As technologists, we are constantly exploring and pushing the limits of our own disciplines, and we accept the notion that the efficiencies of new technologies are advancing at a very rapid rate. However, we rarely have time to contemplate the broader impact of these technologies as they impact and amplify adjacent technology disciplines.
This book therefore focuses on the potential impact of those technologies, but it is not intended as a technical manuscript. In this book, we consider our progress and current position on arbitrary popular concepts of future scenarios rather than the typical measurements of cycles per second or milliwatts. We compare our current human cultural situation to other past historic events as we anticipate the future social impact of rapidly accelerating technologies.
We also rely on measurements based on specific events highlighting the breadth of the impact of accelerating semiconductor technologies rather than the specific rate of advance of any particular semiconductor technology.
These measurements certainly lack the mathematic precision and repeatability to which technologists are accustomed, but the material that we are dealing with; the social objectives and future political structures of humanity; does not permit a high degree of mathematic accuracy.
Our conclusion draws from the concept of Singularity. It seems certain that at the rate at which our technologies are advancing, we will exceed the ability of our post-Industrial Revolution structures to absorb these new challenges, and we cannot accurately anticipate what those future social structures will resemble.
Table of Contents
The Next Technology Wave
Makimoto's Technology Waves
The Digital Revolution
Emergence of the Second Digital Wave
Architectural Impact of Digital Wave
Social Impact of the Digital Revolution
Other Unanticipated Consequences
Robotics: The Third Digital Wave
Era of Cognitive Systems
The Uncanny Valley
The Human Interface to Advanced Robotics
Brain-Machine Interface (BMI)
Acceleration Rate of Artificial Intelligence
The Industrial Revolution Revisited
Mapping the Brain
About the Author(s)Bob Merritt
, Convergent Semiconductors, LLC
Bob Merritt is a 30-year veteran and recognized authority for semiconductor and communications markets. He is founding partner of Convergent Semiconductors, LLC. Convergent provides insightful market intelligence for memory and related technologies/applications specializing in illuminating the impact resulting from market and technological events and forecasting the opportunities created by those event changes. The topic of robotics is a technological, market, and social changing event. Starting in the semiconductor industry as a sales engineer for Intel, Mr. Merrittâ€™s successes include the achievement of sales, revenue, and operational goals in marketing and operations at major semiconductor memory companies. His consulting experience is global, providing insight to the World Bank on investments required for semiconductor memory and other semiconductors for an Asia Pacific market. He was also a co-author of an overall Memory Report for Credit Lyonnais Securities financial analysts in Asia and Europe. Clients worldwide include major participants in the semiconductor and electronics industry. He has served as an expert witness in the San Jose Superior Court as well as the San Francisco Superior Court. He was also previously under contract to EDN to write a bi-weekly blog on advanced and new memory technologies under the title "Professor Memory."