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Losing our brains with disruptive technologies (III): Breath.

Have a beautiful week. Today we will try to screen how do the relevant disruptive technologies have struck our sense of breath/smell; and as a cascade result,  how these technologies have affected the activities we do with our respiratory system, which ultimately alter our brain capacities, sometimes for groovy reasons, sometimes with deplorable consequences (including death).

Can you marry me x blog protected january 2020

“Can you marry me?”. An aquarelle by Eleonora Escalante. From the watercolor collection “1969, Le Cadeau de Mariage de mes parents “. Painted on Watercolor paper Moulin du Roy 300 GSM. Size: 9″ x 12”. Original. If you wish to buy it, contact me. Thanks.

Again, each of these sub-themes requires probably more than a year of publications, only from the point of view of corporate strategy (our domain area of action), but it is not our aim to go intensely into them but to shake the fundamental premises only. Our intention: To make you think. It is up to each of the discipline specialists related to each of these human actions to initiate the analysis, proceed to fix or improve what is causing us demeanor. Now, that it is still time to make adjustments. In 100 years, we won´t be able to return back; and at that time our descendants will ask themselves, why we (Babyboomers,  generation X, Millennials, and generation Z) did not arrange anything when the time was still right.

We will proceed with two different views:

  1. From outside-in
  2. From inside-out

From Outside-In:

It is evident that our combustion technologies have printed the environment for worst, particularly with higher air contaminations, since the first industrial revolution. And the latter statement has no relation at all with social media sad-fishing or being negative. Reality is certainty truly proved. With the advent of machines which started to pollute our air, our planet has been suffering, as much as ourselves. The air quality and water have been wedged, and many cities, particularly the most industrialized ones which did not take measures to impede the pollution, have been grossly stage-struck. Air pollution is a big issue all over the world; because humans have thought that in order to industrialize our societies, the energy generation was conceived as a “burn something to create energy”.

Disruptive Technologies have an origin in the paleolithic era. Our brains from the paleolithic era provoked a philosophy of disruption. And we simply inherited it, from generation to generation to our days. This philosophy ignites the disruption in our brains and innovations. Since humans got the understanding of burning wood to ignite a fire we messed it up. Can we get it?  Our paleolithic brains sustained the concept of sparkling fire in the disruption: In order to generate light or energy, we had to burn animals oil or candles or wood or coal. Over time, our ancestors also understood that energy could be generated by the water, by the wind or the sun. But it was easier to continue burning our resources to generate energy until they found another burning solution: Petroleum. During the last 100 years, our brains continued with the philosophy to burn material to create energy and we swapped the wood and the whales oil for fossil fuels (the four types of fossil fuels are petroleum, coal, natural gas, and Orimulsion). And humans continued with the rationale of burning fossil fuels to ignite energy, an activity that polluted the air.

Air pollution. As reported by Jerry Nathanson from Britannica.com “Air is considered to be polluted when it contains certain substances in concentrations high enough and for durations´ long enough to cause harm or undesirable effects. These include adverse effects on human health, property, and atmospheric visibility. The atmosphere is susceptible to pollution from natural sources as well as from human activities. Some natural phenomena, such as volcanic eruptions and forest fires (as the Australian recent fire), may have not only local and regional effects but also long-lasting global ones. Nevertheless, only the pollution caused by human activities, such as industry and transportation, is subject to mitigation and control”.

Most air contaminants originate from combustion processes. “During the Middle Ages, the burning of coal for fuel caused recurrent air pollution. Beginning in the 19th century, in the wake of the Industrial Revolution, increasing the use of fossil fuels intensified the severity and frequency of air pollution episodes. The advent of mobile sources of air pollution—i.e., gasoline-powered highway vehicles—had a tremendous impact on air quality problems in cities. The air pollutants include fine particulates, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, ozone, and lead. Since the end of the 20th century, there also has been a recognition of the hazardous effects of trace amounts of many other air pollutants called “air toxics.” Most air toxics are organic chemicals, comprising molecules that contain carbon, hydrogen, and other atoms”.

According to an article from the World Economic Forum (2018), the rising number of chronic diseases linked to poor air quality has brought to light the severity and urgency of air pollution problem – the cause of 8 million early deaths worldwide each year. In addition, The World Health Organization has indicated that 92% of the global population is currently living in areas deemed as exceeding safe air pollution levels.

Our ancestor’s paleolithic brains helped to introduce disruption technologies through pollution machines for the sake of manufacturing products or for transportation motives. Nowadays, there is a pressing need to create new technologies to better understand air pollution and produce new technologies that help us on how to fix that.

Air pollution control is the domain that incorporates the techniques and technologies employed to reduce or eliminate the emission into the atmosphere of substances that can harm the environment or human health. Many of these technologies have been designed in the past to help us to clean the air. Others, recently configured, are state of the art models with artificial intelligence new pleas, and other technologies (non-disruptive) are as simple as natural themselves, which will help us to use the same nature itself to clean our atmosphere.

