Technological and Societal Trends

July 8th, 2010 by Ed Lazowska Post a comment »

I’m trying to compile a list of major technological and societal trends that influence computing research.  Here’s my list.  Please post your own suggestions!

Recent technological and societal trends

  • Ubiquitous connectivity, and thus true mobility
  • Massive computational capability available to everyone, through the cloud
  • Exponentially increasing data volumes – from ubiquitous sensors, from higher-volume sensors (digital imagers everywhere!), and from the creation of all information in digital form – has led to a torrent of data which must be transferred, stored, and mined:  “data to knowledge to action”
  • Social computing – the way people interact has been transformed; the data we have from and about people is transforming
  • All transactions (from purchasing to banking to voting to health) are online, creating the need for dramatic improvements in privacy and security
  • Cybercrime
  • The end of single-processor performance increases, and thus the need for parallelism to increase performance in operating systems and productivity applications, not just high-end applications; also power issues
  • Asymmetric threats, need for surveillance, reconnaissance
  • Globalization – of innovation, of consumption, of workforce
  • Pressing national and global challenges:  climate change, education, energy / sustainability, health care (these replace the cold war)

What’s on your list?  Please post below!

  • http://twitter.com/ppadala Pradeep Padala

    Great list. I would add the rise of smart mobile devices (like iPhone, GPhone) that can access both (1) and (2) in your list.

  • sergio camorlinga

    Perhaps some additional might be
    * Information dissemination speed and reach
    * Global social cognition emergence on everyday events (political, disasters, social, sports, etc)
    * Open opportunities for anybody, anywhere, anytime
    * Frontier removal of a large number of things (country, language, culture, skills, etc)
    * Faster speed of change, establishment of many lines of thought and trends, some short lived…

  • Pingback: Identifying Trends that Drive Technology | Sectorprivate's Blog

  • http://twitter.com/adferguson Andrew Ferguson

    If you’re looking for more feedback, Ed Felten crossed-posted this item to his blog: http://www.freedom-to-tinker.com/blog/felten/identifying-trends-drive-technology

  • http://www.facebook.com/tfinin Tim Finin

    Maturing human language technology is powering mobile phone interfaces (e.g., Siri)

    Information extraction, text mining and language processing is yielding useful knowledge when applied to the Web (e.g., DARPA machine reading program, NIST Text Analysis Conference).

    Effective, efficient and domain-independent machine translation is available for most popular human languages, powered by better language models, machine learning and vast amounts of data (e.g., Google translate).

  • http://irakliotis.com λ:ηρ | lgreco

    More of a wish-list item than a trend actually:

    Commoditizing the development of IT applications.