Sophisticated, pattern-recognizing artificial intelligence agents are solving quandaries faced by organizations that are being inundated by massive amounts of information. The design of these technodrones is based on the characteristics of structures that allow the human body to function. It enables systems administrators, both military and commercial, to monitor and pre-empt network catastrophes and allows corporate leaders to tap available data and take advantage of opportunities.
New production methods allow constructing semiconductors capable of operating at a fraction of the power of existing devices while delivering comparable or superior performance. These new technologies could lead to extremely efficient electronic devices, from handheld computers to tactical radios and missile warheads. The potential also exists for increased processor speeds in both military and civilian communications and computing applications.
A radical approach to semiconductor fabrication may soon lead to supercomputers the size of wristwatches. Scientists are developing logic gates based on molecular oxidation that could allow these building blocks of computers to be constructed of only a few molecules.
The U.S. Marine Corps Command and Control Battle Laboratory experiment is using modular, easily configured software to achieve visualization and coordination of battlefield radar and communications data. This project provides a picture of ongoing efforts throughout the armed forces to create sophisticated battle management technologies. Designed as a testbed for future air defense and command and control systems, the battle laboratory combines forward-looking new concepts while providing an off-the-shelf hardware and software environment.
Technology derived from military signal analysis work is producing testing equipment for wideband applications in the private sector. These devices are capable of both storing and analyzing large amounts of data while generating a variety of broadcast waveforms.
Never before has the potential for significant sociological change resided so strongly-and so clearly-in the hands of technologists. Computers already are redefining virtually every aspect of human existence. The onset of the year 2000, along with Y2K computer bug concerns, caused many users to reflect on the importance of these information machines in their lives. In addition to streamlining many duties and opening up new applications, the ongoing evolution of computers also is changing the way that businesses, governments and their militaries interact with the people they serve.
Now that computers have established themselves as the main driver for socioeconomic change in the foreseeable future, many analysts are questioning whether their perceived productivity gains are largely illusory. Issues such as software complexity and time efficiency weigh against a prevailing mindset that businesses and individuals cannot succeed, or even survive, without their new silicon-based mentors.
In the coming decades, autonomous robotic devices will patrol battlefields and vacuum the floors in homes. Recent advances in software and hardware are preparing the way for a generation of vehicles and tools able to operate with minimal human supervision for prolonged periods of time.
U.S. Navy meteorologists directly aided coalition forces in the Kosovo operation, where the advantages of high-technology weaponry and rapid force deployment could easily have been offset by new vulnerabilities imposed by a dynamic environment. While cold fronts, wind and rain may not immediately be thought of as combatants, weather and sea conditions are more than a mere backdrop for military forces. And, the applications for weather pattern data go beyond determining if it is safe to send aircraft into the skies.
As China's great wall of trade barriers crumbles, telecommunications companies are positioning themselves to take advantage of the major emerging market in Asia. The promise of increased competition and fewer Chinese government impediments to trade could result in a dramatic shift in the focus of telecommunications marketing and is already changing the way companies operate in the region.