Nicholas J Gormley
Imagine a hotel room that caters to your every demand just by simply asking. Marriott Hotels is creating smart hotel rooms that offer a wide variety of “smart” capabilities to enhance the experience of staying at one of their locations. The rooms respond to verbal commands and can perform functions such as open the drapes, turn on/off the lights, display personal chosen photos on the walls, and offer restaurant suggestions depending on your preference and mood. These rooms collect and store data to be analyzed and used to improve these smart rooms in the future. Allowing the rooms to utilize your personal data raises severe security concerns. While these rooms sound like a positive experience, they invade your personal privacy, such as knowing your exact current location through a connected smartphone. While Marriott states they have security measures in place to prevent the leak of customer information, the question arises, are these conveniences worth the risk?
Sequencing a human genome is taking a sample of a person’s full set of DNA, including his/her genes. Back in 2003, sequencing costed around $400 million to perform, now it’s less than $1,000 and falling. If Genome sequencing becomes routine on newborns and the information is kept on file, the the healthcare system as we know it will change forever. Every person processes a drug uniquely, even if they are the same height, weight, age, gender, ethnicity, etc. The technology of Genome sequencing will allow pharmacists to alter a drug specifically for each individual. These person-specific drugs will disrupt the current model of the “one size fits all” pharmaceutical industry. In the near future your routine medications will work more efficiently and life saving drugs will have a higher success rate.
Just about a month ago CES, one of the largest technology shows and speaker series was held in Las Vegas, Nevada. The event showcased some of the most innovative technology of our time, including robots and AI powered systems. Currently at the Renaissance Hotel, in Las Vegas, robots are utilized for performing small tasks associated with customer service. Elvis, the robot, delivers toothbrushes, towels, and other commodities to the Renaissance’s guests whom make requests. The implementation of robotics in the hospitality industry may seem like a smart move to many, but has employees fearing for their jobs. According to a study from the University of Redlands, 65% of all jobs offered in Las Vegas could be automated within 20 years. Many jobs held in Las Vegas are low paying and consist of simple repetitive tasks, such as cashiers, cooks, clerks, and games dealers. All of these positions are easily replaceable by an automated system or robotics. The president of the national Unite Here union and former head of the Las Vegas culinary union is offering contract renegotiating to include training that helps workers transition into different jobs and offer severance and retirement plans to those who lose their jobs. These decisions come in fear of robotics replacing human workers in the near future. The manual labor workforce of the world is slowly shrinking, while companies are creating customer service robots and cashier-less grocery stores.