Technological Advancements Creating Utopia
In 2035, technology will have infiltrated every aspect of human daily life. Due to the huge identity theft crisis of the 2020s, there will have been a huge public outcry for better identity protection. Therefore, every person will have an ID chip implanted between the vertebrae of their neck. Beginning in 2030, all newborns will have the chip implanted along with other routine procedures after birth. Others will need to have the chip implanted as an adult. This chip will have dramatically reduced the incidence of identity theft. This chip will have a GPS function as well as personal information storage allowing for the identification of any human whether for a routine check of identification or for a more serious reason such as a missing person, a murder victim, or a criminal suspect. The chip will contain fingerprints, complete medical records, criminal history, locations the person has recently been, and other individuals the person has been around recently. For a murder victim, the chip would hold information about where they were most recently and what other individuals they have been around recently due to the chips implanted in each person interacting with one another. Authorized police and government personnel would be able to access this information using a nation-wide database. The chip will not pick up new signals once the person has died and blood flow to the area has ceased. However, all information prior to the person’s death will remain stored on the chip and can still be accessed by police for investigative purposes. This will have greatly reduced crime and murder rates in 2035 because criminals will have difficulty concealing their whereabouts and interactions with other individuals. It will also increase the efficiency of police departments and their investigative efforts.
Furthermore, cars will have sensors that allow them to completely avoid collisions with other cars. These sensors will also allow you to start your car by simply sitting in the seat- the car will recognize the chip in the back of the person’s neck and cause the car to start without a key. The car also automatically drives at the speed limit, stops at red lights and stop signs, and takes you to your desired destination. The driver won’t even have to touch the pedals or the wheel! The sensor-chip activated car start will have helped to reduce automobile theft rates while the automatic driving and collision-avoidance features will have increased safety and reduced rates of motor vehicle accidents. This vision of the future is very utopian in that it sees these technological advancements as ways to improve the quality of human life. It is likely that in these circumstances public policy will have had to change to reduce peoples’ rights to privacy, since the ID chip will have a GPS function that can track where people go and who they interact with. It may be possible to grant access to the Chip Database to retrieve such information only in emergency situations or when authorized by the person’s designated family member or other individual. It is likely that there will have been many policy changes when it comes to privacy rights and conditions under which is would be appropriate to access someone’s Chip ID information.
The Same Technological Advancements Causing Dystopia
Conversely, it is possible that some of these technological advancements will have very negative effects on society creating a more dystopian vision. This would be especially possible if public policies were not adjusted appropriately. The ID Chips in this vision will cause medical side-effects such as paralysis, weakness, and permanent disability. This will put a huge burden on our healthcare system and financial situation as a nation. Then, the changes to people’s privacy rights could cause the leakage of a person’s medical information to insurance companies and future employers, making it difficult for individuals to obtain employment and health insurance. The government and police workers will have too much leeway in these privacy changes and will be able to justify accessing people’s ID Chip records for any reason. This will lead to massive distrust between the citizen’s and their government. The media world will have published numerous stories on government corruption and how the government is tracking the locations and interpersonal interactions of every individual in the country without proper authorization. The public will be panicking about their personal safety and whether their personal information is being accessed and shared without their knowledge. In the early 21st century, GPS tracking was available for people’s mobile phones, which caused some dismay amongst citizens at that time about whether “Big Brother” was watching, though many also recognized its usefulness in solving crimes. Sometimes, the mobile phones can be stolen or left behind and thus are not helpful in locating missing individuals. The ID Chip implanted in the neck would be much more useful as it could not be removed from someone’s body without killing the person and because the chip would interact with the chip of the person trying to remove the chip or harm the individual. In this way, detectives would know who last interacted with the missing individual and would have a good lead on a suspect.
My Life Amongst these Technological Advancements
During my life in 2035, I will likely have had the chip implanted during my late 30s or early 40s, though I will be slightly worried about the negative effects this could have on our society. I will likely drive an advanced automobile that starts automatically when I sit in the seat and drives me automatically to where I need to be. However, I will be saving up for an oxygen-powered HoverCraft that will hit the market in 2040. I imagine that I will work in law enforcement and will find great utility in the technological advancements supporting crime investigation and crime control. I will also be using Video-Mail (V-mail) instead of e-mail or postal mail. I will be able to use my smartphone/computer device called a SPen which is the size of a small swiss army knife. I can use it to instantly record video-messages and send them to others. I will also be able to post these videos to my personal online address. Facebook and Twitter are no longer in use. Instead, each person has their own domain name on the internet where they can post everything that they would have posted on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Pinterest. These domain names are assigned at birth beginning in 2025. I will have had to register for mine in 2024 when the program was first rolled out.
No matter what technological advancements and policy changes occur prior to 2035, they all have the potential to create a dystopian society if not handled carefully. In the examples above it is clear that the Human ID Chip implanted in someone’s neck could cause great changes to occur if they are accompanied by detailed and protective policy guidelines. However, if public policies are not altered appropriately to address technological changes, it is possible that the advancements will violate people’s rights and create unrest amongst citizens. There is a fine line between Utopia and Dystopia, so policy change will be vital in creating a utopia rather than a dystopia.
Real size of the SPen device of 2035 (smaller than your index finger)