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Joy Buolamwini speaks about algorithmic bias. Algorithmic bias happens when the computer or webcam acts in a way that exhibits the general values of the individuals involved in the collection of data. The writer lists valid points on the extent of this bias in various fields such as the results from search engines, social media, and racial profiling. The speaker states that this bias reflects racism and various biases in the society. Algorithmic bias just like human bias also creates unfairness and inequality. The speaker explains why this is because of the problem she illustrates. It occurs that it is difficult for a webcam to recognize the face of the person unless with a white mask on. The speaker has a darker skin is not recognized by the webcam and this forces her to borrow a friends face to use in an assignment.
A person with lighter skin is easily identified. It is true that every face that deviates a little from the general characteristics of the algorithm used to train the algorithms. The fact that the computers only detect the speakers face only when she has on the white mask really portrays a problem that requires solving. People with darker skins appear to be undetectable on the computers facial recognition webcams. In attempting to identify the various circumstances of bias, we need to discover the instances where the bias occurs so that individuals can identify and know what to be watchful for and also the need to come up with a tool that can be used by developers to check for bias in their designed system. On this issue, solutions need to be found to develop a system that operates well for diverse demographic units. A system that is trained and tested on lighter skinned people cannot be relied upon to be used in a place where the faces of the people are darker. This system becomes unsuitable for this population. This is on sectors like facial recognition software in crime fighting among other sectors.
According to Heidegger, Technology in our Current Age controls us and our approach to the world. For instance, the hydroelectric plant is constructed into the current of River Rhine. The hydraulic pressure turns the turbines which intern sets machines in motion which intern produce electricity which is supplied to different places. The current electric plant is not constructed into River Rhine; the river is dammed up into the power station. “The revealing that rules throughout modern technology has the character of a setting-upon, in the sense of a challenging-forth,” 321. The text reveals that the current technology controls our approach to the world.
An illustration that shows that the current technology controls us is that a person who determines felled timber in the woods is now ordered by the industry that is responsible for the production of commercial forests. The individual is made subordinate to the order ability of the system, which requires the paper to deliver it to both the magazine and newspaper industry. The people then demand magazines and newspapers. “He is made subordinate to the order ability of cellulose…,” 323. Also, “…man is challenged more originally than are the energies of nature, i.e., into the process of ordering...,” 323. Therefore, the current technology controls us.
In my daily life, I have been using cellphones to connect to the world. The gadget is light and therefore, portable. As a result, I can easily carry it to anywhere I go. I can easily connect to the world using social media, text messages, and even though calling. An individual can easily communicate with another using social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, WeChat, Instagram, Google+, Skype, Snapchat, LinkedIn, as well as Skyrock. Besides, phones make it easier to send short messages or to make calls to different people across the globe. Also, one can access news and updates using Google services so long as the phone can access the internet. As a result, an individual gets updates about their surroundings and also communicates with different people across the globe.
How I use phones proves Heidegger’s thesis. According to Heidegger, the cellphones are used to connect people irrespective of the distance, separating them. Besides, cell phones are used to place and receive calls. Since cell phones maintain constant communications globally, it controls human beings.
Technology in our Current Age
Adidas is popularly known for its sports and casual wear that in most cases are worn by celebrities and high profile individuals. The company sponsors numerous upcoming sports people and nature their talent to maturity. Recently, the company opened a plant in Germany that is purely run by robots. Considering the fact that Adidas has employed over nine million people in Asia who produce the company’s products by hand, there is a distinct difference with the new plant whose output potential is higher with fewer employees (Ferreria et al, 2017). Irrespective of the fact that millions of people are at the risk of losing their jobs, the company anticipates higher performance based on the use of machinery. Additionally, the company will move a majority of its production activities from Asia to Europe a move the company has been planning for years.
