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The Devcon Technology Seminar

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The Devcon seminar tackled four different topics in the field of technology; namely VR, AI, blockchain, and AR. The most related topics are VR and AR as they tackle something related to “reality”. While blockchain is a relatively new concept it is nonetheless an important one as it handles data security. AI is for a broad definition “a program that exhibits at least some sort of human intelligence”. Blockchain, as the speaker said is “a chain of blocks” but only meant it as a joke and a very loose translation of what blockchain really is. In its most basic form is literally a block that’s in a chain; meaning one group is connected to each other and not to anyone else outside said “block”.

Blockchain in its most basic form is a verifier of any type of data there is. A blockchain is a digital ledger recording all transactions that need to be recorded and this one ledger is copied to many computers inside a certain network. Say for example, one copy of the ledger is either corrupted or compromised by some ill-intentioned individual, the corruption or change in the record would be rectified by the thousands of other copies of the said ledger in the same network. Another more concrete example would be with the virtual currency of Bitcoin, knowing that bitcoin is a virtual currency, there is no hard evidence of what happens with transactions regarding it, hence it implemented the use of blockchain technology as it also gives everyone accountability.

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Bitcoin, being referred to as “digital gold” has made itself a target for people who want to earn a “quick buck” as they say, people would try and cheat the currency and change their records and instead will place a value higher or lower than what is actually in the records, of course blockchain will make it difficult for said person to change the records as what records they have is only a copy of the thousands of records other people have, and said records are being updated at different periods, so an anomaly in their records would be easily rectified by the others who have that record.

AI, or sometimes called “machine intelligence” is a relatively new branch of computer sciences. Only recently is AI being brought to the limelight, a crude example of AI would be if a software would be able to determine what is inside a certain picture. Some people misidentify some software as AI like “Siri or Alexa”, these “AI” are what one would call virtual assistant software where they are programmed to feel like they are “real” artificial intelligence but, they are nowhere near the “real thing”.

VR and AR or “virtual reality” and “augmented reality” respectively are straightforward. VR situates the user inside a virtual environment and requires a specialized headgear to be used. VR creates a whole new world that one can explore in the comfort of one’s own room. AR on the other hand does not necessarily require one to be out and about but it leans on that notion, AR requires an optic interface device like a camera for the software to work.


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