If nothing else, this pandemic provided a much-needed fillip to the medical industry. It led to a breakthrough in the development of vaccines in general. According to the past projections by Moderna (one of the first companies to enter the vaccine race), the current technology being used to produce Covid vaccines was still 3-4 years away. And now, just a year into the pandemic, mRNA vaccines have forever changed the industry’s outlook; allowing production of Covid vaccines for testing within weeks, which earlier took years. Although scientists had already been working on developing this, it became the need of the hour when the pandemic hit; Covid-19 motivated them to fast-forward with the technology. However, there are still a lot of uncertainties in play. With the virus mutating itself, it is important to keep track and create mutations of the Covid vaccine itself.
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After over a year of the reporting of initial few cases of coronavirus in China, the virus has comfortably managed to spread to the entire world including Antarctica. As if that was not enough, researchers have found mutations of Covid-19, indicating that the virus is here to stay. Mutation occurs when a virus undergoes changes while multiplying. As the virus replicates, it may not produce exact replicas, resulting in the emergence of new strains, which might or might not be less effective. In this process, few strains die out but the more effective ones, which spread efficiently, survive. Every once in a while, a virus gets lucky and mutates in a way that helps it survive and reproduce. As a matter of fact, the more diverse a species is, the more chances it has of survival. Similarly, as viruses mutate, their chance of survival increases.
According to NASA, 2018 was the fourth hottest year on record with the global temperature being 0.8°C warmer than the mean during1951-1980. The top three? 2016, 2017, and 2015. The highest rise of 0.94°C (2016) may not seem like a lot but its implications of climate change on the earth are devastating, as can be seen. In fact, scientists say that if we were to cross the threshold of 1.5°C and touch even 2°C, it would lead to a spike in mass migrations from regions most affected, wildfires, deadly heat stress; and that is going to cost us millions of lives and trillions of dollars.
Rising temperatures bring along a number of costly natural disasters. A report by Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the November 2018 Fourth National Climate Assessment report stated that changing climate is causing sea levels to rise and an increase in wildfires, severe storms, droughts, and other extreme weather events that threaten human life, healthy communities, and critical infrastructure.
The field of education is facing huge disruption after the emergence of new trends after the pandemic. Artificial Intelligence is almost there, coming to revolutionize the field of education. Artificial Intelligence is helping in delivering food, it is helping in data entry and maintaining spreadsheets, providing legal advice and it is venturing in learning & memorizing- two essentials of educational activity.
Privacy has taken center stage in recent times as more and more of our data is digitized and shared online data privacy is at a greater risk. A single company may possess the personal information of millions of customers, they use to understand their needs and build products. Companies (even governments) need to keep these data private to protect sensitive information and from keeping their image from being tarnished. This huge data set can be used to understand the problems of the population on a large and hence can be useful. So now how do we find a way that enables the use of this data in the right way and yet protects the privacy of the individual?
To resolve this conflict of interest we have something called differential privacy.
Have you ever wondered how we forward WhatsApp messages, share memes on Instagram, and slide into DMs so easily? You might spend hours scrolling through your phone to search for that perfect ‘good morning’ text but it takes less than a blink of an eye (if the signals are even half good) to send it across to someone. We do everything on the internet, from having casual conversations, to sending and receiving important confidential information and even transact money. And we all do it with blind trust thinking that no one is prying over our internet, but the truth is that someplace or the other it is bare.
Internet of Things (IoT) in its simplest terms, means digitally connected universe of everyday physical devices. These devices are embedded with internet connectivity, sensors and other hardware that allow communication and control via the web. IoT converts once “dumb” devices “smarter” by giving them the ability to send data over the internet, allowing the device to communicate with people and other internet enabled things.
The concept of a network of smart devices was discussed in 1982, with a modified Coca-Cola vending machine at Carnegie Mellon University becoming the first Internet-connected appliance, able to report its stock and whether newly loaded drinks were cold or at normal temperature. Between 1982 and 1997, several companies proposed solutions but the field gained momentum when Bill Joy envisioned device-to-device communication as a part of his “Six Webs” framework, presented at the World Economic Forum at Davos in 1999. The term “Internet of things” was likely coined by Kevin Ashton of Procter & Gamble in 1999, though he prefers the phrase “Internet for things”.
- CONSUMER APPLICATIONS
- Smart Homes: – The best example of IoT in action is the “smart home”. Internet-enabled thermostats, smoke detectors, doorbells and security alarms create a connected hub where data is shared between physical devices and users can remotely control the “things” in that hub via a mobile app or website.
- Elder Care: – The use of this technology in the healthcare industry is improving how professionals deliver elderly care. Cloud-based IoT allows efficient communication between different systems. A doctor can access the data from a heart monitor and see the progress of a patient without leaving the office.
- COMMERCIAL APPLICATION :-
- Medical and healthcare: – IoT enabled devices can be used to enable remote health monitoring and emergency response systems. These health monitoring devices can range from blood pressure and heart rate monitors to advanced devices capable of monitoring specialized implants, such as pacemakers, Fitbit electronic wristbands, or advanced hearing aids.
- Transportation: – Dynamic interaction between the components of a transport system enables inter- and intra-vehicular communication, electronic toll collection systems, logistics, smart traffic control, smart parking and fleet management, vehicle control, safety, and on road assistance.
