Tomorrow’s technologies and war

A snippet from the Joint Forces Command report:
Perhaps the most important trend in the area of science and technology is the continuing information and communications revolution and its implications.
Although many pundits have touted the ability of information to “lift the fog and friction of war,” such claims have foundered on the rocks of reality.
Key to understanding information technology in the 2030s is the fact that the pace of technological change is accelerating almost exponentially.
Because most individuals tend to view change in a linear fashion, they tend to overestimate what is achievable by technology in the short term, while dramatically underestimating and discounting the power of scientific and technological advances in the long term.
If the pace of technical advances holds true, greater technological change will occur over the next twenty years than occurred in the whole of the twentieth century.
In many ways the world of 2030 will be nearly as strange as the world of 2000 would have been to an observer from 1900. For example:
• An iPod today can hold some 160 gigabytes of data, or 160,000 books. The iPod of 2020 could potentially hold some 16 terabytes of information – essentially the entire Library of Congress.
• Connectivity to the home (or node in military networks) grows by 50% a year. Therefore by 2030, people will have about 100,000 times more bandwidth than today.
• The computing capacity available to the average home will be a computer that runs at a rate of one million times faster than a computer today (2.5 petabytes vs. 2.5 gigabytes).
A typical home computer would be capable of downloading the entirety of today’s Library of Congress (16 terabytes) in 128 seconds – just over two minutes. The technical capacity of the telegraph in 1900, was some 2 bits per second across continental distances, meaning that same Library of Congress would have required a transmission time of 3,900 years.
These same advances will be available to America’s opponents and they will use those advances to attack, degrade, and disrupt communications and the flow of information.


About Caracas Gringo

Representing less than 0.00000000001515152% of the world population as of 31 December 2011.
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