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Posted: March 29, 2008

CIO Symposium looks at five technology forces

(Nanowerk News) The Greater Dallas Chamber presented "Five Technology Forces Driving the Future" Thursday night. The seminar was the first of three planned for 2008 as a part of the CIO Symposium Series, sponsored by Chapman, Inc., the IT consulting and executive search company.
The night opened with Dave Turtletaub, CEO of Capstone, expressing hope that the symposium would discuss key issues that “meet the needs of IT executives” and help “advance the technology industry.” In order to achieve this, three additional speakers were planned to discuss Infotech, Ecotech, Nanotechnology, Biotech, and Robotics.
First up was Jeff Wacker, Director of Corporate Strategy and Fellow/Futurist for Electronic Data Systems Corporation. Wacker touched on ecotech but primarily discussed how each of the symposium’s five technologies work together, although not always harmoniously. It is the intersection of these technologies, he stressed, that truly shapes the world. However, no one can predict what the future holds, but instead can rely on possibilities and probabilities to build and grow a business.
Dr. John Randall, Vice President of Zyvex Labs, spoke next about nanotechnology. Anything that has a feature smaller than 100 nanometers is considered a part of the nano movement. Candy, socks, pants and even cars have features measured on a nano scale. The tiny nature of nano has the potential to mass produce atomically precise manufacturing, or structurally perfect objects. But for now, atomically precise manufacturing is still being perfected.
Next on the agenda was the Director of the Baylor Institute for Immunology Research, Dr. Jacques Banchereau. He discussed biotechnology in relation to the immune system. Cures to ailments like allergies or the flu will reestablish a healthy balance in your immune system, but billions of data must be analyzed. Similarly, the same dilemma of analyzing information and creating balance exists in everyday life and IT.
Wacker came forefront again to introduce the audience to a robot created by Dr. David Franklin Hanson, Jr. The robot had a human face and human mannerisms rather than looking and acting like a sci-fi creature. Wacker pondered the capabilities of robots by sharing a personal story: His mother is an Alzheimer’s patient who became fond of a stuffed animal while in the hospital. If the stuffed animal was actually a robot, it could possibly act as a barometer for her behavior and mental capacities.
Possibilities, it seems, was a theme of the night. Getting these technologies to work together is an uphill battle, but once achieved, great things are to come. Wacker offered some food for thought: “Who invented the machine that mass produced light bulbs?” Many technologies had to be understood to produce such a machine. The result however, changed our world.
Source: Pegasus News (Stephanie Parker)