Rise of the Machines: Of Tech Advancement and Predictions


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This is not about a movie franchise. This is about real life, how tech advancement is making machines better and more powerful. Recently, tech icon and famous billionaire Bill Gates granted an interview on  Reddit to discuss a number of things. He gamely talked about how he is overrated as a philanthropist and his new job at Microsoft. Of greater interest, though, is his thoughts and predictions in the tech field. It is exciting to look forward to the next years in tech as one of the movers of technology expresses his ideas on advancements in technology.

Digital Currency

Gates has something good to say about Bitcoin although he is not convinced that it is a good enough form of digital currency. According to the former Microsoft head, digital currency is advantageous as demonstrated in places like Kenya, considering the low transaction costs. However, Gates says that there is a need for digital currency to be traceable, something that Bitcoin isn’t.

Nuclear Power

Aside from his charity work, Bill Gates is also an advocate of a number of initiatives aimed at improving the lives of people. The tech guru considers nuclear power as a viable option for more reliable and sustainable energy. He has a firm called Terrapower that is undertaking research and development efforts to create a clean nuclear reactor. The goal is to vastly reduce waste generation and ensure inherent safety at the nuclear reactors.

Technology Becoming Smarter

Gates is also considering machine learning as the biggest technology to watch out for in the next decade. He noted how significant improvements have been happening in this area, especially in the field of automatic audio and video recognition. This view is supported by the reality that a multitude of gadgets are already becoming smarter. From talking smoke alarms to TVs that are as capable as some desktop computers, the word “smart” seems to get attached to various things nowadays.

Developments in Robotics

On the other hand, in developments not related to Bill Gates, tech advancement is also making large strides in other fields like robotics. Just recently, a “nanomotor” breakthrough has been achieved as researchers found out how ultrasonic warbles can be used induce movement in gold motors embedded within cells. This breakthrough provides a very promising solution for probing the inner structure of the cells and paving the way for better cancer treatments.

Image courtesy of Victor Habbick /

Image courtesy of Victor Habbick /

This development was achieved by Penn State researchers and reported in a paper published in Angewandte Chemie International Edition. The researchers claim that their ultrasonic control over the nanomotors provide the promise of being able to treat cancer and other diseases through the mechanical manipulation of living cells from within. This can lead to intracellular surgery and the direct non-invasive delivery of drugs to tissues.

Economic Activity Supporting Tech Advancement

Recent activities in bond trading indicate an inclination for many businesses and investors to put their money on the field of technology. Tech spending and investment are becoming the trend and it’s not just about investors flocking to common favorites like Apple, Google, and Microsoft. The business community’s interest in tech spreads across various sectors, from robotics to new industrial processes and R&D for new tech products and services.

The Importance of Hardware

Image courtesy of twobee /

Image courtesy of twobee /

The phrase “rise of the machines” is rarely associated with software. It’s mostly about hardware. As a Wall Street Journal blog aptly puts it: hardware matters in the era of cloud. As software and Internet technology advance, there also has to be corresponding progress in the hardware aspect.

From better processors to more efficient servers, there is a need to match the development happening on the software side. Super-scalable and highly resilient “hyperscale” systems are becoming a necessity. There is also a need to be always connected online. There are several aspects of hardware that need to be improved to facilitate the better delivery of “soft” products and services. The PlayStation cloud gaming service, for example, can’t be properly executed without the necessary improvements in hardware to ensure a satisfactory gaming experience.

There’s no doubt that technology is quickly moving ahead. Now, the possibility of interacting with devices more naturally is no longer that far away. It’s just important to make sure that tech advancement efforts are aimed at the benefit of everyone and will not be misused or abused to cause undesirable consequences.