Emerging technologies


Emerging technologies

In the history of technology, emerging technologies are contemporary advances and innovation in various fields of technology. Various converging technologies have emerged in the technological convergence of different systems evolving towards similar goals. Convergence can refer to previously separate technologies such as voice (and telephony features), data (and productivity applications) and video that now share resources and interact with each other, creating new efficiencies.

Emerging technologies are those technical innovations which represent progressive developments within a field for competitive advantage;[1] converging technologies represent previously distinct fields which are in some way moving towards stronger inter-connection and similar goals. However, the opinion on the degree of impact, status, and economic viability of several emerging and converging technologies vary.

Contents

History

Over centuries, innovative methods and new technologies are developed and opened up. Some of these technologies are due to theoretical research, others commercial research and development.

Technological growth includes incremental developments and disruptive technologies. An example of the former was the gradual roll-out of DVD as a development intended to follow on from the previous optical technology Compact Disc. By contrast, disruptive technologies are those where a new method replaces the previous technology and make it redundant, for example the replacement of horse drawn carriages by automobiles.

Emerging technologies in general denote significant technological developments that broach new territory in some significant way in their field. Examples of currently emerging technologies include information technology, nanotechnology, biotechnology, cognitive science, robotics, and artificial intelligence.[2]

Debate over emerging technologies

Many writers, including computer scientist Bill Joy, have identified clusters of technologies that they consider critical to humanity's future. Joy warns that the technology could be used by elites for good or evil. They could use it as "good shepherds" for the rest of humanity, or decide everyone else is superfluous and push for mass extinction of those made unnecessary by technology.[3] Advocates of the benefits of technological change typically see emerging and converging technologies as offering hope for the betterment of the human condition. However, critics of the risks of technological change, and even some advocates such as transhumanist philosopher Nick Bostrom, warn that some of these technologies could pose dangers, perhaps even contribute to the extinction of humanity itself; i.e., some of them could involve existential risks.[4][5]

Much ethical debate centers on issues of distributive justice in allocating access to beneficial forms of technology. Some thinkers, such as environmental ethicist Bill McKibben, oppose the continuing development of advanced technology partly out of fear that its benefits will be distributed unequally in ways that could worsen the plight of the poor.[6] By contrast, inventor Ray Kurzweil is among techno-utopians who believe that emerging and converging technologies could and will eliminate poverty and abolish suffering.[7]

Some analysts such as Martin Ford, author of The Lights in the Tunnel: Automation, Accelerating Technology and the Economy of the Future,[8] argue that as information technology advances, robots and other forms of automation will ultimately result in significant unemployment as machines and software begin to match and exceed the capability of workers to perform most routine jobs.

As robotics and artificial intelligence develop further, even many skilled jobs may be threatened. Technologies such as machine learning[9] may ultimately allow computers to do many knowledge-based jobs that require significant education. This may result in substantial unemployment at all skill levels, stagnant or falling wages for most workers, and increased concentration of income and wealth as the owners of capital capture an ever larger fraction of the economy. This in turn could lead to depressed consumer spending and economic growth as the bulk of the population lacks sufficient discretionary income to purchase the products and services produced by the economy.[10]

Acronyms

NBIC, an acronym for Nanotechnology, Biotechnology, Information technology and Cognitive science, is currently the most popular term for emerging and converging technologies, and was introduced into public discourse through the publication of Converging Technologies for Improving Human Performance, a report sponsored in part by the U.S. National Science Foundation.[11]

Various other acronyms have been offered for the same concept such as GNR (Genetics, Nanotechnology and Robotics). Journalist Joel Garreau in Radical Evolution: The Promise and Peril of Enhancing Our Minds, Our Bodies — and What It Means to Be Human uses "GRIN", for Genetic, Robotic, Information, and Nano processes,[12] while science journalist Douglas Mulhall in Our Molecular Future: How Nanotechnology, Robotics, Genetics and Artificial Intelligence Will Transform Our World uses "GRAIN", for Genetics, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, and Nanotechnology.[13] Another acronym coined by the appropriate technology organization ETC Group is "BANG" for "Bits, Atoms, Neurons, Genes".[14]

See also

Further reading

General
  • Giersch, H. (1982). Emerging technologies: Consequences for economic growth, structural change, and employment : symposium 1981. Tübingen: Mohr.
  • Jones-Garmil, K. (1997). The wired museum: Emerging technology and changing paradigms. Washington, DC: American Association of Museums.
Law and policy
  • Branscomb, L. M. (1993). Empowering technology: Implementing a U.S. strategy. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press.
  • Raysman, R., & Raysman, R. (2002). Emerging technologies and the law: Forms and analysis. Commercial law intellectual property series. New York, N.Y.: Law Journal Press.
Information and learning
  • Hung, D., & Khine, M. S. (2006). Engaged learning with emerging technologies. Dordrecht: Springer.
  • Kendall, K. E. (1999). Emerging information technologies: Improving decisions, cooperation, and infrastructure. Thousand Oaks, Calif: Sage Publications.
Other
  • Cavin, R. K., & Liu, W. (1996). Emerging technologies: Designing low power digital systems. [New York]: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

