Going out with technology

Dear people, the end of this minor has come. For the last assignment we, Roel Vossen, Roel Koeleman, Maarten Kleve and Karin Jans, sat together to make one final blog for the end event. We are very excited to share this with you guys! We have been assigned to the evening committee for the end event. The two things we have organized are a dinner and a pub tour. That’s the reason why this blog is related those two things together with technology of course.  We start off by talking about dinner and technology and then we switch to beer/going out and technology. In the beginning we thought there was just a little connection between technology and these two, but then we did some research and we found out that actually there is a lot to share with you guys! So sit back, relax and enjoy the ride!

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Going out for dinner, we have all done that once right? Together with family, friends or just with the women/man that you love. We are hungry and choose a restaurant that we like to go to. You come in, pick out a table (if you didn’t reserved one yet) and sit down. Than you just wait till the waiter comes by so you can order and after that the waiting begins till the food arrives. Normally during or in between this you talk with the people your with, we think almost everybody does. Going out for dinner is a social thing if you ask us. But what if the experience of going out for dinner is totally changed due to technology? Well there is a dinner serving company that has given that a try.

In America there is a restaurant which is called Pizzahut and as you might guessed already, you can eat pizza over there. Imagine you sitting in a pizza restaurant. Normally a waiter comes to your table and takes your order as we said before. If you want something extra on your pizza you tell the waiter. If you do not want some ingredient on your pizza you tell the waiter as well. The waiter walks to the kitchen with your order and tells the chef(s) what pizza you want and they start making it. This is the way you expect it in a normal restaurant… But people we live in 2016 now and Pizzahut thinks this is so outdated! That is why they did something entirely new as you can see is this video. We think this is pretty cool! Pizzahut created a prototype to change the way of ordering and having dinner. They want to give their clients a totally new experience when it comes to going out for dinner and we think they did this really good by using technology. When you sit at the table you can create your own pizza with ingredients you want. Just watch the video to understand how it works. Making your own pizza is not the only thing you can do on the table, you can also play games while waiting. Very handy when your date is boring, or you do not know what to say to the person in front of you (although we can’t imagine that…). But after we watched the video we have one question that remains. Does the pizza fly towards the table or is it being brought by a waiter? We can imagine that with this kind of technology the pizza is being brought by a robot. And yes, that’s also already happening.

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Pizzahut isn’t the only restaurant that has made a big change with introducing technology. Another example we want to mention is this restaurant in China. China and Japan actually have a few restaurant where robot waiters are being used. The main reason they do this is to save costs on employees. They invest in this one time so it saves them money in the long term. But what do you think of this? Would you go to a restaurant like this? We definatly would just for the experience of being in a restaurant with this technology (same as for Pizzahut). But we also see the downside of this because this is another example of robots taking over our jobs. Due to this investment, this technology, people have lost their job. But that’s not the only thing. We also think that we would rather like a real person to come to us instead of a robot. We just like the human contact. With this invention we might lose that entirely within a few years. So this is some stuff to think about, isn’t it? Let us know what you guys think! To finalize the dinner and technology subject we give you one more article with a few examples.

Sam And Cat Robot Restaurant Open For Business

Now that we had a good dinner in a high-tech restaurant it is time to go out and party! And what is a good party without our golden friend with the white collar in a glass? Nothing right? Yes, we are talking about beer of course. The question we received of our teachers was as following; how did the production of the beers we are drinking changed due to which technology? Well we think we’ve found the answer. The production of beers actually changed a lot through the years. This article of first we feast says it all really. You can see how it changed through the years due to technological inventions all the way till 2015. We think main reason for the change in the question above is the introduction of robotic lines in the brewing factories. Without this technology we wouldn’t be able to get our beers so easy and quick. Brewers can produce on such a big scale thanks to this that we find it normal nowadays. The Netherlands are actually second in the world when it comes to exporting beers. They exported for 1,6 billion last year! Only Mexico is better. Also the thing that is quite interesting is that when it comes to getting the beer into the bottles no humans are needed. It is all done by machines and robots as you can see in this video of the Heineken production line. Humans are the most important when it comes to brewing the beer, but after that it’s mostly technology that does the work. So no beers at the party without technology!

