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September 28th, 2007

Jump the Bridge

In my forthcoming book, I encourage leaders to "bet on the machine." It is the idea that, over time, various technologies will be able to do some things that people currently do (like inspect bridges) only better, faster and cheaper. As an analogy, I remind my readers that just a decade ago most chess experts were saying that a machine could never beat a human. Well, it is now a fact that computers can regularly and consistently beat even the best chess grand master.

The same will soon be true for bridge inspecting. As proof, I sumbit this article from today's Technology Review. It is discusses how advances in carbon nanotubes are now being contemplated for use as sensors in hip and knee joint implants. The general idea is that carbon nanotubes will be embedded directly integrated into the surface of the implant material and will be able to pick up early warning signs of inflammatory scarring, bone stress, and the presense of dangerous bacteria.


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