Adidas line of products is sportswear ranges from shoes, shorts, t-shirts, hats, sweat pants, jackets, and sweaters (Lenarcic & Thomas, 2014). Based on the line of products the company targets sports people in addition to people interested in casual wear. Having a wide range of target markets ensures the company increases its market share especially in a competitive industry such as the one Adidas belongs (Ferreira et al, 2017). The company has products for men, women, and children looking for smart casual wear. The introduction of a robotic plant in its production activities is meant to provide the target market with high quality products within a short period. Ferreira et al (2017) is of the idea that robots have a higher production capacity compared to humans and thus the advantage of improved production. In essence, the use of robots in the German plant is meant to improve the company’s services and thus advantageous to both the company and the target market.
Goldratt & Cox (2004) argue that compared to humans robots have a higher chance of high production. It is in this mentality that the Adidas robotic plant in Germany is experiencing high production levels as compared to using humans. Additionally, robots have high quality products especially with regards to parking. The fact that the robots have been set to perform specific tasks in the plant ensures their results are of high quality (Goldratt & Cox, 2004). Notably, with fewer people in the plant there is little room for human errors. Lenarcic & Thomas (2014) asserts the importance of reducing human error as it has the potential of causing a company massive loses. Therefore, the plant faces fewer risks caused by human error. In the end, the company also has reduced human resource issues associated with humans such as employment contracts, health insurance and benefits. With such issues reduced the plant increases its profit margin which is beneficial to the overall growth and development of the company.
The operations management team at the Adidas plant in Germany quantifies the production output of the robots through a test known as Minnesota Dexterity Test (Ferreira et al, 2017). The test measures and compares the performance of humans and that of the robots. Since the company has numerous plants throughout the world there is massive production data that can be used in the test. In the test, the management team focuses on speed and dexterity of the robots as well as their pick-and-place systems; the results are later compiled and compared to human hand-eye coordination (Lenarcic & Thomas, 2014). In the process, the management team has a clear picture of production levels of the robots in the plant. However, there are other work environment aspects that are considered in the test such as the geographical differences as well as giving room for the natural human need of taking a break. Ultimately, the Adidas robotic plant in Germany is successfully using robots in its activities which have high potential for the company in general.
Adidas’ Robotic Plant in Germany
Barcodes have in the recent times simplified cash registry work for business people as they assist in identification of the prices of products in sale. Barcodes are in form of lines, numbers and patterns that are readable by a special machine. One of the biggest advantages raised by business people throughout the world is that barcodes significantly reduce human error. A deeper analysis of the situation indicates that human error has led to massive loses to both the employees and the business owners which has necessitated the need of the barcodes. From the following study through a quantitative analysis it was discovered that barcodes are an essential asset for business people. The only disadvantage of barcodes discovered was they the installation price especially for already existing businesses were quite high. Others stated it was an unnecessary expense whose use was only to keep up with competition. However, the study’s results indicated that barcodes are an important addition for any business.
Barcodes are machine-readable codes placed on labels that are stuck on items that are on sale. The barcodes are in form of numbers, lines, and patterns that allow a machine to sort the item according to prior arrangements that are fed into the machines. The identification made by the machine is safe, swift and reliable reducing chances of human error. Barcodes are technological aspects that have replaced manual counting and ricing of items at the cashiers. Irrespective of the cash registers being digital and computerized the manual feeding of the items data increases chances of errors. The errors in such instances lead to massive losses especially to the staff which greatly reduces the employees’ motivation as the company is not liable for the losses incurred by the employees. Understandably, the company expects the employee to be extremely careful with the cash as they are highly trained and thus are given the responsibility of handling cash. Additionally, barcodes create a friendly environment that is paramount for business to take place as it reduces the tension associated with lose of cash associated with manual identification of prices of items on sale.
In his research on the efficiencies of the barcodes Noe (2010) found out that a majority of business people making investments in them were trying to reduce human errors. The losses and inconveniences caused by human errors have been extremely costly in terms of finances and employee turnover thus the barcodes improved the situation. In addition, the barcodes are a requirement of the 21st Century technology that assist business people find a competitive advantage; therefore, some business people invest in barcodes to be in line with the technological advancements. Kato et al (2010) found out that barcodes are an essential asset that provides business organizations with a professional outlook. A deeper analysis of the situation shows that a professional look is a marketing strategy that is meant to attract more clients as some come to the premises to get the feeling of barcodes. In the process, businesses increase sales which are the primary goal of a majority of businesses.
