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Sunday, January 27, 2019


The growing phenomena of adopting advanced technological equipment for enhancing the luxurious life and intense competition in technological product manufacturing are substantiating the alarming condition due to electronic waste. Electronics waste, commonly known as e-scrap or e-waste, which is the trash generated from surplus, broken and obsolete electronic devices. Electronic scrap components, such as CPUs, contain potentially harmful materials such as lead, cadmium, beryllium, or brominated flame retardants.

E-waste adversely affects the environment and ecological dimensions of any developing nations. Instead of responsibly recycling our electronic devices, the developed nation transports their e-waste to smaller countries at scarp values. The e-waste piles up in the landfills, which cause harm to the environment in various ways. Toxins from the metals in electronics are released into the atmosphere, and what is worse, when e-waste disposal is not subsidized, the pollutants from our electronic waste can end up in low quality and hazardous equipment for the general public. Instead of exporting e-wastages, or letting them rot in landfills, it should be recycled or processed by returning our electrical products to stores and manufacturers.
The electronic wastages out of unwanted, obsolete or unusable electronic and electrical products are creating adverse impacts on the environment and human health. Also, the resources are wasted when economically valuable materials are dumped rather than utilizing in solid waste management. In the context of India, it is the fifth biggest producer of e-waste in the world with more than 12.5 lakh MTs every year and growing at a rate of 3.15 percent annually. Hence developing the necessary infrastructure to manage the e-waste, mutual awareness about the usability of products among manufacturers and consumers becomes highly important. Solid infrastructure for waste recycling is highly essential to avoid unsafe exposure in recycling operations and leaking of materials and incinerator ashes. By 2020, the volume of our electronic wastages throughout the world is expected to rise by 36 percent from 2017, and the weight of these garbage piles are compared with eight times of the Great Pyramids of Egypt. The amount of e-waste that we produce, including mobile phones, computers, DVD players, and global positioning products, could rise by a whopping 500% over the next decade. 

Many government initiatives, as well as corporate initiatives, are taken to educate the customers about the usages and disposal mechanism of e wastes. As a part of the vocational training program, electronic waste management techniques are delivered and entrepreneurial initiatives are encouraged. The refurbished product platform by e-commerce giant Flipkart in the name of 2GUD is a premier example of wide spreading refurbished and attempting at decreasing the wastage of electronics products. Looking at the veracity it is clear that the electronic wastage practices cannot be eliminated to zero but certainly, it can be minimized to a large extent by acting responsibly.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Game changer: Real-time language translation

Universal real-time translation has always fascinated the humanity thanks to its use in fictional stories. But it’s no longer science fiction. The devices with polyglot powers have been released in the market. now, companies can communicate with any lifeform no matter where they choose to boldly go.

The Interpreter – Translator : 
This application recognizes the language that is being spoken and then translates the content in real time. It's easy to use and caters around more than 100 different languages.
To achieve this, different combinations of machine intelligence technologies have been used: A pattern of matching software to identify sounds and Neural networks, and Machine deep learning to identify what is being said, and “encoders” will process all the information. The task is supported by the databases of common words, meanings and information learned from previous analyses.

Battle of Giants :

Siri, Cortana, Alexa and other assistants applications in our mobile devices have already learned to understand what we say and execute commands in one language. Now they are learning to translate those words into other languages.
Hardware for  real-time translation already exists:
  • Apple’s Siri will soon translate between U.S. English and French, German, Italian, Mandarin Chinese, and Spanish languages.
  • iTranslate and Bragi already offer Dash Pro, which translates to 30 languages
  • Google’s Pixel Bud earbuds work with Android devices to translate between up to 40 languages and the recent release proved it.
  • Waverley Lab’s pilot system consists of two earpieces shared between two people who don’t speak the same language the interpreter and the encoder process the information and translates the language. It will also translate the speeches etc.

“The future is now”

Sunday, January 13, 2019


In the era of science and technology, there is much hype about Artificial Intelligence. Everything is superseding by Artificial Intelligence, in every possible sphere of work. To match the pace of this era, we must know what actually Artificial Intelligence, i.e. AI, is all about.   
Artificial Intelligence is the field of computer science, which enables the computer to behave, think, act, and respond as human being. Why is it called so is another point of interest. Intelligence means perceiving environment and taking actions that maximize its chance of successfully achieving its goals. Hence, giving this to ability to machine artificially, calls it as Artificial Intelligence.
AI development is elevating its execution majorly in following areas:
·        Gaming − AI plays crucial role in strategic games such as chess, poker, tic-tac-toe, etc., where machine thinks of large number of possible positions based on heuristic knowledge.
·        Natural Language Processing − It is used to interact with the computer that understands natural language spoken by humans.
·        Expert Systems − There are some applications which can integrate machine, software, and special information to impart reasoning and advising. They also provide explanation and advice to the users.
·        Vision Systems − These systems can understand, interpret, and comprehend visual input on the computer. For example,
o   A spying aeroplane can take a photograph, which can be used to figure out spatial information or map of the areas.
o   Doctor uses clinical expert system to diagnose the patient.
o   Police uses computer software that recognizes the face of criminal with the stored portrait made by forensic artist.
·        Speech Recognition − Some intelligent systems can hear and comprehend the language in terms of sentences and their meanings while a human talks to it. It handles different accents, slang words, noise in the background, change in human’s noise due to cold, etc.
·        Handwriting Recognition − The handwriting recognition software can read the text written on paper by a pen or on screen by a stylus. It recognizes the shapes of the letters and convert it into editable text.
·         Intelligent Robots − Robots perform the tasks given by a human. They have sensors to notice physical information from the world like lightweight, heat, temperature, movement, sound, bump, and pressure. They have economical processors, multiple sensors and big memory, to exhibit intelligence. In addition, they're capable of learning from their mistakes and that they will adapt to the new atmosphere.
AI is mainly categorized into 3 categories:
  1. ANI: Artificial Narrow Intelligence
    It is considered as weak intelligence, which shows intelligence lower than human.
    E.g. SIRI, Alexa, any speech recognition device.
  2. AGI: Artificial General Intelligence
    It is considered as Strong intelligence, which shows intelligence similar to human.
    E.g. AlphaGo
  3. ASI: Artificial Superintelligence
    This will be smarter than human intelligence, which we can only imagine for now. It will take decades to achieve this point.
    E.g. Any creation that can write its own novel/book.

