Instrumented Earth

Instrumented Earth

If technology intimidates you, read no further.  If you’ve embraced the idea that technology can and inevitably will drive processes at a global scale with higher degrees of precision, efficiency, and elegance than currently possible through collective human decision making alone, read on.  IBM has launched its “Smart Planet” campaign just months after breaking the much anticipated Petaflop Barrier, the breaking of which is a huge milestone in computing.  Translation?  We now have before us the technological prowess to process information at speeds measured in quadrillions of mathematical calculations per second. The scale of this processing is realized at a magnitude capable of guiding intricate and complex systems at both local and global scales.  These systems range in type from social to physical encompassing transportation, healthcare, government, energy, food production, economics and extending to systems as seemingly complex as weather and atmospheric composition at the planetary scale.  If these intricate systems can be guided through real-time decision making at an incomprehensible scale, the entire planet could be rendered a finely tuned instrument capable of supporting the demands of modern civilization.

The implications of this as they relate to our profession and its role in defining the built environment are as exciting as they are endless.

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