The Applications of Technology in the First Decade of the Twenty-First Century

The Applications of Technology in
the First Decade of the Twenty-First Century

A quote I heard many times when I was in
high school and which I now know traces back to Sir Francis Bacon, one
of our earliest scientist or philosophers as they were then called, is
the statement "Knowledge Is Power." Today, I believe that the fuller,
more correct statement is to say, "the application of knowledge is power."

The study of science, and technology subjects will broader our opportunities
in life. As we continue to advance to the 21st century- now lesser
than 30 days away-we are well aware that technology is possibly the hottest
industrial commodity around the world today. In the years ahead,
it will be an increasingly critical factor in determining the success or
failure of businesses. It is the fuel many of us are looking at to
help us win this race to the 21st century. To do that, we should
make technology matter. In this paper I am going to share my technology
forecasts. I try to focus on my new forecasts a decade into the future
- the first decade of the 21st century, because that is how far most businesses
need to be looking ahead.

There has never been a neutral or value-free,
technology. All technologies are power. They evoke economic and social
consequences in direct proportion to their dislocation of the existing
economy and its institutions.

I believe that technologies such as: biotechnology
and genetic engineering, intelligent materials, the miniaturization of
electronics, and smart manufacturing systems, and controls, will be the
hottest technologies in the next decade. I am going to put together
a list of what I think as the top ten innovative products that will result
from those technologies.

Number one on the list is something we
call genetic. There are pharmaceutical products that will come from
the massive genetic research going on around the world today. In
ten years, we will have new ways to treat many of our ills - from allergies
to ADIS. We may see the discovery of new methods of treatment for
various types of cancer, for multiple sclerosis, osteoporoses, Lou Gehrig's
and Alzheimer's disease, to name just a few.

The biotechnology frontier, especially
developments in the field of genetic, promises- and to some degree has
already archived - a revolution in agriculture and human health care.

But proving the means to develop plant species that are more disease-and-pest-resistant,
more tolerant of drought, and able to grow during extended periods of adverse
conditions. These technologies will very likely provide future increasing
in agricultural productivity. So far, these techniques have not add
much to world food production; recent grow has come primarily from increasing
acreage in production, in response to higher grain prices. However,
further expansion of productive land is limited, and the increased application
of fertilizer appears to be reaching a point of diminishing returns.

Therefore, increased agricultural productivity from this new field could
be essential to feed the growing population. The mapping of human
and plant genomes, a process already well underway, will provide greatly
increased knowledge of genetic processes and, to some extend, information
about how to control them. For humans, this will provide the means
to deal with diseases that have genetic origins or result from man functioning
of genetic material in the body. These diseases include potentially:
cancer, cystic fibrosis, Gaucher's, hemophilia, rheumatoid arthritis, AIDS,
hypercholesterolemia, and many others. Furthermore, genome analysis
of an individual can indicate propensity to diseases whose symptoms have
not yet been manifested. Scientists believe that many psychological
and behavior attributes can be genetically controlled and therefore subject
to diagnosis and eventually, for aberrant conditions, corrected. Such uses
of this technology, of courses, raise serious social and ethical questions
that must be considered. Other applications of biotechnology might
produce novel protein for food replacing meat, stimulate awareness and
evaluation of microbial threats (including archaea, ancient bacteria, being
perhaps more adaptable and potentially hazardous than was previous thought),
and creation of plantation to produce and distribute biological products
in the ocean. The process of cloning was perfected; evidence by the
fact that in 1997 a sheep was successfully cloned in Scotland. Hence,
biotechnology could eventually eliminate food shortages, improve health,
and extend life expectancy.

Number two on the list is the personalized
computer. The personal computer now sitting on our desk will be replaced
by a very powerful, personalized computer. It will be able to send
and receive wireless data. It will recognize your voice and follow
your voice commands. It will include a variety of security and service
tools that will make the computer fit