Future Technology Essay, Research Paper
F U T U R E O F T E C H N O L O G Y
Dr.Nenno / Economics
May 5 2000
People often think that future is all about flying cars, robots and space travelling. Maybe it will be like that, who knows, but at least until this day the changes haven?t been remarkable. Companies are all the time investing more money on research and development. This indicates that companies and government are interested to achieve and find new technological inventions that would change the markets. All ready one of the computer related inventions, Internet, has changed the spreading of information globally. E-companies? are stocks are rising in the stock markets like rockets. This is a great example how future technology will change the economics around the world as it affects greatly our everyday life. ?Internet is worldwide network of connected computers. This network enables you to communicate with the rest of the world in different ways.?(1) Has been approximated that the total amount of information globally doubles every 18 months, which indicates that internet, as an important part of media nowadays, affects everyone of us though we might not have a possibility to be on-line. The approximated number of people who are on-line daily is more than 18%. ?As you can imagine and as you probably may have seen, there are a lot companies. You can find the big ones like Coca-Cola, Disney, Xerox, IBM. Apart from supplying (product) information and amusement, they mostly use the web for name and product branding (recognition). There’s a completely new industry with lots and lots of Net based companies like the search engines, banner exchanges, hosting services, (Net) marketers and software enterprises. And there are others, which have expanded their originally offline business field to the Net (Credit Card companies, Researchers, Marketers, Yellow Pages). Small and medium business companies selling to consumers. A great part of them use the Net to expand their offline business, others try to make a living on it. And some of them see the necessity to transfer from one to the other in the future. Business-to-business companies are also found on the Net. In short, all kind of enterprises have taken the step to the online world.?(2) Internet is not only a way to spend time surfing, but it is also an very good way to make money by transforming products, services and markets. It is an easy way to reach people when thinking advertising and it is an easy way to people to reach the information wanted, but the competition between companies in the virtual reality of Internet, is as hard as in the real world.
Government?s space program also influences and will influence economics of the future. U.S. government?s NASA (North American Space Association) has done great job exploring space and research new opportunities in outer space and other planets. The question is how the new future technology will change the direction of economics and by that our living on Earth or maybe on some other planet? The world population is growing fast. The room to live on earth might be a problem in future, and Earth might not be able to feed the upcoming population. This is one of the reasons why we have to explore the space for new opportunities. The problem is the money. Are taxpayers willing to pay? After the resent failure of sending a $266 million Pathfinder to Mars, taxpayers started doubt is the space program worth it, but mistakes that are caused by understaffed and overworked space teams are not unique to interplanetary missions, like NASA?s Pathfinder mission. A single broken cord can turn to a $400 million cost, but who said it is not risky.Is this $450 billion plan going to give taxpayers their moneys back? No, because the new technology will help their children and grandchildren to live their everyday lives in polluted and overpopulated environment caused by the past generations. ?In recent years, cost-reduction efforts throughout America?s space industry have had profound effects on the workforce. Older and more experienced workers were the predominant target of cost-conscious layoffs or of contract swapping prior to retirement-benefits vesting. But even the younger workers, supposedly their eventual replacement, were victimized by the cuts.?(3)This is what the taxpayers should understand; their selfish use of money on researching new technology might be a threat for the future generations. ?If we were to bring back a rock in 2005 that clearly shows evidence of ancient life on the planet or fi we were to find evidence of life on Mars, that would be great impetus for a human program. A manned mission must have a compelling scientific or economic rationale?, said Alan Ladwig, NASA?s associate administrator.(4)
The greatest effect of future technology has is on the productivity. Technological change, or innovation, is a contributor to the growth of productivity. From the development of plows to the invention of computers, history shows many example of technologies that have increased productivity. New products, new methods of production, new ways of organizing production(Ford?s assembly line) or marketing products and new methods of communication can each demonstrate how productivity increases. And when productivity increases faster than the population, standard of living increases. This makes people?s everyday life easier and the quality of living is higher. One example how technological change has changed our living past 10 years have been reusable products and materials. Recycling and reusable materials have made our quality of living better by minimizing the production of trash. Also the technological changes in agriculture have increased productivity of our basic need products.
?One of the most dramatic high-tech developments arriving at the millenium is the obsolescence of money. The advent of the Internet and other new media marketplaces, like interactive TV, demands a new kind of currency that is secure, virtual, global, and digital. The death of hard cash, and its rebirth as digital currency, will transform all transactions in society and touch industry worldwide. The emerging digital market and the new interactive consumer challenge our assumptions about how to conduct business. 30 million people today with a spending power of over$100 billion, represents a serious market no business can afford to ignore. This new consumer is virtual, global, interactive and multimedia-driven.?(5) The digital money has taken over. The simple cash has changed into numbers on the computers. People pay their bills from home by using computers and Internet, people pay their grocery with a plastic credit card and people go shopping from home and they don?t even have to move, just use the keyboard.
A huge problem in the future will be the energy. Already we are noticing that our sources of energy will be empty someday. A team of scientists and engineers have predicted that the technological trends that will shape the world in next 50 years will be high powered energy packages. ?On the energy front are highpower energy packages such as microgenerators of electricity that will make electronic products and appliances highly mobile; environmentally clean, decentralized power sources; batteries linked to solar power; and small generators fueled by natural gas.?(6)
As the population of the Earth keeps increasing we have to figure out how to feed all the people who are going to live here. Globally thinking we are already suffering of the lack of the food. All over the world hunger is a big problem. Clean water will be a problem too if technological changes won?t help us. ?Designer foods, genetically engineered foods that are environmentally friendly and highly nutritious, will fill the stores. Even cotton and wool will be genetically engineered. Water worldwide will be safe and inexpensive because technology will provide advanced filtering, processing, and delivery. Desalination and water extraction from air are also possible. In the years ahead new technologies will become much more personalized, and they will closely affect almost every aspect of our lives.?(7) This was an very optimistic prediction of the future, but until then we have to keep people worldwide alive without the new innovations. The money countries are using to military should go to the people who suffer hunger and to the research of cures of globally spread diseases like HIV and cancer.
No one knows what?s going to happen in the future, but the new future technology can at least give us a direction. Our actions have a great effect how we and the upcoming generations are going to live on Earth. Putting money now on research and development gives a better economic base that we can rely on. The biggestchange to our economic will have the increased productivity. By increased productivity our standard of living will be higher and our everyday life will be easier. May everyone of us be there to witness the flying cars and talking robots, so that we can be proud of our achievements.
(1) ?What is Internet?? p.1
(2) ?What is Internet?? p.5
(3) Obreg, USA Today p.3
(4) Allen, Canoe p.2
(5) ?Premiere Speakers Bureau? p.1
(6) Sixeas, ?Whither 2020?? p.1
(7) Sixeas, ?Whither 2020?? p.1
?What is Internet?? An Own Site 2 May 2000
?Dr. James Canton? Premiere Speakers Bureau 4 April
Allen Jane E. ?Pathfinder ignites interest in human Mars travel:But is worth it??
Canoe 10 July 1997. 15 February 2000
Sanborn Sonny ?Is NASA worth the expense?? The Oklahoma Daily 1 March 1996. 15 February 2000
?21st century trends? Future Technology 1 July 1998. 24 February 2000
?On the yellow brick road? Economist 11 September 1999. 26 March 2000
?A technology road map? Technology Planning 4 April 2000
Oberg James ?NASA faster, cheaper, but not better? USA Today 7 December 1999. Proquest 4 March 2000.
Sixeas Virginia M. ?whither 2020?? Environment March 2000. Proquest 4 March 2000.