Aneesh Chopra, Steve Jurvetson, Paul Saffo Debate Top Tech Trends, from Rosie the Robot to Augmented Reality

5/26/11Follow @wroush

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8. Engineering by Biologists

The trend: Computer designers will harness biological processes to grow circuits and other artifacts.

The panel reaction: While this isn’t like to happen in the next three years, it’s an area that merits much larger R&D investments. In the nearer term, biomimicry and old-fashioned genetic engineering will help solve industrial and environmental problems.

Audience rating: 5.1

9. ‘Tis a Gift to Be Simple

The trend: Creators of malware such as computer viruses usually exploit the complexity of modern-day software, so designers will combat future hacker attacks by reverting to simpler models of software design.

The panel reaction: It’s unlikely that software will decrease in complexity, especially since it usually takes a lot of complexity to make software seem simple. However, the atomization of software in the form of apps may provide some protection.

Audience rating: 2.9

10. Reverse Innovation

The trend: Silicon Valley will diminish as a hotbed of technology innovation as engineers and entrepreneurs in developing countries, whose infrastructures are leapfrogging forward faster than our own, get better at identifying and addressing local market opportunities.

The panel reaction: While the trend is real, Silicon Valley’s prominence won’t fade, as the technology community here has always been good at tapping globalization, listening to world markets, and attracting the world’s best engineers.

Audience rating: 7.1

Wade Roush is Xconomy's chief correspondent and editor of Xconomy San Francisco. You can subscribe to his Google Group or e-mail him at wroush@xconomy.com. Follow @wroush

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