There is currently much legislation pending
in many states that would make it illegal for
people to use a cell phone while driving a car.
The reason is that society has already noticed
a significant increase in the number of traffic
accidents in which one of the drivers involved
in the accident was using a cell phone. Think
beyond that for a moment and include
wearable computers. As this new technology
becomes more widely available, isn't it
possible for someone to be driving a car
while using a computer? Should the
government enact legislation to prevent it?
Why or why not?
In a push technology environment, businesses
and organizations will come to you with
information, services, and product offerings
based on your profile. How is a push
technology environment different from mass
mailings and spam? Is it an invasion of your
privacy to have organizations calling you on
your cell phone every time you come near a
store? Why or why not? Should you be able
to "opt in" or "opt out" of these offerings? Is
this really any different from someone leaving
a flyer at your house or on your car while it's
parked in a parking lot?
There are three steps in automatic speech
recognition (ASR): feature analysis, pattern
classification, and language processing. Which
of those three steps is the most challenging
for a computer to perform? Why? Which
of those three steps is the least challenging
for a computer to perform? Why? If ASR
systems are to become automatic speech
understanding systems, which step must
undergo the greatest improvement in its
Much debate surrounds the use of biometrics.
Many people like it because biometrics
can provide identification and increase
security. Other people see it as a tremendous
invasion of your privacy. Just as you read
in this chapter, a bank—by using biometric
identification—may be able to tell if a woman
is pregnant. So, the greatest challenge to
overcome is not technological but rather
societal. What do you think needs to happen
for society to accept the use of biometrics?
How long do you think it will be before
society accepts the use of biometrics? In
what year do you believe the U.S. federal
government will begin requiring a biometric
of every newborn child?
What are the ethical dilemmas associated
with using facial recognition software? Is
the use of this type of software really any
different from a store asking to see your
driver's license when you use your credit card?
Why or why not? Should the government
be able to place digital video cameras on
every street corner and use facial recognition
software to monitor your movements? Why or
When (and if) CAVEs become a common reality,
you'll be able to visit your family and friends
anytime you want no matter where they live.
What sort of impact will this have on the travel
industry? If you can see your relatives in a
CAVE as often as you want, will you be more
or less inclined to buy a plane ticket and visit
them in person? Why or why not?