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Published by Alonzo Renard-El
the air force future timeline MUST READ
the air force future timeline MUST READ

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Categories:Types, Letters
Published by: Alonzo Renard-El on May 23, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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08/06/2012

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Software provides a tool to control computer hardware. This section discusses some impacts of

software development, as well as some of software’s vulnerabilities. Software is not immune to the vagaries

of the computing environment, as emphasized by the proliferation of computer viruses. Where viruses strike

productivity suffers, and hardware can even be destroyed.14

Sophisticated software now impacts the livelihood of various workers, including professionals and

sportsmen who may have thought themselves immune from such invasions of their working environment.15

Programs such as Parson Technology’s Personal Tax Edge®

make it possible for untrained taxpayers to

assess complex tax issues such as alternative minimum tax payments, depreciation of rental property assets,

and how to carry forward losses from a previous year’s tax return.16

Similar programs allow consumers to

write living wills and powers of attorney that are recognized in many states.17

These programs do not “mean

the end of the knowledge worker. It just means that different knowledge will be valuable.”18

The bottom

line, however, is that certain “cookie-cutter” functions of the professionals can be replaced, so certain

professions can expect to see a decline in the number of practitioners or to receive lower levels of

compensation.

Software has even intervened in the world of sports. International Grand Master and Professional

Chess Association World Champion Garry Kasparov recently played a chess match against a supercomputer,

Deep Blue. Deep Blue won the first game, then drew the next two games before the human won and evened

the score.19

Though Kasparov went on to win the match, it is considered only a matter of a few years before

computers can defeat any human competitor.20

The reason computers perform so well is not a capability to

plan better than humans. Instead, the computer is capable of analyzing a large number of moves very

swiftly.21

Positional assessments, however, have historically been one of the computer’s weaknesses, and

that is what eventually led to Deep Blue’s downfall.

148

Computer viruses can subvert data, alter the flow of money, sniff out passwords, and conceivably arm,

disarm, or retarget weapons.22

In general, the normative problem is the loss of productivity caused by

viruses that spread across under-protected networks in the work environment.23

To date, the impact is

relatively innocuous because most virus writers are inexperienced, amateur programmers with few skills.

What is to be feared in the future is the sophisticated code writer with both more insidious purposes and

means. Such an individual may imperil financial markets, weapons systems, or network security.

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