Sunday, September 30, 2012

Future considerations . . .

KURZWEIL ACCELERATING INTELLIGENCE is a thoughtful site, with a post by Amara D. Angelica, "Welcome to 2035…the Age of Surprise" that is worthy of perusal. Since its creation in 2001, Kurzweil Accelerating Intelligence — 

explores the forecasts and insights on accelerating change articulated in Ray Kurzweil’s landmark books — notably The Age of Spiritual Machines and The Singularity Is Near — and updates these books with key breakthroughs in science and technology.

The “AI” in KurzweilAI refers to “accelerating intelligence,” a core concept that underlies the exponential growth of the pervasive information-based technologies — both biological and machine — that are radically changing our world. These include biotechnology, nanotechnology & materials science, molecular electronics, computation, artificial intelligence, robotics, neuroscience, physics, Internet, energy, electronics, pattern recognition, virtual reality, human brain reverse engineering, and brain and body augmentation.

The article looks at a USAF study, Blue Horizons:

The U.S. Air Force just released today a jaw-droppingly impressive, fast-paced video on accelerating change, “Welcome to 2035…the Age of Surprise”.

Produced by the
U.S. Air Force Center for Strategy and Technology at The Air University, the video was based on Blue Horizons, a multi-year future study being conducted for the Air Force Chief of Staff, a “meta-strategy for the age of surprise.”

Staring at the future is an important pastime for planning staffs, because the danger of being caught with obsolescent technology has governments world round trying to figure out what's coming. Thus, Blue Horizon considers many aspects of future conflicts that might not seem that relevant, to the technologically-unaware. Here's a partial list:
• 2035 Biodeterrence: Problems and Promises for Biodefense
• High Power Microwaves on the Future Battlefield: Implications for U.S. Defense
• Cyberdeterrence in 2035: Redefining the Framework for Success
• Toward Cyber Omniscience: Deterring Cyber Attacks by Hostile Individuals in 2035
• Harnessing Light: Laser/Satellite Relay Mirror Systems and Deterrence in 2035
• Taking a Quantum Leap in Cyber-Deterrence
• The Impact of Nanotechnology Energetics on the Department of Defense by 2035
• National Energy Security and Reliance on Foreign Oil
• Rising Dragon: Deterring China in 2035
• Disaster-Proofing Senior Leadership: Preventing Technological Failure in Future Nano-War
• The Air Staff of Tomorrow: Smarter, Faster, Better
• Biodefense and Deterrence: A Critical Element in the New Triad
• Officer Education: Preparing Leaders for the Air Force of 2035
• Net-Centric Warfare 2.0: Cloud Computing and the New Age of War

It's been said that general staffs always plan for the last war. Maybe this is changing, at least for the US armed forces.  The Impact of Nanotechnology Energetics on the Department of Defense by 2035 is a PDF file that you should read. If half of the nanotech developments come to pass, there are going to be big changes coming. Nanotech has been hyped over the last decade, and people are becoming inured to enthusiastic proclamations about future tech. However, this is nanotechnology applied to chemistry: from micro-size molecules to nano-size molecules. Why? Because they have discovered that chemistry behaves differently at nano-size.

It's early days yet, but it appears to be possible to boost chemical reaction efficiency anywhere from 2x to 10x, compared with traditional micro-size chemistry.

This allows all sorts of things that weren't possible, like Single-Stage-To-Orbit space planes, because fuel becomes a LOT more powerful. Less fuel, lighter spacecraft, higher performance. The dark side is that warheads and their delivery systems can become a LOT smaller and lighter for the same-size bang. It means that the battlefield in 2035 could be as different from the Iraq campaign as the Somme was from Waterloo, almost 100 years earlier.


Purple library guy said...

2035--the age of surprise. Yes, that's the year we expect to get the F-35 finally operational to specifications.

Steve said...

They will find ways to sell drugs without Mexico.