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We had a good party and it is time to head home. Because everyone has to separate to their homes late at night it can be a bit scary or make you feel unsafe… No problem because the solution lies again in technology! With the so called “Never Walk Home Alone” app of Companion you can feel secure. In this video you can see exactly how it works. Just by using the application on your phone you contact a friend that can see exactly where you are. You also can stay in touch with messaging or calling. Everyone can have a safe trip home and go to sleep. Sweet dreams, thank you all and just as the Dutch (especially the people in Eindhoven) would say….

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The last ride

Dear readers, this week the time has come for my last blog of this minor Future Your Work. It has been a good ride with you guys but now the end is in sight. It took me a while to come up with a good subject to end the blogging with, but I think I’ve found an enjoyable one. And yes, if you are thinking about a movie (a movie that could have made some real men cry at the end) when you are reading the title, you are thinking in the right direction! This week’s blog is about the kind of employees we love watching doing their jobs. I’m talking about actors of course. I personally love watching movies or series in my spare time and I wonder, who doesn’t? Denzel Washington, Morgan Freeman and Tom Hanks are some of my favourites. But what is the link with technology then I hear you think… Well I can ensure you they have much to do with technology when they are working nowadays and that’s awesome if you’d ask me.

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That brings me back to the title “the last ride”. It refers to this being my last blog, but also to the hit movie Furious 7. It was the last movie of the series Fast & Furious (although I did read on the internet that Vin Diesel confirmed a new movie) and you might not have seen it but if you didn’t you must have heard the movie soundtrack “See you again” by Wiz Khalifa, which has been on top of almost every hit chart all over the world. The film got a lot of attention because one of the main actors, Paul Walker, sadly died in a car crash when they were still busy filming the movie. Now there were a lot of scenes they still had to film but Paul wasn’t there anymore. They solved this unfortunate problem with the help of technology.  They now used Paul’s brother instead and with the help of computers they managed to reconstruct Paul’s face onto his brother. They just used images of Paul in old movies and with the help of a CGI program they reconstructed it. To give you some visuals I added some pictures of this. First you see Paul (on the right) and his brother in the first picture and in the second one you see how the reconstruction went.

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This is just one example of technology that influences the world of actors. But there are many, many more to think of. Because I want your view to be wider than just one example I did some collaboration with my classmates again. For this week I collaborated together with Karin and Maarten. We brainstormed together on what influences technology has had on the movie industry. By doing so I created a web with all kinds of examples. This made it a lot easier for me to prepare my blog. Now I could just choose what I would like to share with you guys. I want to thank Karin and Maarten for helping me out!

This artcle of Charles Matthau on Wired (2012) gave me a great overview of the influence of technology on filmmaking. And believe me, there is much more to find on the internet about this subject. Technology has certainly made a huge impact on the filmmaking industry and also changed the work environment of actors. Most of it is thanks to the computer and graphical programs that directors and producers use to edit movies. It is especially handy when you are making sci-fi movies. Maybe you have seen the movie Avatar. This whole movie is filmed inside one studio without getting outside! At that time, this was never been done before. Actually, never before has there been used so much technology in one movie. Here is a short Youtube video showing you how they made it. Really weird to see if you’d ask me but I’ve seen the movie and the end result was stunning! Like in many movies, the green screen also played a big part in the making of. Actors just play scenes in front of a big green screen and later they add the background they want by computer. Also the face dots (see picture below of Davy Jones in the Pirates of the Caribbean) are very important. With the dots they can pick up the facial expressions of the actor to later add this to the computer animated version. Great stuff but it certainly does change the work environment of actors!

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A last thing that has to be mentioned is that it also works vice versa. Movies have a big impact on technology too. Just watch/read this TEDblog (2013) and see for yourself. Movies as Star Wars, Back to the Future and many more have inspired us to created new technology and think bigger. The hoverboard is a nice example because now in 2016, we are actually close to realising this. And I really think that there is lots more to come that we thought was only to be seen in sci-fi movies.

