The concept, which I have chosen to analyze at length, and which I believe has the potential of affecting the consequential phases of my professional career, is miniaturization. According to Huber (2001), the concept of miniaturization can be best defined as the process of designing ever-smaller scales for assessing the technical characteristics of a particular product, as well as designing the exact specifications for such a product to be manufactured. Thus, miniaturization is in essence the process of a particular product’s integral components being reduced in size, for increasing the effectiveness of this product’s usage and storage. In its turn, this allows the concerned manufacturers to substantially increase the extent of their market competitiveness, by the mean of ensuring products’ commercial appeal and by the mean of increasing the efficacy of their transporting/storing.
As of today, the concept of miniaturization is being commonly associated with the concept of nanotechnology, which appears to play an ever-increasing role in the development of high-tech gadgets, such as mobile phones, for example. Nevertheless, despite the self-evident nature of several different benefits that miniaturization offers to businesses, as well as to intellectually advanced individuals, there are also several challenges to miniaturization’s practical implementation. One of the foremost challenges, in this respect, appears to be the fact that an additional effort must be applied within the context of manufactures striving to maintain the miniaturized end-product’s dimensional integrity (Center for Responsible Nanotechnology, 2011). The very logic of miniaturization presupposes the creation of additional challenges, related to the process of miniaturized end-products being assembled, tested and packaged. The validity of this statement can be especially explored in regards to nano-scaled products. After all, for such products being successfully designed, manufactured and marketed, those in charge of the process must not only be aware of different aspects of nano-miniaturization’s practical implementation but also of the very theoretical paradigm, upon which the concept of quantum mechanics is being based (Huber, 2001). This is because, the actual process of a specific nano-scaled product being designed often involves designers altering the atomic structure of the ‘raw material’, which in turn suggests that the proper storage of nano-products (for them not to come into contact with potentially harmful substances), is being just as important as these products’ actual assembling. Therefore, it is quite impossible to disagree with Shelley (2006), who pointed out the fact that, for the technology of ‘nano machining to be able to realize the full extent of its societal potential, the affiliated individuals must have a clear vision of how the principles of molecular biology are being consistent with the essence of chemical processes.
The aspects of miniaturization-related technology that I consider relevant to my future career
1. Surveillance: As of today, there can be few doubts as to the fact that the emergence of new miniaturization technologies has several qualitative implications to the ongoing privacy vs. safety debate. The reason for this is quite apparent – as it was noted by Shelley (2006), miniaturization-related technologies create objective preconditions for the lawful/unlawful surveillance of people to continue becoming ever-more intrusive. This, of course, naturally presupposes people’s growing concerns about being able to continue enjoying personal privacy.
Scenario: Let us hypothesize that the government decides in favour of obtaining full information about a particular person’s physical condition. Nanotechnology is well capable of providing government officials with such an opportunity, because in theory, after having been discreetly inserted in the individual’s body, nano-robots will be able to collect and transmit such information, with the affected individual remaining unaware of it.
2. Artificial intelligence and robots
As of today, it became a commonplace practice among scientists to refer to molecular technologies as an important next step towards the creation of a fully functional artificial intelligence. This, however, brings to light another discursive issue – can we be sure that the creation of artificial intelligence will not bring about humanity’s eventual demise, as a consequence of AI beginning to regard human intelligence as ‘inferior’? (Huber, 2001).
Scenario: There is a moving company, which also provides customers with several warehousing services. If this company’s officials decided in favour of incorporating nano-technology, as an integral part of moving/storing and allowing AI to be in charge of the actual process, this would result in a) the increased efficacy of storing (the size of storage premises could be adjusted on daily basis), b) the increased efficacy of moving (as compared to what it is being the case with humans, robots can perform moving-related tasks much more efficiently – within a fraction of time that would be required by humans). It is well understood, of course, that it would cost dearly for the earlier mentioned hypothetical moving company to incorporate AI/robotization into the conceptual matrix of its commercial activities. Such incorporation, however, would prove utterly beneficial in the end. The apparent shortcoming of this scenario would the fact that, as a consequence, many company’s employees would end up losing their jobs.
3. Privacy: As it was implied earlier, there is always a chance for miniaturization-related technologies to be abused by those government officials who strive to attain complete informational control over ordinary citizens’ lives. As a direct consequence, it will become increasingly harder for these citizens to aspire to have socially prominent professional careers. The reason for this is simple – they will be deprived of an opportunity to keep their biographies’ unsightly aspects in secret.
Scenario: Let us imagine that someone with a good job record applies for a high-ranking position with the government. It may very well be the case that, despite this candidate’s impeccable resume, she or he will still end up being rejected for this job, simply because the interviewer did not like the fact that the candidate was not utterly enthusiastic about being required to brush its teeth three times a day, for example.
Misuse of information: Given the fact that miniaturization presupposes a dramatic decrease in the informational mediums’ size, it will only be logical to assume that the implementation of miniaturization technologies will result in increasing the risk of informational leaks/data loss. This is exactly the reason why the companies that develop this particular technology may never cease being subjected to several governmentally imposed safety regulations, designed to ensure that it is only the authorized individuals who may have access to the sensitive information. Therefore, it will only be logical, on my part, to assume that many of my professional duties, as a professional engineer, will be concerned with guaranteeing informational security.
