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Article:Emerging technologies
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In the [[history of technology]], '''emerging technologies''' are contemporary advances and innovation in various fields of [[technology]]. Various ''converging technologies'' have emerged in the [[technological convergence]] of different systems evolving towards similar goals. Convergence can refer to previously separate technologies such as voice (and telephony features), data (and productivity applications) and video that now share resources and interact with each other, creating new efficiencies.
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In to match and exceed the capability of workers to perform most routine jobs.
   
Emerging technologies are those technical innovations which represent progressive developments within a field for [[economic competition|competitive advantage]];<ref>International Congress Innovation and Technology XXI: Strategies and Policies Towards the XXI Century, & Soares, O. D. D. (1997). Innovation and technology: Strategies and policies. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic.</ref> converging technologies represent previously distinct fields which are in some way moving towards stronger inter-connection and similar goals. However, the opinion on the degree of impact, status and economic viability of several emerging and converging technologies vary.
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As robotics and artificial intelligence develop further, even many skilled jobs may be threatened. Technologies suchpublisher =Doubleday| year = 2005 | isbn = 0385509650}}</ref> while [[science journalist]] Douglas Mulhall in ''Our Molecular Future: How Nanotechnology, Robotics, Genetics and Artificial Intelligence Will Transform Our World'' uses "GRAIN", for '''G'''enetics, '''R'''obotics, [[Artificial intelligence|'''A'''rtificial '''I'''ntelligence]], and '''N'''anotechnology.<ref name="Mulhall 2002">{{cite book| author = Mulhall, Douglas| title = Our Molecular Future: How Nanotechnology, Robotics, Genetics and Artificial Intelligence Will Transform Our World| publisher =Prometheus Books| year = 2002 | isbn = 1573929921}}</ref> Another acronym coined by the [[:Category:Appropriate technology organizations|appropriate technology organization]] [[ETC Group]] is "BANG" for "[[Bit|'''B'''it]]s, [[Atom|'''A'''tom]]s, [[Neuron|'''N'''euron]]s, [[Gene|'''G'''ene]]s".<ref name="ETC Group 2003">{{cite journal| author = [[ETC Group]]| title = The Strategy for Converging Technologies: The Little BANG Theory| year = 2003 | url = http://www.etcgroup.org/upload/publication/169/01/combang2003.pdf| accessdate=2007-02-09}}</ref>
 
== History ==
 
Over centuries, innovative methods and new technologies are developed and opened up. Some of these technologies are due to theoretical research, others commercial research and development.
 
 
Technological growth includes incremental developments and [[disruptive technology|disruptive technologies]]. An example of the former was the gradual roll-out of DVD as a development intended to follow on from the previous optical technology [[Compact Disc]]. By contrast, disruptive technologies are those where a new method replaces the previous technology and make it redundant, for example the replacement of horse drawn carriages by automobiles.
 
 
Emerging technologies in general denote significant technological developments that broach new territory in some significant way in their field. Examples of currently emerging technologies include [[information technology]], [[nanotechnology]], [[biotechnology]], [[cognitive science]], [[robotics]], and [[artificial intelligence]].<ref>other examples of developments described as "emerging technologies" can be found [http://conferences.oreillynet.com/pub/w/18/keynotes.html here] - O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference 2008.</ref>
 
 
== Debate over emerging technologies ==
 
 
Many writers, including [[computer scientist]] [[Bill Joy]], have identified clusters of technologies that they consider critical to humanity's future. Joy warns that the technology could be used by elites for [[Good and evil|good]] or [[evil]]. They could use it as "good shepherds" for the rest of humanity, or decide everyone else is superfluous and push for mass extinction of those made unnecessary by technology.<ref name="Joy 2000">{{cite journal| author = [[Bill Joy|Joy, Bill]] | title = Why the future doesn't need us | year = 2000 | url = http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/8.04/joy_pr.html| accessdate=2005-11-14}}</ref> Advocates of the benefits of [[technological change]] typically see emerging and converging technologies as offering hope for the betterment of the [[human condition]]. However, critics of the risks of technological change, and even some advocates such as [[transhumanist]] philosopher [[Nick Bostrom]], warn that some of these technologies could pose dangers, perhaps even contribute to the [[human extinction|extinction of humanity]] itself; i.e., some of them could involve [[existential risk]]s.<ref name="Bostrom 2002">{{cite journal| author = [[Nick Bostrom|Bostrom, Nick]]| title = Existential risks: analyzing human extinction scenarios| year = 2002 | url = http://www.nickbostrom.com/existential/risks.html| accessdate=2006-02-21}}</ref><ref>[[Kevin Warwick|Warwick, K]]: “March of the Machines”, University of Illinois Press, 2004</ref>
 