To conclude I really hope that you enjoyed my last blog. I certainly enjoyed making it because of my love for movies and series as I said earlier. I’m preparing myself for the next Game of Thrones season which comes out in April. And if you know Game of Thrones, you know it also would be nowhere without technology. Besides enjoying the blog I hope you learned something aswell. Maybe it even gave you new insights about the movie industry.  I certainly learned by making the blog, but that goes for all the blogs I’ve made. I wish you guys all the best in the future and perhaps we meet again, but for now I’m off because I’m going to watch a movie!

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Change through time

Dear reader, I’m glad to welcome you back once again! It’s been a while since my last blog because of the holidays (hope you had a good one to) but today I’m back with a brand new one. First of all I still want to wish you guys all the best for 2016, that this year may bring us all good fortune!
But now back to business, for this week’s blog  I would like to focus more on employees and how technology (especially the personal computer and internet) changed them. To fully understand this we’re going to take a ride back and forth from the 70’s to this present day. I hope that by doing so you will have a clear read on how technology actually changed our lives at the office for good. It has definatly made a huge impact, there is no doubt about that if you’d ask me, but I really think that by looking back and forth we can understand this change and impact even better.

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This week I collaborated with classmate Maarten. I was thinking about a new subject to write a blog about and I told him I wanted to focus it more on technology changing employees. By sparring together this idea of time traveling came across. We talked about our younger days (ok, that sounds as if we are old already but I mean the 90’s by that) and the differences between now and then. I thought it would be cool to go back in time to fully understand the impact technology has made on the lives of working people, or employees.  The first thing Maarten told me was  to make technology more specific. Then I decided to focus on the (personal) computer as technology because nowadays we can’t think of an office without a computer in it. And yes, an IPad or something else like that also goes as computer! Maarten also encouraged me to dig deeper in that past, way back when an office had no computer at all. Only then the impact/influence picture would be complete. Maarten’s tips really helped me to get may story more specific and broad so a big thanks to him for the help.

Let’s start our journey at the beginning of the 70’s. In the early 70’s there was no such thing as a computer at an office. Everything that had to be done on paper was done by simply writing it by hand or by typing it on a typing machine, which was a welcome bonus if you had one at the time. Surely employees must have been very happy with the typing machine because it made work easier. That wasn’t the only difference in work back then. According to this article of the Wikonomics website (2010) employees also had way more leisure time and less working hours in 1973 at offices. But then came the big change….

1977, the first successful personal computer by Apple, suited to enter data. A big change for the world back then. In 1981 IBM followed with their first personal computer. Actually they gave it this name (pc) first. But it wasn’t before 1984/85 that the pc got it graphical working environment which made it really suitable for offices and Widows made its first appearance. Then it all went really fast, the Moore’s law principle I have mentioned in previous blogs aswell. 1992 there was Microsoft Word and the internet and well, the rest of the story we know. But then comes the psychological part in all this. How did it all affect the employee?

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This is a picture of the 1981 IBM

If you read the article I mentioned earlier you can certainly see that the computer (and the internet) has made us more productive than ever before. An employee now can do the same amount of work in way less hours than an employee in the 70’s.
The second thing is that it has made us way smarter. Nowadays you can find everything you need on the internet on whatever computer device you like. If you are a student then think about yourself studying to become an employee. Where would you be without the internet nowadays?
The last thing I want to appoint is independency. We can do way more things ourselves thanks to the computers and internet. For the older generations it may be difficult to learn but for most people in our society is really easy to use. For employees it also had a huge impact when you talk about independency, just think about people working from their homes nowadays!

I guess there is a lot to say about computers and the internet and how I changed our lives through the years, in our private lives and in our work. I’m curious to know what you think of this change? Would you prefer living in the 70’s (or even before that) or are you happy to live in 2016? I’m certainly happy to live right now because technology is an enrichment to my life for sure. I know that in my previous blog I also highlighted the downside of it, how it can control us in a way. But hey, it brought us lots of good thing aswell. So don’t be shy to leave your reaction to this subject and if you don’t know how to do that, it’s easy,  just ask Google!