Lack of privacy: Miniaturization is being often discussed as a pathway towards ordinary citizens being eventually deprived of their certain constitutionally protected rights. After all, as it was illustrated earlier, there are several fully objective reasons to believe that miniaturization-related technologies provide governments with an additional tool for exercising ‘mental control’ over people’s private lives, as a means of enhancing society’s overall safety. Therefore, I will make a point in striving to educate people about the sheer inappropriateness of the idea that safety can be purchased at the expense of selling away freedom.
Loss of jobs: Another reason for me to remain worried about what may account for the societal effects of miniaturization-technology’s implementation is the fact that, as a future employee, my prospects of a career advancement may be well undermined. This is because, as was mentioned earlier, miniaturization presupposes robotization. In its turn, the latter presupposes that, as time goes on; human employees will be progressively deemed less and less ‘useful’. Therefore, it represents the matter of foremost importance for the government to make sure that the ongoing process of manufacturing activities growing progressively technology-intensive may never result in workers’ massive lay-offs.
Increased competition:, of course, that the AI’s implementation, as an integral part of manufacturing and marketing processes, will automatically reduce people’s chances to retain well-paid jobs, especially if these jobs happened to be manual. Therefore, policy-makers need to apply an additional effort, while making sure that currently existing union laws and regulations may never cease being continually adjusted, to remain discursively correlative with technologically intense post-industrial realities.
Lessened cost of information’s management: One of the most peculiar aspects of today’s living is the fact that investments into technology-intensive segments of the world’s economy offer the most lucrative pay-offs. As it was pointed out by Volakis, Chen and Fujimoto (2010), since 1 megabit chip is well capable of performing the ‘job’ of four 256kb chips, it is only natural for commercial organizations to strive to buy the most upgraded high-tech equipment, because by doing it, these organizations can significantly increase the extent of their market-competitiveness. The validity of this statement can be well illustrated in regards to what appears to be qualitative trends within the paradigm of a contemporary Medicare. After all, it does not represent much of a secret that the overwhelming majority of patients seek technology-intensive medicinal treatments. Therefore, as a network engineer, I will make the point of exploring the full potential of miniaturization technologies’ utilization in the procedural framework of a health care system.
Information management: One of the miniaturization’s biggest benefits is the fact that it offers a substantially increased speed of information’s processing. Hence, the assumption is that the implementation of this specific technology can significantly increase the effectiveness of organizations’ functioning, as it will create objective preconditions for information management strategies to attain a qualitatively new level of situational flexibleness. And, the fact that, as it was mentioned earlier, health care professionals are being naturally predisposed towards taking full advantage of newly emerged miniaturization-technologies; will create several new job opportunities for me in the field of Medicare, as a network engineer.
High speed of informational transactions: As we are being well aware of, as of today, even particularly large amounts of information can be instantly transferred from one corner of the globe to another (Internet). Shortly, it will become even easier for people to conduct informational transactions – the very discursive logic of miniaturization, like one of the foremost ‘boosters’ of ongoing technological progress, leaves few doubts as to the full legitimacy of this statement. And, there are several good reasons for me to believe that, due to the specifics of my future professional career, I will be able to personally benefit from the process of informational transactions’ efficiency/speed being continually improved.
Timely medical attention to patients: Given the fact that the extent of a particular medicinal treatment’s effectiveness often depends on how quickly a concerned patient has been diagnosed, it will be appropriate to assume that the increased availability of miniaturization technologies will allow physicians to dramatically improve the rate of successful recoveries, on the part of their patients. This is because doctors’ utilization of miniaturized medicinal equipment does not only allow them to remain in full control of patients’ continually transforming physical condition, but such a utilization often proves crucial, within the context of clinicians striving to ensure the integrity of patients’ bodily functions. Therefore, I shall remain a strong supporter of the process of the very medicinal paradigm becoming increasingly ‘miniaturized’, in the discursive sense of this word.
As I have already pointed out, miniaturization can be best conceptualized as an ongoing process of traditionally bulky products becoming progressively lessened in size, which in turn was made possible by revolutionary breakthroughs in the field of informational technology, which had taken place during recent decades. Among the most easily recognizable beneficiary aspects of miniaturization is the increased efficacy of commercial transactions, associated with this concept, and significantly reduced costs of miniaturized products’ transportation (Nurul, 2009). And, it is specifically the fact that miniaturization allows a dramatic enhancement of medicinal practices, which explains health care professionals’ fascination with the concept.
As is being the case with just about every truly innovative technology, miniaturization presents its practitioners with several different challenges and opportunities. Among the foremost opportunities can be listed: the significantly lessened self-cost of developing the components of high-tech equipment, and the fact that miniaturised products can be easily transported and stored. Also, the practical utilization of this particular technology, on the part of organizational policy-makers, makes it easier for them to design information-management strategies.
At the same time, however, miniaturization-related technologies are being commonly discussed as such that increase the likelihood of informational leaks/data loss, and as such that provide governmental officials with an opportunity to subject ordinary citizens to the covert forms of surveillance. Throughout the next five years, I will strive to explore new opportunities of how the health care system can benefit from the implementation of miniaturization technologies and what may account for the effective methods of preventing this newly emerged technology from being abused by overly enthusiastic ‘guardians’ of people’s safety.