During the last 100 years, technological innovations have been conceived to measure the toxicity of the air as much as to try to save the air. There are different technologies that monitor the quality of air, indicators as the AQI (Air Quality Index) and other measurements, which have helped us to understand the degree of air pollution. This is proof that technology can be utilized for genuine and honorable reasons, and I certainly have nothing to judge in relation to these innovations, because I consider them non-disruptive.  I will always celebrate non-disruptive technologies which will help us to solve human critical issues like air pollution. Sometimes the key to solving grandiose problems is simple: stop the main causes that pollute the air, instead of finding technologies to improve the quality of it.

From Inside Out:

Human beings and every single organism which take a breath and respire oxygen, are also returning back air to the atmosphere. We are fountains of processed air. In the case of people, one of our primary functions to live is to respire. Since the first second after we are born we employ our nose to respire and to smell. It is a primary human sense, the key to our survival. Our brains need oxygen from our blood as much as plants need water to outlive. There are different technologies that have been designed and used to breathe and to determine our air quality exhalation measurement. There are other technologies that help us to breathe oxygen when we are not able to do it by ourselves (either because we are sick or in surgeries or in medical care, or when we get inside the ocean or outside the atmosphere where there is no fresh oxygen for us). Finally, there are wrong inventions for our health, such as cigars, cigarettes and more recently vaping.

Technologies that have been designed to measure the air we exhale from our bodies are considerable. There is a breath-meter called “The Mint” which helps to identify gum diseases. An electronic nose called NA-NOSE, by Hossam Haick of the Technion Israel Institute of Technology, is an experimental tech device that uses nanorays to analyze breath to identify Parkinson’s disease, cancer, kidney failure, multiple sclerosis (with a 86% degree of accuracy). In the same line, there are more scientists who are now getting into the field of multisensory technologies. promising alternatives for flavor perception and smell or flavor augmentation. From the breath analyzers which measure the alcohol presence in our organism, to gas-chromatography mass-spectrometers which analyze the chemical compounds of our air exhalations; our innovations don´t end. Recently the Artificial Intelligence (AI) wants to be applied to systems that can smell human breath to identify a range of illness-revealing the substances inside us that can help doctors to detect illnesses on time. The idea is to replicate what a dog´s nose can do with a little machine. AI aspires to be used to accelerate the diagnosis of our exhalations device´s data.  Are these initiatives ethically framed? Physicians want mathematical models used by computers with deep learning processes, to help them to read the data extracted from our breathe and to diagnose internal odors quicker than dogs´noses. Olfactory datum seems to be important in the future, and the usage of AI is simply to get accuracy and reliability of diagnosis no just in medical care, but food industry, environment, agriculture production, and even public security affairs. If these technologies are going to be disruptive, we must ask ourselves if it is the right path to proceed.

Let me ask you are we proceeding correctly with our newest disruptive technologies when it comes to breathe-smell activities?

Losing our brains with disrupt technologies breathe outline 13jan2019.jpg

In my next publication, we will analyze the Taste (mouth) and the Touch (hands and skin) senses. By the end of the week, we will finalize with the See and Listen activities.

Stay tuned, Thank you for reading to me.

brain gif

Sources of references utilized to write this article: 

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2018/09/better-air-pollution-data-is-helping-us-all-breathe-easier-heres-how/

https://edition.cnn.com/2017/11/07/health/na-nose-disease-smell-technology/index.html

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/sep/16/smell-digital-technology-ophone-cyrano

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/ai-artificial-intelligence-smell-detect-illness-science-technology-a8394706.html

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/admt.201800488

https://www.theverge.com/2016/11/19/13680544/breathometer-mint-breath-tester-cavities-gum-disease-oral-health

https://www.alcolizer.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/12660_WhitePaper_Substances-that-Can-Affect-A-Breath-test_LR.pdf

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00026/full

https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10000872396390444024204578044401470426998

https://www.wired.com/story/quest-to-make-robot-smell-cancer-dog/

https://www.airpurifiers.com/pages/ozone

https://www.analyticaltechnology.com/analyticaltechnology/gas-water-monitors/blog.aspx?ID=1269&Title=5%20Revealing%20Physical%20Symptoms%20That%20Gas%20Leaks%20Cause

https://now.tufts.edu/articles/toxic-air-we-breathe

https://www.evolving-science.com/intelligent-machines/ai-sense-smell-00783

https://www.ft.com/content/7d54cfb8-cea5-11e9-b018-ca4456540ea6

https://livingasean.com/explore/3-apps-check-air-pollution-levels-pm2-5-pm10/

https://pollution.environmentalconferences.org/events-list/pollution-control-technologies-and-devices

https://www.britannica.com/technology/air-pollution-control

https://www.unenvironment.org/news-and-stories/story/business-unusual-four-innovations-clear-air

Disclaimer: Illustrations in Watercolor are painted by Eleonora Escalante. Other types of illustrations or videos (which are not mine) are used for educational purposes ONLY.  Nevertheless, the majority of the pictures, images or videos shown on this blog are not mine.  I do not own any of the lovely photos or images posted unless otherwise stated.

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