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Controlling technology

 

Dear readers,  welcome back at my page! This week  I want to continue writing about technology and the human factor that is inseparably connected to it. In my previous blogs I have talked about technology in warfare, in public places and last week I answered some questions that came to mind and by doing so I created some new insights. This week I continue on these new insights with one main question: Do we control technology or does technology control us?

I came to this main subject by collaborating with classmate Alex. I was thinking about a new subject to write about that would connect with my previous blogs. With the help of Alex I came to this subject of how we control technology or vice versa. He encouraged me to write more about the psychological aspect of technology. He said:  “Think about what influence technology has on our behaviour”.  Therefor I came up with this main question to be answered in this blog (or at least try to be answered).  Alex also suggested to search for some extra articles on the internet about the controlling aspect of technology. Then I found these two interesting  articles on the website of the Huffingtonpost. One was called “Take control of your technology before it takes control of you” (2012) and the other one was called “Technology vs. Humans; Who’s controlling whom?” (2011). Both articles really helped me. They helped creating a better opinion on the subject and gave me more ideas about what to write because they showed me what psychological aspects were important to keep in mind when writing this blog.

The first thing I want you to do as a reader is to take a moment and think about this. What is the role of technology in your daily life? Do you need it to survive the day and have some fun at your boring office? Or maybe you need it in your work to be connected with colleagues?  And does it play a big or small part? Do you need it 24/7 or can you go days/weeks without it?  And yes, don’t you forget that your mobile phone and laptop are pieces of technology! How long can you resist watching social media on it? Facebook, Whatsapp, Twitter, Instagram etc.…
Nowadays people are seriously suffering from this “thing” that’s called “FOMO”, which stands for fear of missing out. I think I might have it to. I can go without social media, including Whatsapp, for maybe a day or two but not much longer. And I’m 100% sure that I’m not the only one. I know there are people that can’t go without social media for one hour… I know this because I have some friends who literally can’t go without social media for one hour. I find this sometimes very disturbing but I guess that’s just how it is in 2015 with a lot of people.
It all has to do with anxiety as I have read in the articles mentioned before. We, and yes by “we” I mean you as well, just want to know what’s going on around us. And the other keyword here is attention. All the applications we’ve got on our phone grab our attention and not only that, we want attention ourselves to. This started from the day you were born. As a baby you wanted attention from your parents and as an adult you want it from the people in your network or even further than that. Ok, now there are always some exceptions, but most of us adults like attention. And getting it by means of social media is just easier and faster because by one post (on Facebook for example) you can get it from everyone who’s following you. I think the worst part of all of this is that by this phenomenon we miss out on other things in life. The little things, but these are often very valuable. For example receiving a handwritten card or letter. Do you still get them at home from friends? I don’t but when I did I also got really excited. I guess it’s outdated now…  Or catching up with someone in a restaurant or bar because you haven’t heard of him/her in a long time. Nowadays I can everything someone is doing on Facebook. Some people even dare to post when they are sitting on the toilet and they ran out of toilet paper!! (yes, true story…) That’s also why me and my friends often put away our phones when we are at a bar and just play cards and laugh with each other. And by putting them away I mean giving them to the bartender to put them in a box so nobody can get to his phone. I dare you to do this one time when you’re out with your friends and I guarantee you it will be a great night out! By putting your phone away it just gets old-fashioned fun and you get more loose with your friend instead of your phone. And think about it, what’s more valuable to you, your real life friends or your phone?

When I look at this through the eyes of an employee I think a bit different about technology. For some jobs you just need to be connected with colleagues or clients/customers. Than social media can be of great use. But if you don’t need it directly in your work you shouldn’t use it while working. But ok, you may use it in breaks, that’s reasonable. Although I think it’s better to just have a good chat with colleagues instead of watching your phone the entire break.

