry or had a bad day. Now, talking about machines, Professor Norman asks whether machines would react better if they had feelings because they would be more “empathetic”. However, that would imply developing emotions alongside AI. And do we really understand the nature of emotions? Perhaps that would make for a good discussion or a sci-fi movie plot. In real life, this situation is not happening anytime soon. But I guess that no one can stop you from taking care of your computer and gadgets as if they were alive.
As we’ve seen, what we should actually worry about is the use we give to technology and not the gadgets themselves. It's not very comforting, I know, but least you won’t have to worry about your computer and TV rebelling against you and stealing your identity.
You might be interested in these: