Software is finally eating the physical world, and that may save us

by | Aug 3, 2022 | Technology

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In 2011, Mosaic browser inventor Marc Andreessen predicted that software was eating the world. He was correct, except that software mostly ate the “digital” world. Now we are seeing it start to eat the physical world, shifting from bits to atoms. We are starting to solve much harder problems.

We’re at a historic inflection point where compute becomes nearly unconstrained. Just as cloud revolutionized delivery of software services in the digital world, so will cloud transform our physical world. We can create digital twins of the most complex physical things, like our planet and our bodies, and change them for the better.

Imagine a world where a model of the Earth allows us to quickly address extinction-level threats like climate change. Imagine a world of medicine where drug development costs are so low that we can receive truly personalized treatments, with therapies targeted to our specific health problem and our individual DNA.

Innovation at the speed of light

Today the pace of innovation advances at the rate of computation. Unconstrained compute promises benefits that we can’t yet even imagine. In the physical world, compute was so expensive historically that it required government-level spending and very long-term plans to try and overcome the challenges – like putting a man on the moon.

Now is the time to raise the scope of our ambitions and think much bigger. Human ingenuity has risen to the needs of the moment in the past, and innovation has the potential to solve the technological challenges ahead of us.

What if we pointed unconstrained compute at our planet and our own bodies? What might we accomplish? The concept of digital twins takes us to this future.

We’ve …

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