There’s no stopping the advancements of technology. Sometimes it’s progress and other times it complicates human life, but it is always evolving. Now that technology is evolving beyond human control, there are plenty of new ways that tech can be used to our advantage and our detriment. One detriment some of these technologies have is that their environmental impact is significant. Whether you are trying to mine cryptocurrency or buy an electric car, below are five modern technologies and their environmental impact.
When people think about electric cars, they immediately think about their benefit in the way that they don’t require gas to work. This is good for the environment, of course, but what some people leave out is how harmful the lithium batteries are to the planet. Mining lithium isn’t good for the environment, and each electric car battery requires lithium to work. Electric cars are, in fact, not that good for the environment overall. This will likely change over time as technology improves but as it stands electric cars could be better for the environment.
Cryptocurrency is another modern technology that isn’t great for the environment. Mining bitcoin takes a vast amount of energy. Blockchain in general takes up a lot of energy, but it is becoming more efficient over time. When you are getting into cryptocurrency, you probably know about the energy constraints. However, there are companies doing their best to mitigate the environmental impact. There are plenty of articles about Hedera’s role in ESG and sustainability when it comes to ledgers and cryptocurrency, for example. It is in cryptocurrency’s interest to become more viable when it comes to the environment and energy usage. It will continue to move in this direction, but for now it is still environmentally unfriendly.
A lot of people are saying that data is the new oil. It is surely valuable, but in a very different way than a natural resource like oil. Data is bought and sold by tech, social media, and other companies alike. Whether you are harvesting data yourself or are buying it from another company, it’s useless if it isn’t properly managed, organized, and analyzed. When data is analyzed, it becomes a whole lot more valuable. Vast amounts of data are valuable on their own, but when you have it analyzed—especially by artificial intelligence—it will become a lot more useful and valuable. However, data is kept on servers and it takes a lot of power to keep these servers running. Not to mention, it takes energy to run artificial intelligence.
AI is one of the most useful technologies we have, making it highly influential. It is still a new technology and yet it has quickly become one of the fastest growing technologies in the world. Not only can it analyze data, but it can also create photos, videos, prose, graphic design, and other forms of content. It can make music. To do all this, AI software needs to be powered constantly. It takes constant energy for the AI unit to work continuously. If AI is not working around the clock, it won’t be able to be as efficient as you’d like it to be. AI’ environmental impact might not be great, but it will also be able to come up with new ways to solve environmental turmoil.
Robotics may not be in the place that science fiction writers imagined, but it is certainly a significant tech resource that companies and individuals alike are utilizing to their fullest potential. Robotic arms, gloves, bodysuits, and remotely controlled units are all available now. While the metals used to make robots are valuable, they are helping to improve the environment in several ways.
Modern technology is dynamic. It’s complex, making our lives better and adding new obstacles to overcome. Whether you are into technology or are frightened about the prospects of the future, there is no stopping advancement. Progress is never a straight line, and technology should be closely watched, but when we work together, we can create a better world with technology that helps move us in the right direction. These modern technologies all have their own impact on the environment, but they will improve and mitigate harm as time goes on.