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Source: Taiwan Technology
Date published: 25 Nov 2002

Three bigwig soothsayers narrate about future of telecommunication

Three world-renowned telecommunications experts talked about the topic ""Over the horizon: What`s ahead and what`s challenging at the IEEE Globecom 2002 conference held at the Taipei International Convention Center last week, looking into the hpeered into the future of networking technology yesterday and predicting a world in which people will be increasingly connected via the Internet through increasingly cheaper and
cost-effective means.

"Predicting the future is risky," said William C. Lindsey of the University of
Southern California. "But it's a useful exercise." He concentrated on the future of communications technology, anticipating a future where 3G cellular and wireless local
area networks (WLAN) would expand far beyond their current capacity to include
broadband multimedia. He said that that Moore's Law, the computer theory that holds
that the number of transistors on a computer chip will double every year, would "become antiquated." By 2012, computer manufacturers would be able to put 10 billion transistors on a single chip.
David G. Messerschmitt, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, seconded Lindsey's speech with some thoughts on what he called the future "context" of communications technology. According to Messerschmitt, a lack of ideas, not technology, are today's global networking problems and the fact that the Internet may seem somewhat sluggish to the everyday computer user has nothing to do with the
current state of communications technology. Instead, it is congestion at so-called "peering points" - where the vast networks of Internet service providers (ISP) connect to transmit traffic - that is the cause of the Internet's slow performance. These forms of communications among large corporate entities are largely invisible to the
everyday computer user.
"There is no successful business model associated with these peering points," said Messerschmitt. Until a way is found to make money from the transfer of data at these points, the problems would persist.

Charles K. Kao, former president of Chinese University at Hong Kong and a pioneer in the field of optical fiber communications, spoke on language and its use as a medium for communicating with computers. With the explosion of information in the past decade, "the computer has become one of us," he said.
But he cautioned anyone who believed that language, as it is spoken between human beings, was the natural next step in the way we communicate with computers.
"Language is intrinsically imprecise," he said and insisted that until there is a computerized way to interpret both the "intent and context" in which language
is used, human language would continue to be an unsuitable medium for communicating with computers.
Kao said that scientists have been "stimulated into the right direction," but he concluded that "much work is needed to achieve progress."

Three bigwig soothsayers narrate about future of telecommunications
accessed on 27 Oct 2008