22.1. Global Impact

Learning Objectives:

The rapid evolution of computing in the last century has transformed our world. Industries in every field are becoming more and more productive and efficient. Calculations of huge data-sets can be made in seconds and repetitive tasks are optimized and automated. Gordon Moore, the co-founder of Intel, once defined a law stating that processing power will double every eighteen months. While this law does not exactly apply to the same time intervals today, computing power continues to increase exponentially. Computers used to fill whole rooms and nowadays we have chips in kitchen tools, cars, and of course our mobile phones. Click here for more information about Moore’s Law more recent uses.

1960 UNIVAC (Universal Automatic Computer)

1960 UNIVAC (Universal Automatic Computer) – from NPR’s article: The First Supercomputer vs. The Desk Set

2016 Intel Broadwell-E Processor

2016 Intel Broadwell-E Processor – from Digital Trends article: Intel Broadwell-E Announcement

With the internet, computer scientists and engineers have enabled a new form of human interconnectivity that impacts our daily lives through areas such as education, travel, the environment, and politics. The fact that this eBook is teaching you about computer science shows how education is evolving to be accessible worldwide and free of charge. Social networks have been catalysts for uprisings in the Middle East where oppressed people can utilize these platforms to call for greater freedom and democracy in their countries. The ability to translate content in every language in seconds is connecting people worldwide. With new forms of communication via chats, video calls and collaboration platforms, the internet allows us to work together globally and stay informed about challenges worldwide.

However, the global effects of computing can also be harmful for people and society. Companies that want to improve their customer experience or advertisement strategy can collect personal data which raises data protection and privacy issues. With thousands of new electrical gadgets on the market everyday, the generation of clean energy and development of effective recycling becomes more and more urgent. The “Digital Divide” suggests how segments of society struggle to participate in the new technologically influenced economy. For example, the elderly, poor, and disabled struggle to access technology. Such rising challenges encourage innovative solutions and policies that will protect human rights and economic competition between new company giants.

Computing power and intelligent algorithms help to develop new innovations that are faster and scalable. By learning creative and logical problem solving, you can use your coding powers to have an impact on your community and the world.

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