Technology Advantages and Disadvantages

The article “The Future of 3-D Printing” was written by Avi Reichental, who is the Founder, Chairman and CEO of XponentialWorks, and General Partner at OurCrowd’s Cognitive Ventures fund. At the beginning of the article, he talks briefly about how 3-D printing is “an unstoppable force”. It is rapidly changing, always improving. Its functions are broadening with technological advancements that are happening very fast nowadays. It is a valuable asset in many very different industries, such as aerospace, automobile, health care, and even fashion. This industry’s competition and investment are growing rapidly. Then, the article talks about innovations in direct-metal printing. It says that it can now print “high-performance” and complex products, which will soon be available for production. This will reduce the cost substantially.

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The article calls these printers “an entire factory in a box”, which can operate twenty-four seven. The predicted annual revenue for this metal business is one billion dollars. The article also talks about innovations in printing speed (what used to take days, not can be done in ten-fifteen minutes) and in selective laser sintering (which is “the ability to produce parts from a variety of nylon materials”; it used to do selective jobs, but now it is ready to go mainstream.). This article concludes with “how these innovations will shape the future” where it talks about how 3-D printing is spreading across many industries. 3-D printers are even becoming mainstream in schools and public libraries, where students learn how to use them.

This article talks about the spread of 3-D printing with a positive connotation. I agree that in many fields, if not all, it is (or will be) a great asset. In the automotive industry it can reduce costs greatly, in health care it can save lives. This is all great, but I think that there is also a down side to this new technology. Some companies, factories, machine shops will go out of business. This means that a lot of people can lose their jobs, so the rate of unemployment will rise. I think that many people “in charge” understand this, but I do not think that this is going to stop the “unstoppable” expansion of 3-D printing technology. With other technological advancements I can find more disadvantages, but with this one I can’t be certain. Will it make people think less? Will it get “get rid” of some forms of manual labor? Is that good or bad in the long run?

I do not know. I guess time will be the judge of that.This article on robotics was written by Jim Pinto, who is an industry analyst and commentator, writer, technology entrepreneur, investor and futurist. It is an overview of robotics. The article starts by explaining 3 aspects of any robot – Brawn (physical strength – how much weight a robot can move), Bone (physical structure based on the work it does – its size and weight), and Brain (intelligence – what a robot can do and think independently). The article says that there are almost a million robots in the world today. Automobile plants, factories, labs, warehouses, energy plants, hospitals, and other industries use robots. Some “smartest” robots are used as space explorers and surgeons (remotely operated). Then, the article talks about new robot configurations. It says that there will be more and more robots that can be programmed – “tooling kinds of robots” – not the traditional robots of today.

Robot constructors want to make robots that look and think like humans, but that has not happened yet. Right not, most robots cannot see or walk. However, thousands are already being used everywhere. For example, they are mowing lawns and vacuuming carpets. (There are also automated gas pumps, bank ATMs, self-checkout lanes.) The article says that there is a “huge potential to mechanize the US postal service”, and that it is not difficult to imagine that all advancements in this area can lead to “the automation of most boring, low-intelligence, low-paying jobs”.

At first, this article talks about robots in a positive manner. It lists all the advancements, advantages, innovations. And I agree – there are many advantages. I am sure that there are a lot of tasks robots can do that people cannot. (However, robots cannot do many things that people can: be creative, have an imagination and curiosity, create Art – literature, poetry, music, painting, etc.) But, in the last few paragraphs, it switches to the negative side of having robots. (It is in the last sentence of the previous paragraph.)

I am not going to say that I am scared of robots taking over the world – like they are usually portrayed in movies. But (like the article says), an estimate of more than 50% of Americans might be unemployed by 2055. What are they going to do? How are they going to earn money to support themselves and their family? On the other hand, is there some way to stop this from happening? I think there isn’t. Hopefully I am wrong. This article starts with a scenario. In it, “you” are going on the holiday by plane, going to the hotel, going swimming, using camera and MP3 player. Every step of this trip involved nanotechnology “from the nanoparticles that coated the surface of your plane to reduce drag, to the way the hotel pool was cleaned” to protecting “your” designer sunglasses against scratches. Most of the time people do not know about nanotechnology that surrounds them.

The article also touches up on UFPs (Ultrafine particles), which are “airborne nanoscale materials” which originate from a lot of sources (e.g. traffic pollution). They can deposit in people’s lungs and can cause such respiratory problems as asthma and lung disease. The article points out that there are naturally occurring nanotechnology, such as silk – its particles are naturally aligned that way. Basically, people are mimicking nature and making big money while at it. One example the article brings is improvement in non-reflective materials. They resulted from imitating cicada insect’s wing nanostructures, which “contain small projections”, so 98% of light passes through them. The author gives several more instances when natural nanotech was used by people in interesting ways. The article concludes by saying that we have only scratched the surface of nanotech; there is a lot more to explore.

It is very interesting how nanotechnology is basically scientists taking nature as an example in many different ways. I never knew that. There are many advantages of its use in many different fields – electronic devices, as power sources, medicine, etc. But there are also disadvantages – potential ones – such as disruption of the economy, and security and health. I think that nanotech is very likely to cause some big changes in the economy. Right now, nanotech products are primarily expensive or specialized. However, as they become more available to the general public, many companies/manufacturers might close/go bankrupt. This would lead to unemployment increase. Also, this nanotech could be applied in weapons (if it is not already being used in that field), which is very dangerous (and not just in the “wrong hands” – in any hands, in the world).

As for health, as I mentioned in the previous paragraph, nanotech could result in respiratory problems. The author of this article is Will Soutter. He is a resident chemistry expert at AZoNano, which is “the leading online publication for the nanotechnology community”. First Will Soutter briefly writes about the rise of nanotech. Across the globe, governments and industries are investing lots of money in nanotechnology. Then, the article lists and explains potential ways in which nanotech can be applied in military. Researchers want to improve medical and casualty care for soldiers, and make body armor that would be lightweight and strong, and have many functions. After that, the author wrote that some applications will be in use sooner than others. For example – sensors (e.g. thermal, motion, biochemical).

Nanotech makes them smaller and more sensitive. Other (future) applications include self-healing (self-repair) material, and adaptive camouflage and structures. The article then touches on recent advances in the field, on being a Zyvex Technologies’ Pirhana boat. It is made using nanotech materials, which are 40% stronger and 75% lighter than aluminum. The article ends with potential concerns. The main one is that there might be a tendency to “let” semi-autonomous systems decide on what to do in developing situations. Another concern is that this technology will be used to commit crimes and for terrorist attacks. This article does not seem to be opinion-based, rather a clear, mostly understandable source of information on the use of nanotechnology in military.

These applications definitely have great potential for very good uses – saving lives, protecting, securing, warning. But there are also concerns, which are not baseless. You put more weapons out there (“better” weapons – lightweight, more destructive, specific) and I think it is inevitable that someone is going to use them to commit crimes, murder, incite fear, etc. Does that mean that they should not make these weapons? I do not think so. It reminds me of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) between United States and Soviet Union during the Cold War. If one of these countries did not have nuclear weapons, then the other country would probably have felt threatened by it. But does that mean that if all countries in the world have equal destruction-force weapons, they would not feel threatened?

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Technology Advantages And Disadvantages. (2022, Jan 30). Retrieved February 6, 2023 , from
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