A Blog by Jonathan Low


Mar 1, 2019

How the New Techno-Fusion Will Optimze Merging Technologies

The most important new innovation may not be the emerging technologies themselves, but the ways in which they can programmed to interact in order to improve productivity and optimization of desired outcomes. JL

Chuck Brooks reports in Forbes:

The systems integration process has served us well but it needs augmenting. Scientific discovery that combines the physical with the digital. Techno-Fusion in technologies  transcends traditional ways of integration. There are five grouping areas to highlight the changing paradigm: Smart Cities and the Internet of Things (IoT); Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Quantum and Super Computing, and Robotics; Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality Technologies (VR); Health, Medicine, and Life Sciences Technologies; and Advanced Imaging Science.
The process of systems integration (SI) functionally links together infrastructure, computing systems, and applications. SI can allow for economies of scale, streamlined manufacturing, and better efficiency and innovation through combined research and development.
New to the systems integration toolbox are the emergence of transformative technologies and, especially, the growing capability to integrate functions due to exponential advances in computing, data analytics, and material science. These new capabilities are already having a significant impact on creating our future destinies.
The systems integration process has served us well and will continue to do so. But it needs augmenting. We are on the cusp of scientific discovery that often combines the physical with the digital—the Techno-Fusion or merging of technologies. Like Techno-Fusion in music, Techno-Fusion in technologies is really a trend that experiments and transcends traditional ways of integration. Among many, there are five grouping areas that I
consider good examples to highlight the changing paradigm. They are: Smart Cities and the Internet of Things (IoT); Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Quantum and Super Computing, and Robotics; Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality Technologies (VR); Health, Medicine, and Life Sciences Technologies; and Advanced Imaging Science.
Smart Cities and the Internet of Things (IoT)
Smart Cities are laboratories for applied innovation and are the future poster child for techno-fusion. The Smart City converged ecosystem integrates systems of transportation (including autonomous vehicles), energy, water resources, waste collections, smart-building technologies, and security technologies and services. This infrastructure combines the physical and digital, hardware and software that enables situational awareness, and integrated operational actions to prevent, mitigate, respond to and recover from crime, terrorism and natural disasters. It also signifies the betterment of public services, conduct of commerce, and meeting the expanding logistical health, financial, transportation, communication requirements, and sustainability for those who choose to live in an urban setting. Frost & Sullivan estimates the combined global
market potential of these Smart City segments to be $1.5 trillion ($20 billion on sensors alone by 2050, according to Navigant Technology.)
The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the general idea of things that are readable, recognizable, locatable, addressable, and/or controllable via the Internet. This incorporates physical objects communicating with each other including machine to machine, and machine to people. According to Gartner there will be nearly 26 billion networked devices on the Internet of Things by 2020.
Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Quantum and Super Computing, and Robotics
The era of hybrid technology integration is here. Industry is already developing technology to distribute artificial intelligence software to millions of graphics and computer processors around the world.   AI, machine learning, and natural language processing done through advanced computing can be used to solve a variety of challenges.  AI can analyze, interpret, diagnose, and solve problems from vast amounts of unstructured data — without being specifically programmed. Robotics is also becoming more ingrained in the deployment of AI. Smart robotics and eventually intelligent cyborg/robo-humans will have major implications for governing, commerce, sustainability, health, and even how we fight wars in the future.
The Google DeepMind mission statement states that they are on a scientific mission to push the boundaries of AI, developing programs that can learn to solve any complex problem without needing to be taught how. The neural interaction of AI and ML with quantum computing and super-computing power will enable unprecedented data-mining, catalyst innovation, and provide perhaps the largest technological leap in human history.
Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality Technologies (VR)
The Techno-Fusion of the physical and virtual world has arrived. We can intertwine the physical and digital world by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics, and sometimes even smell. Google Glass and Oculus Rift are already good examples of these emerging technologies that have applications in a variety of fields including architecture, entertainment, and health. We can experience AR and VR ourselves by visiting Disney World or Universal Studios where sense, sound, and vision provide surreal entertainment and create new realities.
Health, Medicine, and Life Sciences Technologies
Perhaps the most profound area of Techno-Fusion will be in the areas of health, medicine, and life sciences.Recently, a research team from Columbia University tested the convergence of neural networks. They combined brain implants, artificial intelligence, and a speech synthesizer to translate brain activity into recognizable robotic words. The implications of this neuromorphic technology are mind-boggling, including allowing paralyzed people the ability to communicate and the potential to read human thoughts via cognitive imaging.
Healthcare will be impacted in many other ways, including the implantation and linkage between human and devices such as bionic eyes, kidneys, hearts and even exoskeletons. Advanced pliable materials such as plastics, ceramics, metals, and graphene are leading to breakthroughs in prosthetics for medicine and wearable sensors. Wearables will provide for real-time biomarker tracking and monitoring. Life expectancy will be extended as human cells will interface with nanotech repair of physical trauma and for fighting diseases. There are futurists who think that eventually all of our biological functions will be replaced by bionic machines.
Advanced Imaging Science
Advanced imaging science, combined with skilled engineering, has led to incredible optical character recognition (OCR) capabilities in document scanners and in cameras. New algorithms interact with a library of form recognition protocols to form the integration of contextual logic databases for automated validation. Molecular scanners that will really transform optical recognition are now in the research and development stages.
This Techno-Fusion convergence of physical and digital technologies and applications crosses many verticals and permeates almost every aspect of our lives.  In addition to the aforementioned topics, this includes agriculture, construction, education, manufacturing, commerce, and security. What is clear is that we are now entering a new era of techno-fusion-emerging connected technologies that blend engineering, algorithms, the physical and culture that are stepping stones to a new renaissance.
We will always have our challenges no matter how promising the technological solutions. What is evident is that science and technology will pave our futures and how we steer it and orchestrate all the inter-connections will in itself be transforming.


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