 
Much [[ethics of technology|ethical debate]] centers on issues of [[distributive justice]] in allocating access to beneficial forms of technology. Some thinkers, such as [[environmental ethics|environmental ethicist]] [[Bill McKibben]], oppose the continuing development of advanced technology partly out of fear that its benefits will be distributed unequally in ways that could worsen the [[economic inequality|plight of the poor]].<ref name="McKibben 2003">{{cite book|author=[[Bill McKibben|McKibben, Bill]]|title=Enough: Staying Human in an Engineered Age|publisher=Times Books|year=2003|isbn=0-8050-7096-6}}</ref> By contrast, [[inventor]] [[Ray Kurzweil]] is among [[techno-utopianism|techno-utopians]] who believe that emerging and converging technologies could and will [[post scarcity|eliminate poverty]] and [[abolitionism (bioethics)|abolish suffering]].<ref name="Kurzweil 2005">{{cite book| author = [[Raymond Kurzweil|Kurzweil, Raymond]]| title = [[The Singularity Is Near|The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology]] | publisher = Viking Adult| year = 2005 | isbn = 0-670-03384-7}}</ref>
 
 
Some analysts such as Martin Ford, author of ''The Lights in the Tunnel: Automation, Accelerating Technology and the Economy of the Future'',<ref name="Ford2009Lights">{{Ford 2009 The lights in the tunnel}}</ref> argue that as information technology advances, robots and other forms of automation will ultimately result in significant [[unemployment]] as machines and software begin to match and exceed the capability of workers to perform most routine jobs.
 
 
As robotics and artificial intelligence develop further, even many skilled jobs may be threatened. Technologies such as machine learning<ref>[http://econfuture.wordpress.com/2011/04/14/machine-learning-a-job-killer/ "Machine Learning: A Job Killer?"]</ref> may ultimately allow computers to do many knowledge-based jobs that require significant education. This may result in substantial unemployment at all skill levels, stagnant or falling wages for most workers, and increased concentration of income and wealth as the owners of capital capture an ever larger fraction of the economy. This in turn could lead to depressed consumer spending and economic growth as the bulk of the population lacks sufficient discretionary income to purchase the products and services produced by the economy.<ref>[http://singularityhub.com/2009/12/15/martin-ford-asks-will-automation-lead-to-economic-collapse/ "Will Automation Lead to Economic Collapse?"]</ref>
 
 
== Acronyms ==
 
'''NBIC''', an acronym for [[Nanotechnology|'''N'''anotechnology]], [[Biotechnology|'''B'''iotechnology]], [[Information technology|'''I'''nformation technology]] and [[Cognitive science|'''C'''ognitive science]], is currently the most popular term for emerging and converging technologies, and was introduced into public discourse through the publication of ''[[Converging Technologies for Improving Human Performance]]'', a report sponsored in part by the U.S. [[National Science Foundation]].<ref name="Roco and Bainbridge 2004">{{cite book| author = Roco, Mihail C. and [[William Sims Bainbridge|Bainbridge, William Sims]], eds.| title = [[Converging Technologies for Improving Human Performance]]| publisher = Springer| year = 2004| isbn = 1402012543}}</ref>
 
 
Various other acronyms have been offered for the same concept such as GNR ([[Genetics|'''G'''enetics]], '''N'''anotechnology and [[Robotics|'''R'''obotics]]). Journalist [[Joel Garreau]] in ''[[Radical Evolution]]: The Promise and Peril of Enhancing Our Minds, Our Bodies &mdash; and What It Means to Be Human'' uses "GRIN", for '''G'''enetic, '''R'''obotic, '''I'''nformation, and '''N'''ano processes,<ref name="Garreau 2005">{{cite book| author = [[Joel Garreau|Garreau, Joel]]| title = [[Radical Evolution]]: The Promise and Peril of Enhancing Our Minds, Our Bodies &mdash; and What It Means to Be Human| publisher =Doubleday| year = 2005 | isbn = 0385509650}}</ref> while [[science journalist]] Douglas Mulhall in ''Our Molecular Future: How Nanotechnology, Robotics, Genetics and Artificial Intelligence Will Transform Our World'' uses "GRAIN", for '''G'''enetics, '''R'''obotics, [[Artificial intelligence|'''A'''rtificial '''I'''ntelligence]], and '''N'''anotechnology.<ref name="Mulhall 2002">{{cite book| author = Mulhall, Douglas| title = Our Molecular Future: How Nanotechnology, Robotics, Genetics and Artificial Intelligence Will Transform Our World| publisher =Prometheus Books| year = 2002 | isbn = 1573929921}}</ref> Another acronym coined by the [[:Category:Appropriate technology organizations|appropriate technology organization]] [[ETC Group]] is "BANG" for "[[Bit|'''B'''it]]s, [[Atom|'''A'''tom]]s, [[Neuron|'''N'''euron]]s, [[Gene|'''G'''ene]]s".<ref name="ETC Group 2003">{{cite journal| author = [[ETC Group]]| title = The Strategy for Converging Technologies: The Little BANG Theory| year = 2003 | url = http://www.etcgroup.org/upload/publication/169/01/combang2003.pdf| accessdate=2007-02-09}}</ref>
 
   
 
== See also ==
 
== See also ==
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