Event, Reviews

How Energy Plays a Huge Role Today (and in 1818): A Review of IR4 The Cognitive Era

On February 21st, I attended the final panel of IR4 The Cognitive Era in the Student Union Theatre, San Jose State University at 7 pm. The discussion I went to was, Energy Requirements and Challenges for IoT Autonomous Intelligence at the Edge panel where four panelists discussed the effects of energy consumption and energy efficiency. Also, questions of technology came up as what it offers in the threats of climate change. The panelists were asked a series of questions about energy efficiency and how it affects the world; the presenters had the opportunity to introduce their ideas. SJSU alum and leader of the discussion, Jim Hogan, moderates this discussion with Vojin Zivojnovic, Vic Kulkarni, Drew Wingard, and Garima Thochhom  in the direction of the advantages of renewable energy. Hogan asked the panelists questions all in regards of what technology can offer in renewable energy.

The first two who spoke, Vojin Zivojnovic and Vic Kulkarni, indicated that technology changed the world in a positive way, but with negative effects. Hogan also asked why we are so dependent on technology. Kulkarni mentioned that technology has highly contributed to society, one will not be able to function without one’s phone and computers, but this all requires energy (how the creature in Frankenstein required energy to bring to life).

How Twitching Frog Legs Helped Inspire ‘Frankenstein’” Erin Blakemore, Smithsonian.com, Dec 4, 2015

The energy being used by humans has been found to correlate to global warming. So, does this connect to Mary Shelley’s, Frankenstein?

The way we use energy brings problems to life. It is interesting how the way humans use up energy contributes to climate change, and this threatens the environment.

Next to speak was Drew Wingard and Garima Thockhom; they focused more on the data aspect of technology and artificial intelligence. Wingard and his team are trying to find a way that cameras and sensors can function properly without “over reacting.” By over-reacting I mean that sometimes a meaningless motion can trigger an alarm to go off. His team is trying to find a way where sensors can understand objects better.

In Frankenstein, the creature does not understand emotions — can this because he was not “programmed” correctly?

Like Victor, the panelists do not know the outcomes of their inventions. The speakers meet to discuss ways that will result in the best possible outcome for everyone involved, with the least possible challenges. Maybe Victor was not thinking this when he created his invention, that his creation would not be a challenge to control.

Now that scientists and researchers are seeing the consequences of technology and inventions, work is being done to try to control it; one is not abandoning this issues of climate change — something Victor did not do.


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