Interestingly, Weber (2011) states that from his experiences he found out that barcodes are reliable, fast, and efficient. There are instances where an employee for instance is not sure about the price of an item in the store; if there is a customer interested in the item the employee will take the item to the machine where the price will be indicated. Through this way the clients are given good service. Weber (2011) also found out that barcodes reduce time taken to train employees which save the company time and finances that are invested in other departments; this is in line with the fact that employee training is part of the hiring process whose success is determined after sometime most probably once the business year is over. Therefore, barcodes ensure the businesses have more time to invest in other issues that might urgent to the business.
Research and studies have indicated that barcodes are an expensive affair for the business organizations especially those that have survived with manual counting of the items. Installing the barcodes on all the items in a store especially if it is a large one is an issue that is quite expensive and tiring. According to Drobnik (2015) the labels on the items could be placed manually; however, for effective pricing they are placed by the machines. Additionally, the costs associated with installation of the barcodes are an expense with no actual returns but essentially support the success of the business. It is in this sense that some businesses struggle in keeping up with the technology as barcodes are an investment that is meant to support the business in other ways and not to make any revenue for the business.
Kato et al (2010) focused on the negative sides of barcodes and found out that there is a risk associated with labels if they are damaged. If all the products in a store have barcodes and none of the manual price tags; there is a challenge if the labels are destroyed. If the labels are destroyed the clients and the staff will have a hard time in identifying the price of the item. Scanning challenges come up in the process and reduce the efficiency of the whole installation. Fortunately, there are back up plans in case such an incidence happens as there are numerous other similar items on sale whose barcodes can be used. However, further research is required on strategies meant to ensure the labels are permanent and are resistant to damages ensuring that the barcodes are efficient.
Kato et al (2010) also discovered that there are instances where the barcodes fail to reflect any price discounts that have been done after the products have been taken to the shelves. The existence of the discrepancies is as a result of negligence where the employees fail to update the barcodes to include the discounts. However, the issue of negligence has cost clients financially and seems to dent the reputation of the organizations as the prices on the shelves differ from the ones at the check-out points. Therefore irrespective of the huge advantages brought by the barcodes there are disadvantages that ought to be considered. In such instances, business owners need to practice integrity as one of their core values to ensure they are not tempted to not include the discount updates on barcodes.
The research focused on business organizations that were using barcodes in their activities; therefore, the researchers were sent to find the data sources. The major targets in the business organizations were the managers and the owners. The managers and the owners would have insightful information on the barcodes as compared to the employees. Information about barcodes according to Autry et al (2013) is usually based on the business’ activities making the managers and owners the best data sources in this instance. For the study the most appropriate survey method is the questionnaires as they would control the direction of the answers. Compared to other survey methods such as interviews; questionnaires provide an opportunity through which the researcher would keep records for their data.
The questionnaires had a few questions which included;
- Do you have barcodes in your premises?
- Have you operated without barcodes before?
- How long have you been in business?
- 2 years
- 5 years
- 10 years
- Is it advantageous to use barcodes?
- What is the main disadvantage of barcodes?
- Unnecessary cost
The questionnaires were dropped at the offices of the data sources and would be picked later. The strategy was meant to allow the data sources an opportunity of filling in the questionnaires at their own time. Through this way the data sources had the ability of thinking critically about the questions and answers. Additionally, the identity of the participants was protected as no personal information would be collected. The questionnaires would be sorted through numbers which increased the honesty the participants had in answering questions.
Quantitative data analysis was used for the study; this is because the method is accurate in the sense that it represents the data on the ground. Considering the fact that the study follows an issue that is quite interesting in the
Short term effects
Recognized biophysical mechanism explain the established biological effects of acute exposure at high levels. Exposure to high RF strengths leads to induction of currents and electric fields in the body causing stimulation of nerves and muscles and changes in nerve cell excitability in the central nervous system.
