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5 Ways Computers Have Changed the World

  • January 16, 2021January 18, 2021

There is no doubt that the burst of computer technology into the world has done so much to change what is happening around the world. From big to small, here are five key ways that it has changed everything.

To Perform Arithmetical Calculations

As early as 1822, an English mathematician of the name of Charles Babbage invented a steam-driven machine that was capable of computing, or adding up, tables of numbers. The project, which was funded by the English government, was considered a failure at the time but would lead on to a more useable computer a century later. The advent of the microchip then extended the use of computer into portable devices such as calculators. The first digital and hand-held calculator was invented by Texas Instruments in 1967. We now, of course, can use the calculator on our mobile phone to perform many of the same calculations. Albeit not the scientific ones.

For Ending the War Early

In 1936, Alan Turing would present his idea of a universal machine that would be capable of computing anything computable. The modern computer was to have its central concept based around Turin’s ideas. Only a matter of years later, at Bletchley Park and during World War II, he was to develop the machine that would crack the German Enigma Code. This creation was thought to have ended the war two years earlier than it would otherwise have ended, saving thousands of lives. Turin, ahead of his time, also had theories on artificial intelligence. Not only have computers helped during the war they have also been a source of comfort and knowledge for families after the war who have searched for their loved ones who went MIA at this time. By using resources such as Genealogy Bank to check census records, they have been able to see if their family members ended up somewhere else once the war was over.

Artificial Intelligence

As branch of computer science, artificial intelligence promotes the development of intelligence machines. That is, machines which are capable of thinking like humans. Examples include machines capable of speech recognition, being able to solve problems, having the ability to learn tasks, and being able to plan. All these are functions that a human performs, which in the past have been alien to a computer. As mentioned above, the early computers would be useful for their abilities to calculate sums quickly, quicker than a human, but could not previously think for themselves. Science fiction has represented robots where this is possible. For instance, the character C-3PO (short for Cyborg 3 Protocol) from the Star Wars movies, who is known to speak a multitude of different languages, as a protocol droid with this kind of intelligence programmed into him, can act as a language interpreter for its owner. In this case, Luke Skywalker. This technology later extended into pocket language translators that could give us words in different languages, depending where we were on holiday. We can now, of course, like most things, look up these translations on the world wide web. This leads us on to our next heading.

The World Wide Web

The world wide web (www) was created by Tim Berners-Lee in 1989 whilst he was working at CERN, a European research organisation that has the world’s largest particle physics laboratory. Now, it’s accessed by millions of people every day. Plus, with cox internet prices being affordable, most households have a personal internet connection. Berners-Lee originally thought of, and further developed his idea, to meet the demands for automated information-sharing that was required in respect of the data being distributed between scientists. These scientists based in various institutes and universities around the world. The worldwide web has since been useful to the military for communications, areas of business to trade with international clients, for social media, and when ordering shopping. In fact, people spend a lot of time in front of screens now as more and more jobs are based in that sector, requiring people to utilize businesses such as Felix Gray to help with blocking blue light that may affect their eyes as time goes on.

Sat Nav and Driverless Cars

In motoring, computer technology has resulted in the ability to have a voice speak to you inside your car and give you directions which navigate you around an ever-growing list of towns, cities, and states. It has created large advantages to the business world, according to blogs like RMH OF BANGOR, and enhanced the journeys of many people across the globe. Having a voice inside your car used to be fiction, as those who remember watching the 80s television series Knight Rider will tell you. During the series, which ran from 1982 to 1986, its lead actor, David Hasselhoff, would be talked to and advised by his car KITT, which stood for Knight Industries Two Thousand. It was the computerised voice inside a black Pontiac Trans Am that would talk to him. This is yet another example of futuristic technology becoming a reality. Another example can be traced back to the 1960s and the Original Series of Star Trek, in which flip-top communicators were used to communicate phrases such as “Beam Me Up Scotty”. These communicator devices were to become the mobile phones of today. Then, as a further development to mobile phones, screens, cameras, and App technology, were added to make them even more useful and extend their functionality beyond that of just a communicator device.

In conclusion, we have merely touched on the different ways that computers have changed our lives. Touchscreen being another added technology, of course. There is, however, no doubt, that the invention of the microchip has been the biggest single technological advancement since the advent of computer technology, allowing for much smaller devices than the initial steam-powered one Charles Babbage invented to be produced, and all providing access to today’s internet.