Cutting edge technology
Original post: http://bearlamp.com.au/cutting-edge-technology/
When the microscope was invented, in a very short period of time we discovered the cell and the concept of microbiology. That one invention allowed us to open up entire fields of biology and medicine. Suddenly we could see the microbes! We could see the activity that had been going on under our noses for so long.
when we started to improve our ability to refined pure materials we could finally make furnace bricks with specific composition. Specific compositions could then be used to make bricks that were able to reach higher temperatures without breaking. Higher temperatures meant better refining of materials. Better refining meant higher quality bricks, and so on until we now have some very pure technological processes around making materials. But it’s something we didn’t have before the prior technology on the skill tree.
Before we had refrigeration and food packaging, it was difficult to get your fresh food to survive to your home. Now with production lines it’s very simple. For all his decadence Caesar probably would have had trouble ordering a cheeseburger for $2 and having it ready in under 5 minutes. We’ve come a long way since Caesar. We’ve built a lot of things that help us stand on the shoulders of those who came before us.
Technology enables further progress. That seems obvious. But did that seem obvious before looking down the microscope? Could we have predicted what bricks we could have made with purely refined materials? Could Caesar have envisioned every citizen in his kingdom watching TV for relatively little cost to those people? It would have been hard to forsee these things back then.
With the idea that technology is enabling future growth in mind—I bring the question, “What technology is currently under-utilised?” Would you be able to spot it when it happens? Touch screen revolutionised phone technology. Bitcoin—we are still watching but it’s here to stay.
“What technology is currently under-utilised?”
For example “AI has the power to change everything. (it’s almost too big to talk about)”. But that’s a big thing. It’s like saying “the internet has the power to change everything” great but could you have predicted google, facebook and uber from a couple of connected computers? I am hoping for some more specific ideas about which specific technology will change life in what way.
Computer use will change when we build the next thing to replace “keyboards”
Transport technology will change if battery or “energy storage” technology improves.
Automation will change production and delivery of goods and services. And eventually bring about post-scarcity economics
If IE cracks better colour and sound technology (think, not just CMYK but all the other colours not on the LED spectrum), we might just see IE explode.
Machine learning and statistics have the power to change medicine
CRISPR and gene editing will change food production
Quantum computing will change gene editing by calculating things like protein folding in significantly less time.
Quantum computing (while it’s still not consumer grade) will also change security.
I would have said 3D printing would change locksmithing but now I am not so sure.
3D printing has overall done a poor job of changing anything.
if the construction industry can automate that will change the way we build housing.
As much as these don’t all follow the rule of being consumer-grade developments that might revolutionise the world, I’d like to encourage others to aim for consumer viable ideas.
This matters because this is how you see opportunity. This is how you find value. If you can take one thing on my list or your own list and make it happen sooner, you can probably pocket a pretty penny in the process. So what’s on your list? Do you have two minutes to think about what’s coming soon?
Cross posted to lesswrong: http://lesswrong.com/r/discussion/lw/pil/cuttingedge technology/