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Carl Sagan once advised the public to "never underestimate the power of exponential." It was sound advice. Unfortunately, as with so much other wise counsel, it is easy to dismiss.
In fact these fields are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. According to Gartner Research, the field rapid prototype manufacturing (i.e. machines which can physically print objects) will grow more than 100-fold. And in the past few months, researchers in Finland have replaced a patient's lower jaw with synthetic material growth from stem cells; researchers at the University of Minnesota have successfully demonstrated that they could grow a beating rat heart from living cells; and self-driven robotic cars have successfully navigated through an urban environment. Progress in these fields will not stop.
It has been said that the future is here, it is just unevenly distributed. This is true and if one studies the amazing technological progress occurring in information technology, biotechnology, nanotechnology, neurotechnology and robotics and then applies the power of zenzizenzizenzic to these advances, it is easy to understand how it would behoove us all to reconsider Carl Sagan's sage advice.
About Jack Uldrich
Jack Uldrich is a renowned global futurist, independent scholar, sought-after business speaker, and best-selling author. His books include the best-selling, The Next Big Thing is Really Small: How Nanotechnology Will Change the Future of Your Business, and the award-winning, Into the Unknown: Leadership Lessons from Lewis & Clark’s Daring Westward Expedition. His latest book is Jump the Curve: 50 Essential Strategies to Help Your Company Stay Ahead of Emerging Technologies.
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