It is clear that this technology has life changing advantages like automation of mundane tasks, accuracy and speed in tedious data related tasks, and it will make our life smooth. But, just like any other technology, it has unfurl dark side too. It is estimated that AI can be a threat to humanity if it progresses intensely. Some also believe that AI, unlike other technological revolutions till date, will create a risk of mass unemployment as it is taking place of human work in wide areas. Moreover, if Artificial Super-intelligence achieved, which can be visualized as “Robots in Action”, then it may take control over humans and humanity can be extinct.
We are just starting to explore this area and transcending towards the better and better every minute. AI has numerous possibilities of unimagined tremendous development that time will unfold for us to have a better life. Till then we can adore the privileges of AI.

Sunday, January 06, 2019


With the growing phenomena of rapid industrialization and fascination for a luxurious lifestyle, the adoption of technology increased by manifolds. Fast depletion of natural resources, unexpected climate change and global warming consequences urged the civilized society to rethink the sustainability aspects in later part of the 20th century and as a result, the concept of green technology emerged. Green technology is also known as greentech which refers to the use of technology to come up with features and functionality that would benefit the environment.

Green Technology is the application of one or more aspects of environmental sciences, engineering and physical as well as biological sciences to monitor & conserve the natural environment. The main intention behind using green technology is to mitigate the negative effects of human activity on the environment in terms of slowing down global warming and reduce the adverse impacts of the greenhouse effect. All the green technologies are aimed at striking off the harmful impacts towards all the living species and the general health of our planet.

The suffocation due to intense air pollution, unnatural climatic change and the collapse of natural food system invoked the urgency to explore the innovative use of technology through Greentech. All the innovations in the field of green technology adhere to the goals of sustainability which can be possible by;
  • Innovating new ways to fulfil the needs of society in ways that can endure the future possibility without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
  • Reduction of waste and pollution by introducing changing patterns of production and consumption.
  • Reinventing clean technology with renewable energy sources and enhancement in use of eco-friendly materials.
The list of ways and ideas continues to grow with the contemplation of global thinkers, environmentalists, social activists. Green technology consists of a wide variety of activities ranging from recycling to sustainable building. Manufacturers around the globe are putting significant efforts in devising the concept of 4R’s such as Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Recover. Use of renewable energy sources such as sunlight, volcanic & sea water and wind through solar panels, geothermal wells and wind turbines are encouraged. Product innovation with eco-friendly guidelines is gaining popularity. For example, Motorola created an eco-friendly phone named as Motorola Renew, which is made of recycled bottles that come in a packaging made of recycled parts. Another example can be Voltaic Backpack which has solar panels for charging the gadgets.

In the present era, there is no doubt on How Technology Has Made Our Life Easier but looking at the increasing volume of e-waste it indicates an alarming situation. The electronic wastages out of unwanted, obsolete or unusable electronic and electrical products are creating adverse impacts on the environment and human health. Also, the resources are wasted when economically valuable materials are dumped rather than utilizing in solid waste management. In the context of India, it is the fifth biggest producer of e-waste in the world with more than 12.5 lakh MTs every year and growing at a rate of 3.15 per cent annually. Hence developing the necessary infrastructure to manage the e-waste, mutual awareness about the usability of products among manufacturers and consumers becomes highly important.

Various government initiatives are taken in encouraging the use of green technology through policy reformations. Adequate numbers of non-profit organizations are putting efforts in spreading the awareness. At institutional level environmental education, opportunities for research & development in green technology area are nurtured among academicians. Additionally, various events, student club activities are aligned with protecting the nature and spreading awareness of the grass root level of society. Along with that various social campaigns for green revolutions are wide spreading the agenda of green technology. In a global scale, the companies are showing interests towards green technology and introducing eco-friendly office design & operations to put a step ahead with eco-sustainability.

Undoubtedly Green Technology is going to be the change driver for ensuring sustainable growth and conducive in dealing with global warming. Not only creating new technology but reinventing the sustainable dimensions through design thinking is the need of this time. As a responsible citizen, it is our responsibility to nurture the environment and protect for the upcoming generation as a livable planet.

NOTE: The views expressed here are those of the author's and not necessarily represent or reflect the views of DoT Club as a whole.