- INDUSTRIAL APPLICATION
- Manufacturing: – Network control and management of manufacturing equipment, asset and situation management or manufacturing process control also brings IoT into the field of industrial applications and smart manufacturing. IoT intelligent systems allow rapid development of new products, dynamic response to product demands and realtime optimisation of manufacturing and supply chain output.
- Agriculture:-In agriculture, there are various IoT applications such as data collection on temperature, rainfall, humidity, wind speed, pest infestation and soil material. Such data can be used to automate farming practices, make informed decisions to increase quality and quantity, mitigate risk and waste, and reduce crop management efforts. Farmers can now track the soil temperature and humidity and even apply IoT acquired data to precision fertilization programs.
Research indicates that the effect IoT would have on the planet in coming years would be monumental. From consumer preferences for entertainment and media, infrastructure and energy management, agriculture, transportation and even medical care, the increase in its impact and application can be assessed. Given the current trends, the effect of IoT on human life is increasingly growing, and will only continue to increase. At the same time, however, concerns arose about the dangers and possible risks of inculcating the IoT into all facets of human life.
Here are some of the problems with the IoT:
One of the greatest risks to IoT stems from the burden put on the global knowledge sharing network on which the IoT depends. The 2018 Global Risks Report highlights the possibility of cyberattacks and the danger to all interconnected undertakings if the IoT is compromised by internal vulnerabilities. Clouds would be the first to be breached, despite how severe the problem is, as security regulations are still not completely established. Cybercrime’s annual economic cost is measured at around $1 trillion, which supersedes natural disaster costs including Hurricane Sandy and Katrina.
Another pressing issue with IoT is the safety of consumers. Hacking is not only a breach of security, but also a violation of user privacy. A new analysis at Glasgow University reveals users are generally unsatisfied with the lack of privacy that IoT allows. When consumers have become more aware of the scope of cyber surveillance, they have begun to take their privacy more seriously and thus insist that absolute authority of their data will remain with them. There is a need for enhanced organizational accountability to ensure customer data are not exposed to others.
- Internet Walls
The prospect of losing critical data by hacking is a risky proposition not only for businesses but for nations by cross-border attacks as well.The World Economic Forum predicts that such attacks will drive nations to build internet walls which will limit the IoT operation to different regions. In fact, nations will ultimately be compelled to protect their commercial interests, because economies are unable to function openly within a global network of online businesses.
This essentially jeopardizes the whole concept of the IoT as walls prohibit unrestricted data sharing requested by several businesses.Such laws will also stand in the way of technical development by substantially slowing it down.
- Cloud attacks
Based at the signs of this global battle, it is extremely likely that cloud networks will be the next possible threats to IoT. This is because cloud networks have the biggest supplies of data to power the IoT. According to new estimates, cybercrime’s total economic expense in 2017 was measured at about $1 trillion, which is a multiple of the 2017 record year gross loss from natural disasters of nearly $300 billion. To understand the magnitude of the issue, the report of the World Economic Forum cites a study which put
forward the takedown of only one cloud provider could cause financial harm of $50 billion to $120 billion.
- Understanding IoT
Rapid growth in technology has resulted in a limited understanding of the IoT. For consumers to make use of the internet and all that the IoT has to offer, it is essential to work upon their awareness of the changes taking place within IoT to make it more efficient. Not only will the comprehension empower them, it will prepare them mentally and they will possibly be able to find solutions on how to take caution from any of the mentioned problems.
Solutions to the hindrances of IoT Success: –
A report published by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) made the following three recommendations:
- Data security – At the time of designing IoT companies should ensure that data collection, storage and processing would be secure at all times. Companies should adopt a “defence in depth” approach and encrypt data at each stage.
- Data consent – users should have a choice as to what data they share with IoT companies and the users must be informed if their data gets exposed.
- Data minimization – IoT companies should collect only the data they need and retain the collected information only for a limited time.
INDIAN GOVT ON IOT
The Indian Government’s proposal to build 100 smart cities in the country for which Rs. 7,060 crores have been allocated in the current budget could result in the country’s massive and rapid expansion of IoT. In addition, the government’s launch of the Digital India Program, which aims to ‘transform India into a digitally empowered society and an information economy’ would provide the impetus needed to grow the country’s IoT industry. The various initiatives proposed under the Smart City concept and the Digital India Program for setting up the country’s Digital Infrastructure will help boost the IoT industry. IoT would be key to smarter cities.The concept behind IoT is to build a device that will store all the data people need without getting a direct hand in collecting it.
It is very clear that companies around the world are embarking on IoT driven digital development projects to improve capabilities and market efficiency, in addition to serving their consumers and citizens ‘demands better. These projects may have risks, but if adequately managed, companies should be more assured and the path to success and performance in IoT would be impartially smooth.
Traditional coding, also known as custom application development, refers to working with a team of programmers and developers to gather specific requirements, develop a plan, and work with a development team to design custom code for an application to fulfil the specified needs. This approach is totally fine and an utterly acceptable method, but is often complex, expensive, and time-consuming. Further, a traditional development approach needs a constant maintenance cycle by the developer to keep the custom software application up-to-date and secure.