Sunday, 22 March 2015

Smart Technological #Convergence

All areas of technology are converging. Everything is becoming smart.

The roots of convergence awareness can perhaps be traced back to Converging Technologies for Improving Human Performance, which is a "2002 report commissioned by the U.S. National Science Foundation and Department of Commerce," according to Wikipedia.

You may be interested to note ZDNet linked the first convergence report to utopia. ZDNet wrote in Aug 2002: "The path to this utopian vision of the future is the synergistic combination of nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technology, and cognitive science (under the acronym NBIC)."

The first 2002 World Technology Evaluation Centre report has been updated; note the final report dated July 2013.

The final report is titled "Convergence of Knowledge, Technology and Society: Beyond Convergence of Nano-Bio-Info-Cognitive Technologies (Science Policy Reports)."

The final report can be bought in book form, expensively from Amazon, or downloaded for free in PDF format. A similar PDF, titled "The new world of discovery, invention, and innovation: convergence of knowledge, technology, and society" is available on the US National Science Foundation website.

On 21 Nov 2014 the Wilson Center wrote: "The Science & Technology Innovation Program at the Wilson Center is working with the National Science Foundation (NSF) to interview scientists working at the convergence of nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technology and cognitive science. In this series of videos, participants discuss their definition of technological convergence, how this might affect various scientific fields and what obstacles must be addressed to reach convergence’s full potential."

My interest in convergence was recently reignited. Max More was interviewed regarding his views on the Singularity and Transhumanism. Max thinks convergence is invalid. I disagree with Max regarding his dismissal of convergence and the Singularity, but Max did make some good points regarding people who seek to distort the Singularity into a neo-religious event.

My initial response to Max, which somewhat mirrors the information here but includes deeper commentary on convergence, can be read on my Singularity 2045 G+ page.

It is also worth noting how MIT reported on convergence in Jan 2011: "A new model for scientific research known as "convergence" offers the potential for revolutionary advances in biomedicine and other areas of science, according to a white paper issued today by 12 leading MIT researchers."

Below are the links to interviews with "leading scientists," which the Wilson Center mentioned, in relation to the July 2013 WTEC final report, regarding the relevance of convergence to science progress. IEET has also reported on two of the 14 videos, which you can see here regarding 3D-printing, and here regarding computer-aided health research.

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