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Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Technology and Its Possibilities Are the Future

Technology and Its Possibilities Are the Future

Madelyne Xiao
Madelyne Xiao, a student at Stanford University, is press director for she++, which aims to create community and momentum for female technologists and computer scientists.
Updated July 22, 2015, 11:09 AM
I'm not alone among my peers at Stanford University in seeing technology as the future. Indeed, for many of us, technology is the path toward change, and the Internet has democratized opportunities and communication.  Not all effects are good, but technology's capacity for positive change is undeniable.
We’re acutely aware of the ways in which the Internet can magnify cruel behavior, like cyberbullying. But the social flip side can be just as powerful. Take Brandon Stanton, the street photographer behind Humans of New York. He harnesses social media to share the stories of strangers he meets and interviews.

Far from settling with one-click Internet approval in the form of "Likes" — which he gets in spades — followers of Stanton's Facebook page recently raised over a million dollars to establish a scholarship fund for graduates of the Mott Hall Bridges Academy in Brooklyn, which will also let them visit Harvard University on class trips, and it all started with a photograph of a student who cited his principal as his role model.

Or take a look at Khan Academy, coursera, Udacity and other providers of online courses. They provide free learning materials to their users, and an international network of namebrand universities and instructors to reach a classroom of millions.

Sure, not all effects of technology are positive — some social-impact goals on mission statements are dubious, to say the least, and the lack of diversity undercuts the industry — but technology’s capacity for positive change is undeniable. The building of life-changing inventions — like 3-D printed prosthetic limbs — show that the industry has the potential to continue to grow in beneficial ways, and we’d like to see this potential come to fruition.

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