To conclude it all I will try to answer the main question. I think that there is a lot to be said about technology and how it is being controlled or controlling us. I think the answer to the question depends on how you look at it. I think when you read the thinks I wrote in this blog it’s to be said that it does control us in a certain way. But I think we shouldn’t blame the technology. We should blame ourselves, the users. Let us keep in mind that we created this technology and social media ourselves and that we must not forget about the beautiful things real life has to offer (think about the examples I gave). I don’t want to say technology is a bad thing because technology often is an enrichment to our lives. There are lots of technological developments that make life easier or even make us live longer (think about the blogs I wrote earlier). But it’s in the way we are using it. So think about your behaviour in all of this for a moment and don’t let technology control you!

 

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Better together?

Another week,  another blog! Hello people, I’m glad to welcome you back on my page again. Last week I talked about robots taking over and I hope you did enjoy reading it. But maybe “enjoy” isn’t the right word to use here. We are seeing more and more robots and if you asked me there is no doubt that they are going to make a big impact on our lives. I think it’s not all positive and enjoyable as you may have read last week. Therefore I would rather like to say I hope you found it “interesting” to read and maybe it triggered your mind and raised a lot of thoughts too. I had lots of thoughts about it and I also asked some questions in my blog. This week I would like to answer most of these questions to create new insights.

Robots are taking over people’s jobs. I think about this mostly negative. Nowadays there are a lot of unemployed people and a lot of times it’s hard to find a new job once you are unemployed. We should first make sure we get these people to work again before we start making robots that are doing our jobs for us. I know that letting a robot do the work is saving companies money and time maybe, but then again unemployed people are also costing the government money. There are always pros and cons and that’s why I think we should try to find a way where we are using robots to support people in work but not to take their jobs from them. Think about it, what if within 50 years all jobs are taken over by robots? What would that mean for the economy of our country? How do we make money than or will money disappear? What do we have to do all day……? All of these questions are questions that I can’t answer. No one can. I guess we just have to wait and see but we should take in mind that the human factor is still very important and we must not let these robots fully take over. Find a way to work together with them.

That brings me to the human part in all of this. For this part I collaborated with classmates Maarten and Alex. Collaborating with them was great and gave me more insights. Last week I asked the question is a robot doing a job better than a human could (with the Schiphol robot as an example). I guess that’s up to how the robot is programmed. A robot can only do what it’s programmed to do, right? So if you ask questions that it can’t define it won’t help you, or maybe it does something different than you asked. But what if a robot could think for itself, maybe a some point a robot out smarts us. Last week I mentioned this already referring to Moore’s law. Maybe you have watched the movie “I Robot” with Will Smith. What if this really happens one day? I think we can agree that we don’t want that… That’s why I think the human factor is still very much needed and important.  We must make sure that we humans will always be in control of the robots we create. And think about it, in services, would you prefer a human or a robot to talk to? A recent study has shown that 89% of us would prefer another human instead of a robot and I totally agree on that. The two most common reasons for not wanting a robot is that people often think that robots can’t understand them or they find it a scary thought to be helped by a robot.

To conclude there are a couple things I would like to say. You can think positive or negative about robots coming into our lives. I have told you some of both sides. But whatever you think, technology is evolving together with us humans. The only difference is, technology is going way faster than we are… That’s why we need to keep an eye on it and make sure that everything is controlled. But I’m sure that we can find a way to work together with robots to be more efficient than ever before!

To be continued next week…    technology-and-people

Robots taking over

Hello people!! Glad to welcome you back on my blog. This week I’m going to continue writing about technology that is changing our world. Last week there was the story about robots used in war, a great thing if you asked me! But this week I will share my thoughts on robots we are seeing more and more. Robots in daily life, made to make life easier.

Nowadays we are seeing the first signs of them emerging and this raises a lot of thoughts. I don’t know about you but I’m really thinking about this subject. The first thing that struck my eye is that they are taking over people’s jobs. People like me and you are losing their jobs to robots. Is that what we really want? This robot-revolution started with the main thought of making life easier. I was reading these articles about why people made robots in the first place and believe me, almost all the time it’s because they want to make life easier. Maybe this is because we humans are lazy creatures of nature…? Of course there are also robots being made for fun, to battle against other robots for example. Think about the Robot Wars show of the BBC (if you haven’t heard of it, look it up, great show!). But the main reason why they are made is to make life easier or more enjoyable.

