Will the Federal Government Support New Technologies in the Future?

The role of technology and science in future architecture will most likely be discussed by somebody who has actually lived all of his or her life within the United States and whose architectural experience has spanned the past several decades since the early 1930s. In doing so, one of the questions that they will be asking is: How can we use technology to solve problems in present day construction? One way that this can be done is through the use of computer modeling and 3D design. Simulations that are created within this realm have been used in a variety of different fields. The field of architecture is just one of them.

A great deal of effort has been placed on developing artificial intelligence with the use of this technology. One field that has really seen the benefit of this is the military. With the United States Army is focusing its efforts on cyberspace in order to better understand and potentially fight against its enemies, it is clear that the United States is investing in this new paradigm. This investment is a result of the tension that exists between the United States and its allies abroad. Many argue that cyber warfare is already in play, with cyber terrorists using digital weapons to attack infrastructure and civilian populations. The United States is reacting to this by putting more resources towards cyberspace in order to develop new technologies that will hopefully minimize the destructive potential that these types of weapons have.

Infrastructure in the United States has also been a target of cyber-terrorists. It has been suggested that the Department of Defense invest in cyberspace friendly infrastructure in order to create an informational hub capable of supporting both its own economic interests and that of its international partners. This could be done through the creation of a cyber terminal, which would allow the military to instantly access vital information as well as that of its international allies. Additionally, this cyber terminal could allow the military to quickly respond to cyber attacks and other forms of attacks. One such cyber attack was recently demonstrated by hackers who hacked into the US defense force’s official website.

There is also a growing need for basic research. Science and technology in the United States has often been seconded to its commercial base, especially in light of the huge economic benefits that this technology holds. Research in the basic sciences is necessary for the development of medicine, technology, and food safety. These are national priorities and are likely to continue to be so in the future. The fact that this is necessary for our country to keep our economy strong is indisputable, but it is clear that the interests of the private sector are likely to come first.

In other words, the interests of business are likely to take precedence over those of the public. This presents a challenge to the role of the university in educating the public about the scientific advances being made in basic research. For instance, a recent article in Popular Mechanics pointed out the fact that the National Institutes of Health has cut its budget for basic research by twenty percent since fiscal year 1996. Although the motivations for this decrease are not clearly understood, it may well be a reflection on the fact that the interest of business is highest when there is a problem and lowest when there is no problem.

One area that has suffered the most is the area of applied science, particularly in the areas of energy, environmental protection, and health care. As noted above, there are many pressing issues facing society today, and advanced technology offers many answers. However, applying these new technologies requires basic research, and the federal government is less willing to support this type of research than it was in the past. It seems that in order to truly benefit from these emerging technologies, we will have to wait for the interests of the private sector to take precedence.

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