Potential long term effects
Researchers examining long term effects focused on childhood leukemia. IARC published a monograph in 2002 classifying electromagnetic fields as ‘’possibly carcinogenic to humans.’’ This classification denotes an agent for which there is little evidence for carcinogenicity in humans and insufficient evidence for carcinogenicity in animals that have been experimented on. IARC classification was based on pooled analysis of studies of epidemiology showcasing a steady pattern of a twofold rise in childhood leukemia related to the average exposure of residential power-frequency magnetic field higher than 0.3 to 0.4 uT. Their assumption was that additional studies to date do not affect the status of this classification. (Jelodar et al., 2011).
However, methodological problems such as potential election bias weaken the epidemiological evidence. Furthermore, there are no trusted biophysical mechanisms that would suggest that cancer developments are caused by low levels of exposure. Thus, if there exist any effects from low-level fields’ exposure, it would have to be through a biological mechanism which is still unknown. Also, animal studies have been totally negative. Thus, the evidence associated with childhood leukemia is hardly considered causal.
Childhood leukemia is a rare disease with a few reported cases of about 49,000 patients worldwide in 2000. Magnetic fields greater than 0.3 uT in residential areas are rare. A few children, between 1% and 4% live in such conditions worldwide. If the relationship between childhood leukemia and magnetic fields is causal, then the number of cases that might be caused by exposure to magnetic field worldwide would range from 100 to 2400 case annually, based on the values obtained in the year 2000. This would represent 0.2 to 4.95% of the total incidence of that year alone. Thus, the effect on public health of electromagnetic field exposure would be limited if the ELF magnetic fields actually did increase the risk of leukemia.
A lot more adverse health effects have been studied for possible relation with exposure to electromagnetic fields including, depression, adult cancer, childhood cancer, suicide, reproductive dysfunction, cardiovascular disorder, development disorders, neurodegenerative disease, immunological modifications, and neurobehavioral effects. The assumption of the WHO Task Group was that scientific evidence supporting the relationship between exposure to ELF magnetic fields and all of these health effects is much weaker than that of childhood leukemia. For instance, the evidence suggests that these fields are not responsible for breast cancer or cardiovascular cancer.
According to WHO guidance, for extreme levels of short term exposure to EMF, serious health effects have been scientifically established (ICNIRP, 2003). And according to international exposure guidelines, the short term and extreme levels exposure effects have been established and make up the basis of two international exposure limit guidelines (ICNIRP, 1998 and IEEE, 2002). Public makers should adopt the international exposure guidelines that are designed to protect the public and the workers from these effects. Exposure measurements from sources where exposure might be expected to exceed limit levels should be included in protection measures (Van Deventer 2011).
Effects of RF on the antenna
The strength of a signal is very high when near an antenna than when it is farther from it. The far zone field about an antenna of revolution is done according to the model of the gap which the sum of three parts, E1, E2, and E3. The Term E1 relies on the electric field in the gap but not on the current of the antenna. E2 and E3 rely on the current of the antenna. E2 is non-vanishing only if the radius of the antenna varies for only the ends to contribute to it like in the case a thick cylindrical antenna. E3 decreases to the conventional expression for a line antenna if the antenna is thin (Urbinello, 2014).
Some agencies define safe emission levels from Wi-Fi connections, TV, radio towers and mobile phones to maintain radiation at safe levels. Radiation strengths away from the devices are estimated to be about a microwatt, if the voltage is calculated from power it will the very discrete. Signals from several broadcasting mechanisms such as the TV come from a satellite. These signals are collected by a concave reflector and received by a receiver then amplified and decoded and then transmitted in cables. There is also one common rout mechanism, the first is transmitters and the second is repeaters which are additional towers receiving signals from one tower, amplifying it and then transmitting it again. Or they can be in a form of optical fibers or a wire through which the signal is transmitted or you can also use a satellite.