Last week I gave the example of robots being used in warfare. This is a positive development I think because it’s preventing people from dying in war. With robots in daily life there are also a lot of positive sides. Think about a robot mowing your lawn whenever you want or a robot vacuuming your room. These robots are already available and they are making the household a lot easier. But it goes even further then your home environment. When you go to public places there is a big chance you will see some robotics too. This is still in an early stage though, but it’s getting there. Take Schiphol Airport as an example. It is the biggest airport in the Netherlands (based in Amsterdam) and I can ensure you it’s a very busy one… This week they started using a robot to guide people around the airport to gates! Very handy and easy of course. I think that we are going to see more and more robots in public places as of today. It’s inevitable I think because we keep developing with the years passing. But it’s not all great stuff.. I think this change also has a downside.

I have talked about it already briefly but these robots are also taking over our jobs. Think about this robot at Schiphol. It’s great that they have one but it also contributed to someone being fired. Is that what we want? It isn’t easy to get a job nowadays, so to lose yours is a big blow. And the second thing I wonder is, is this robot doing the job better than a human could? Even better, think about Moore’s law. This law basically says that hardware will get smarter within time. What if robots outsmart us humans at some point? I guess these are some examples of  questions that could be the start of a great discussion. I would like to hear from you guys what you are thinking and I look forward to write to you again next week. And keep in mind, robots are taking over!!

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The influence of technology on future warfare

13th of November 2015, my 24th birthday, it was a wonderful day for me. But then late at night I turned on the television. What I saw then, was nothing but sadness. In Paris there had been terrorist attacks and more than 120 people lost their lives. The first thing that I thought after seeing this was war. The last couple of months it’s all over the news; IS, refugees, bombings etc. It makes me think that a war against IS in the Middle-East is not that far away now. But is that what we want? Of course no one wants war but sometimes it’s inevitable. The worst part of war is that it is only going to take much more lives. Or maybe there is a solution that can spare the lives of soldiers and change warfare for good. I think the solution lies within technology. Think about it, it has always been technology that has changed warfare. In WWII for instance they created tanks, submarines and fighterplanes. Of course they still had to be operated by humans but it made warfare totally different than before. But now technology is even further ahead. I was reading about technology within warfare when I saw this picture.

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It’s the newest thing regarding modern warfare. It’s a robot as you can see and it’s called the “Big Dog”. I’ve even seen a video of it in action and I can ensure you, it’s impressive! I really think that robotics are going to change warfare for good. This robot dog for instance can be send into warzones to give soldiers support. It can transport bag, ammunition or can even carry a soldier. It’s also possible to attach a weapon on it and send it into gunfights. I think sending these unmanned robots into warzones will save many soldiers’ lives. Of course they still have to be controlled from a distance, but that’s better than sending humans into warzones. It’s just like a drone but this one operates on the ground. It can see all the surroundings by making use of the camera’s on it and it’s very well balanced so it can even go over obstacles like rocks or a stairs easily. In the video it even got kicked hard by a soldier and corrected it’s feet instantly without falling over. But by collaborating with my teachers Jordi and Lorna some interesting downsides to this technology came to mind. What if a soldier creates feelings for this robot? The first think I thought was, that cannot happen, impossible. But actually, it already has happened. A soldier that had worked with this robot dog for months got real emotional after it was destroy in combat. He even gave it a kind of funeral… If things like this are happing, than what is the added value of sending in robots instead of humans? I guess this new technology in warfare has its pros and cons and you can discuss that, everyone has a different opinion about it. But the thing is, it is happening right now. The technology is already here and warfare will be changed by it, rather you like it or not. I do think it will evolve even further within a few years. First we thought these war-making robots were only to be seen in  Star Wars movies, but now it’s becoming reality.

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