Mastery of technology is a critical component of national power.
We’ve often failed to fully appreciate its worth, taking for granted Western leadership in tech development, the subsequent profit from its benefits and believing that its most important strategic contribution was enabling or amplifying military capability.
Those assumptions need updating — and fast. As the world enters the fourth industrial revolution and Society 5.0 (or whatever we call it) emerges, we need a more fulsome understanding of technology, the role it plays and ways to ensure that it empowers, rather than constrains or diminishes, us as human beings.
There are lots of ways that our thinking about technology is flawed, but perhaps the most dangerous mistake is a failure to recognize how the next generation of technologies works. The essence of the digital revolution, which Is driving and being driven by emerging technologies, is connectivity, in the usual “Facebook-y” meaning but also in a second way: Core components of this new ecosystem depend upon each other.
The U.S. National Intelligence Council (NIC) highlighted this phenomenon in its last Global Trends report, noting that, “The convergence of seemingly unrelated areas of scientific research and technological applications is making the rapid development of novel applications possible, practical and useful.”
As one example, the NIC analysis notes that “materials and manufacturing are inextricably linked in a longstanding virtuous cycle… which most likely will be accelerated by convergent increases in high performance computing, materials modeling, artificial intelligence (AI), and biomaterials.”
Read the full article at Japan Times.