Quantum computing will potentially mark one of the tech world’s biggest revolutions, harnessing the quirks of quantum mechanics to speed up machine computation exponentially. Researchers hope eventually to use it to crack online encryption or to model entirely new molecules.
Artificial Intelligence tends to grab the headlines when it promises dramatic leaps in consumer product capability. The driverless car has captured the popular imagination. Ever-smarter phones and online home appliances also get a lot of attention. The market in consumer AI is expected to be huge, with tech giants like Google and its Chinese equivalent Baidu, investing an estimated US$30 billion in it last year.
Many people will have heard of a particle accelerator, but few have even the vaguest idea about what it does or indeed how it does it.
Dystopian views of robotics, automation and Artificial Intelligence are a familiar staple of popular culture, tapping in to some of our most basic fears. Just like the spinning jenny and the steam engine during the first Industrial Revolution in the late 18th century, new automation technologies raise concerns about job losses and even a wider erosion of human control.
East and West have always had much to learn from each other, in business just as much as philosophy and culture. In the 1970s and 80s, Japan famously revolutionized manufacturing with the just-in-time approach which cut waste by supplying parts only when the process required them. The old system, known as just-in-case, held inventory for every possible eventuality.