References

Footnotes
  1. ^ International Congress Innovation and Technology XXI: Strategies and Policies Towards the XXI Century, & Soares, O. D. D. (1997). Innovation and technology: Strategies and policies. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic.
  2. ^ other examples of developments described as "emerging technologies" can be found here - O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference 2008.
  3. ^ Joy, Bill (2000). Why the future doesn't need us. http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/8.04/joy_pr.html. Retrieved 2005-11-14. 
  4. ^ Bostrom, Nick (2002). Existential risks: analyzing human extinction scenarios. http://www.nickbostrom.com/existential/risks.html. Retrieved 2006-02-21. 
  5. ^ Warwick, K: “March of the Machines”, University of Illinois Press, 2004
  6. ^ McKibben, Bill (2003). Enough: Staying Human in an Engineered Age. Times Books. ISBN 0-8050-7096-6. 
  7. ^ Kurzweil, Raymond (2005). The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology. Viking Adult. ISBN 0-670-03384-7. 
  8. ^ Ford, Martin R. (2009), The Lights in the Tunnel: Automation, Accelerating Technology and the Economy of the Future, Acculant Publishing, ISBN 978-1448659814, http://www.thelightsinthetunnel.com. (e-book available free online.) 
  9. ^ "Machine Learning: A Job Killer?"
  10. ^ "Will Automation Lead to Economic Collapse?"
  11. ^ Roco, Mihail C. and Bainbridge, William Sims, eds. (2004). Converging Technologies for Improving Human Performance. Springer. ISBN 1402012543. 
  12. ^ Garreau, Joel (2005). Radical Evolution: The Promise and Peril of Enhancing Our Minds, Our Bodies — and What It Means to Be Human. Doubleday. ISBN 0385509650. 
  13. ^ Mulhall, Douglas (2002). Our Molecular Future: How Nanotechnology, Robotics, Genetics and Artificial Intelligence Will Transform Our World. Prometheus Books. ISBN 1573929921. 
  14. ^ ETC Group (2003). The Strategy for Converging Technologies: The Little BANG Theory. http://www.etcgroup.org/upload/publication/169/01/combang2003.pdf. Retrieved 2007-02-09. 

External links

*Collaborating on Converging Technologies: Education and Practice


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Emerging Technologies Conference — The Emerging Technologies Conference, produced by MIT s Technology Review magazine, is an annual conference highlighting invention and new developments in engineering and technology. Started in 1999, the 2007 conference is planned for September… …   Wikipedia

  • Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies — The Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies (IEET) was founded in 2004 by philosopher Nick Bostrom and bioethicist James Hughes. Incorporated in the United States as a non profit 501(c)(3) organization, the IEET is a self described… …   Wikipedia

  • List of emerging technologies — This is a list of emerging technologies. Emerging technologies are new and potentially disruptive technologies, which may marginalize an existing dominant technology.Only new and potentially disruptive technologies should be included in the list …   Wikipedia

  • Institute of Engineering and Emerging Technologies — General= Institute of Engineering and Emerging Technologies or IEET is a self financing technical and professional education institution of Himachal. It was established in the 2002 at Baddi. The institute is an emerging centre imparting technical …   Wikipedia

  • Innovative Food Science and Emerging Technologies — (IFSET) is the European based official scientific journal of the European Federation of Food Science and Technology. The journal s goals are to disseminatic basic and applied research in food science and technology.As of 2007, its co editors are… …   Wikipedia

  • Emerging markets — are nations with social or business activity in the process of rapid growth and industrialization. Based on data from 2006, there are around 28 emerging markets in the world[citation needed] (data from 2010 says there are 40 emerging… …   Wikipedia

  • Emerging church — The emerging church (sometimes referred to as the emergent movement or emergent conversation) is a Christian movement of the late 20th and early 21st century that crosses a number of theological boundaries: participants can be described as… …   Wikipedia

  • Emerging Technology Conference — Etech redirects here. You may be looking for the eTech Ohio Commission, a partner in OARnet. The O Reilly Emerging Technology Conference (not to be confused with the MIT Emtech conference) is O Reilly Media s premier conference about the new… …   Wikipedia

  • emerging — [ɪˈmɜːdʒɪŋ] adj just beginning to exist or be noticed emerging businesses/technologies[/ex] …   Dictionary for writing and speaking English

  • Monitoring and Measurement in the Next Generation Technologies — (MOMENT) is a project aimed at integrating different platforms for network monitoring and measurement to develop a common and open pan European infrastructure. The system will include both passive and active monitoring and measurement techniques… …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.