GP Sample Essay Paper 1 :
Technology save lives every day. From seat belts and airbags to medical instruments like MRI and medical lasers. More often than not, people tend to take beneficial technology for granted and prefer to pontificate on issues like invasive technology, loss of privacy that comes with the prevalence of surveillance cameras and such. It is an undeniable fact that we as a society is increasingly dependent on technology. Gadgets like mobile phones, tablets have become omnipresent. Technology has come a long way in helping mankind. It has enabled mankind to be more efficient and more recently, in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, technology ranging from digital payments, telehealth to robotics. has played a pivotal role in reducing the spread of the coronavirus while helping businesses stay open. It has helped make our society more resilient in the face of pandemic and other threats. On the flip side, just as technology has been a boon for us. It has made us more vulnerable and in particular, reduced our privacy. Our over-reliance on technology could potentially have huge consequences if the very machines we rely on were to fail. Indeed, just as technology empowers us, it has also made us more at risk.
Technology, particularly Artificial Intelligence has helped us greatly in our current fight to quell the Covid-19 pandemic. Healthcare facilities and technology companies here are tapping AI technology in the fight against the Covid-19 outbreak. Hospitals such as the National University Hospital (NUH) are using a clinical chat assistant smartphone app by Singapore AI startup Bot MD, which helps doctors and front-line healthcare workers stay abreast with the fast-changing information around Covid-19. The app uses AI to power its natural language interface and to extract clinical information from large swathes of content from different data sources. In doing so, whenever clinical staff requires an answer to questions like who’s on-call or guidelines on hospital-specific protocols, they can simply type a query (and the app) will instantly respond with the right answer. In addition to this, AI is also used in temperature screening here. The IHiS and local medical tech start-up KroniKare have developed a solution called iThermo that uses AI to spot febrile people in a crowd, reducing the need for a manual process. Evidently, AI is a highly effective technology to battle the Covid-19 pandemic.
Another aspect in which technology has greatly empowered man is in the area of the military. With the advancement of technology, militaries around the world; from the nuclear technology of the Cold War between this US and the Soviet Union to unmanned drones today. Militaries are quick to embrace those as not only do they help in reducing casualties, but they can also help commanders make better choices. One such case would be the usage of unmanned aerial drones in battlefields such as in Afghanistan by the US military and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) for surveillance and battle purposes. These drones provide real-time footages of the battlefield and can be used to launch missiles to aid soldiers. Attacks by drones have led to success in killing key extremist leaders in Pakistan as well as Afghanistan. Even on the ground, guns are more advanced with functions such as ‘corner shot’ where a soldier can bend his weapon so as to look around corners without putting himself In the line of fire. This would most certainly be an impossibility in the past. Technology has greatly enabled the military to carry out tasks easily although ironically their reliance on it could also be their undoing.
Our over-reliance on technology has increased our vulnerability. Apps like the SafeEntry digital check-in system, which logs employees’ and visitors’ entry into businesses to facilitate contact tracing, can potentially help trace and prevent new clusters from developing.At the same time, this check-in system logs the names, NRIC/FINs and mobile numbers of individuals visiting hotspots, workplaces of permitted services,in order to facilitate contact tracing efforts. As we all should know, apps on cell phones emit a constant trail of longitude and latitude readings, making it possible for app developers to follow consumers through time and space. Location data are often triangulated with other, seemingly innocuous slivers of personal information.
In conclusion, it is beyond doubt that technology is greatly beneficial and Man should be truly grateful for that. But it is also important to acknowledge that we have become more vulnerable to new threats from cyber-attacks to solar flares.
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