Questions on 5G, The Latest Tech Craze, That You Were Too Embarrassed To Ask

The fifth generation of cellular technology is alternatively game-changing or fear-inducing. Or both?

AnnMarie Scaramuzzino/WDET

As our world becomes increasingly connected through technology, the importance of a high speed, dependable internet connection cannot be overestimated. Advances in self-driving cars, virtual reality and artificial intelligence are among countless emerging technologies hinged on reliable connectivity.

This is why 5G, the fifth generation of wireless technology, will be such a game changer. U.S. carriers are saying that 5G will be available by next year, but it will be years before we have the complex carrier network required to allow it’s full potential.

But the technology isn’t without controversy. Back in January the Russian government-funded news organization, RT, released a video touting the health dangers of 5G.

Just last month, the New York Times took a closer look at Russia’s disinformation campaign around the emerging technology. And while in 2011 the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer did classify cellular radio waves as a possible carcinogen, scientists say more research needs to be done before arriving at any definitive conclusions. Noteworthy about the Times piece was that it laid out how RT is so openly launching this anti-5G campaign — directly playing on Americans’ fears and divisions on this topic.

On Detroit Today, Stephen Henderson speaks with two people who have been researching and writing about these issues surrounding 5G.

Klint Finley is a contributing writer for WIRED covering the business of technology, software development and tech policy. He talks about what exactly this technology is, how it will change our lives and where the U.S. stacks up in the global race.

Ben Decker is the lead analyst on a forthcoming research paper on 5G disinformation that will be released by the nonprofit, the Global Disinformation Index. He says that although Russia is exploiting the current controversy around the topic, it actually started a few years ago right here in the U.S.

Click on the audio player above Detroit Today’s conversation on 5G, the latest tech craze coming soon to a cell tower near you.


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