Brain-computer interfaces or BCIs are wearable or implantable devices that enable the wearer to operate computer programs simply by thought. BCI has been applied in the treatment and management of paralysis. BCIs use electroencephalogram (EEG) sensors that detect, amplify and digitize brain-wave patterns (Harland, Clark & Prance, 2002). These patterns are processed by computers triggering manipulation of physical and virtual objects. However, nonmedical application of this brain imaging technique elicits a mixed reaction from ethical and medical standpoints.
Background and statement of the problem
BCIs usage in nonmedical fields such as gaming and communication can trigger neurofeedback. And biofeedback. These entail the heightening of neural activities and physiological activities respectively. Increased state of heightened awareness could have negative impacts on a user’s neural and physiological y providing a real-time graphic representation of the user's brain wave activity.
The paper hypothesizes that the long-term effects of BCI use in nonmedical fields such as gaming and communications can result in the development of medical conditions that impact the end user negatively. The specific research questions will be: -
- Does long-term use of BCI negatively affect the mental conditions of end users?
- Does long-term use of BCI negatively affect the end user’s neural composition?
- Does long-term use of BCI negatively affect the end users’ physiological functions?
The research will adopt the format of a quantitative metanalysis of studies published within the last five years. This entails the amalgamation of outcomes from quantitative primary studies on the subject matter (Plonsky & Gass, 2011). The findings of these primary research will be analyzed using statistical tools to develop a solid finding on the issue of BCI and its impact on the health of gamers and other users in nonmedical applications.
Reasons why Russia has not developed Agricultural Biotechnology
Many nations all over the world have banned farmers from growing GMO crops. Only 26 nations currently grow genetically modified crops. The nations that banned the production of GMOs got attention in 2015 when the European Union nations blocked the production of new GMO crops. But Russia decided to ban both the importation and cultivation of GMOs. Vladimir Putin, the president of Russian Federation signed a law that prohibited the production of genetically modified crops and animals in July 2016, except in scientific research instances.
The farmers, environmental organizations, and other Russian society representatives greatly influenced this decision that was made by the Russian government. They were worried about the unreliable scientific research on the long-term effects of GMO on the environmental and the effects of GMO food on human health.
Russian citizens’ health might not be the main reason for the GMO ban. Russia has been trying to rebrand its agricultural commodities as organic and GMO-free after the ban. This may be because Russia has greater strategic and economic desires as well. Their decisions are well thought and structured. Reason being, restricting the cultivation of GMO to scientific research only, banning GMO imports, and allowing the cultivation of GMO-free plants maybe a new strategy to increase Russia’s agricultural profits. Aleksandr Petrikov, the deputy agricultural minister, said that the ban and restrictions could give them greater economic benefits if Russia decided to become the head producer of GMO-free products. Russia might need to meet international demands as the main distributor of organic foods and ingredients with anti-GMO campaigns spreading all over the world.
Effects of the import prohibition to the European Union
European Union exports to Russia vary among countries. Beverages, dairy, and milk being the most vital categories. France, Germany, Poland, and the Netherlands are the largest exporters of food and drinks to Russia. This fact implies that these countries are more likely to be impacted than the others.
Among the banned products, vegetables, cheese, and fruits registered significant export loses while milk powder and butter preserved a moderate stability. Russia exports 19% of its butter and imports 27% of Europe’s cheese thus the dairy industry is endangered at the moment because the demand is low while production has been high. This issue has resulted in the reduction of world wholesale prices and has affected the price paid to the farmers by the processors. An increase in the supply of domestic can hit the prices making it difficult for Ditch dairies. The Finnish dairy industry also depends on the exports to Russia.
Among the industries that might be hit are the Polish apple producers and the Latvian cheese industry. Campaigns are carried out in Poland to encourage people to feed on homegrown fruits. Finally, the overall export in the meat sector (beef and poultry) showed relatively moderate losses and gains. The losses on the Russian market in the pork sector were neutralized by an increase of exports to Asia. The fruit and vegetable export loses were partially balanced by an increase in vegetables and fruits preparations for export, apple juice in particular. This act reduced the effect in categories as a whole.
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