Life in 2015 will be revolutionized by the growing effect of multidisciplinary technology across all dimensions of life: social, economic, political, and personal. Biotechnology will enable us to identify, understand, manipulate, improve, and control living organisms (including ourselves). The revolution of information availability and
utility will continue to profoundly affect the world in all these dimensions. Smart
materials, agile manufacturing, and nanotechnology will change the way we produce
devices while expanding their capabilities. These technologies may also be joined by
“wild cards” in 2015 if barriers to their development are resolved in time.
The results could be astonishing. Effects may include significant improvements in
human quality of life and life span, high rates of industrial turnover, lifetime worker
training, continued globalization, reshuffling of wealth, cultural amalgamation or invasion with potential for increased tension and conflict, shifts in power from nation
states to non-governmental organizations and individuals, mixed environmental effects, improvements in quality of life with accompanying prosperity and reduced
tension, and the possibility of human eugenics and cloning.
The actual realization of these possibilities will depend on a number of factors, including local acceptance of technological change, levels of technology and infrastructure investments, market drivers and limitations, and technology breakthroughs
and advancements. Since these factors vary across the globe, the implementation
and effects of technology will also vary, especially in developing countries. Nevertheless, the overall revolution and trends will continue through much of the developed
world

Publish Date:
2001
Publisher:
RAND National Defense Research Institute
Type:
Text

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