Information and Communication Technologies in the next decade: Strategic issues Jean-Pierre CONTZEN IST,Lisboa March 19, 2004 Information and Communication Technologies in the 21st Century (1) The importance of ICT’s in the development of the Knowledge Based Society of the 21st Century is undisputable. Nations that wish to promote human development and to remain integrated in the world stream must master the ICT’s, at least in some strategic areas. The evil of the Digital Divide adds to the problems related to achieving a balanced development of nations within a globalized environment. Information and Communication Technologies in the 21st Century (2) Some benefits of ICT’s: Well harnessed information technologies can enable countries to « leapfrog, share experiences, and promote cross-fertilization of ideas » (World Development Report 1998-1999: Knowledge for Development) Provide better access to the world’s knowledge, facilitate education and training Stabilize people in their homeland Information and Communication Technologies in the 21st Century (3) Some benefits of ICT’s (cont.): Accelerate economic development: e-business should not be the monopoly of the more affluent countries. ICT’s allow the offer for a « thinking force » on the world market. Augment social services, notably in the health field. Tele-medicine has a tremendous potential Information and Communication Technologies in the 21st Century (4) Some benefits of ICT’s (cont.): The example of India in the promotion of ebusiness: The ICICI Mumbai-based private bank offers ATM services to people owning more than 22$ per month. No card, fingerprint recognition. The State Bank of India has computerized its 11,600 branch offices Information and Communication Technologies in the 21st Century (5) Some benefits of ICT’s (cont.): Contribute to food security through IT based land management and agro-ecosystems modeling. Foster cultural development and provide an element of leisure to all people. Information and Communication Technologies in the 21st Century (6) Some misdeeds of ICT’s: Threat to national cultures. Vulnerability to Cyber-crime. Threat to privacy. Propagation of low cultural value messages (pornography, www.restrooms.org, etc) Computer software replacing judgment and knowledge. Increase of the inequality for those who don’t master ICT’s. Mastering ICT’s (1) What are the strategic issues for a further spread of ICT’s in the future, notably to lower income countries? The race for ever increased performances and miniaturization should be accompanied by a similar race for cost reduction. Is the user-friendly 10 $ computer an utopia? The three essential areas of hardware, software and applications have to progress in parallel. Mastering ICT’s (2) Hardware: Components requiring further developments: Processors Memories of all types Input/Output interfaces (telecoms, voice actuation, optical converters) Communication links, land or space Energy supplies Mastering ICT’s (3) Hardware (cont.): Future computer systems and infrastructures: In the long term, will optical, quantum and DNA computers supersede the current electronic systems? A way to remove « soft errors » in semiconductor memories? In the shorter time, will computers further shrink in size? Does the evolution in notebooks and mobile platforms lead to the end of the desktop? Will the wearable computer be a reality in a few decades? Mastering ICT’s (4) Hardware (cont.): Future computer systems and infrastructures (cont.): Will the mainframe return at the expense of servers? The server market was significantly down in the last two years while the mainframe maintained its position. Mastering ICT’s (5) Hardware (cont.): Future computer systems and infrastructures (cont.): Will computing power, in all its aspects of data acquisition, processing and storage, be available one day on-line just as water, gas or electricity provided by utilities? Will grid technology that constitutes already an inevitable technology for e-Science lead to the generalized concept of utility computing? Mastering ICT’s (6) Hardware (cont.): The requirement for grid technology: reducing computing time The example of a 0.1 degree grid for ocean dynamics simulation over long periods of time: for a century of evolution, it requires 28 days computing on the most powerful machine available today, the Earth Simulator (Japan). With most of the current CPUs devoted to scientific computing, it would require 850 days. The objective for the future is a Peta scale grid : One Petaflops for operations and 10 Petabytes of storage. Mastering ICT’s (7) Hardware (cont.): An example of grid technology: the CERN Large Hadron Collider (LHC) computing grid. One single LHC detector (ATLAS) will produce, after 2007, 2 Petabytes per second of raw data; filtering leaves 320 Megabytes per second of data, requiring a yearly storage of 10 Petabytes. The data from the LHC will be stored on 10 000 commodity servers with 1 Terabyte of storage. On-demand access to LHC data will be provided worldwide. Mastering ICT’s (8) Hardware (cont.): Communication infrastructures: the battle for broadband access. Is it essential? 100 pages file: 34 Mb/s = 0.5 s; 64 kb/s = 30s Color photo high quality: 34 Mb/s = 1.5 s; 64 kb/s = 15min. 5 min. full screen video: 34 Mb/s = 25 min.; 64 kb/s = 9 days The tools available for broadband: satellite, coaxial cable, optical fibers, local radio, copper wire with ADSL Mastering ICT’s (9) Hardware (cont.): Communication infrastructures: the access to Internet for all: Develop broadband networks but NOT at the expense of geographical coverage that remains the priority Reduce the cost of utilization Wireless networks Solve the energy supply problem Mastering ICT’s (10) Hardware (cont.): Computing and Communications together: the do-it-all cell phone: Internet access Credit card Photo camera: Camera cell phones have exceeded in sales already in 2003 the digital still cameras! Source: STERN 10/2004 Mastering ICT’s (11) Hardware (cont.): Computing and Communications together: the competition between the laptop, the Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) and the cell phone: NORTEL Canada currently saves 22 M$ on a 4.7 M$ investment by asking employees to make phone calls on soft phones rather than cell phones Current Microsoft based smart phones synchronize e-mail diary and contacts like a PDA. The competition will be essentially on prices (P800 smart phone as expensive as fully equipped PDA) Mastering ICT’s (12) Software: The battle for free, « open source» software. The example of Thailand’s government program The growth in efficiency in parallel supercomputing, going beyond several tens of Teraflops Complex modeling: Bioinformatics will equal defense and climate/weather applications in terms of requirements Mastering ICT’s (13) Software (cont.): The increased attention devoted to I/O interfaces such as speech The expansion of virtual reality The evolution towards the semantic web The improvement of artificial intelligence, robotics, expert systems, pattern recognition Mastering ICT’s (14) Software (cont.): The development of data handling, storage and retrieval, the need for « data mining » The development of tools for the digitalization of people’s own memorabilia: « Google your self », visual diary of people. The exchange of information using people’s own languages. Mastering ICT’s (15) Software and hardware: All the developments previously described require a sustained attention being given to the question of standards. Standard interfaces, standard protocols constitute the necessary condition for the transparency of the future computing environment and for the future of the global cell phone. Is it an area where too many organizations are dealing with the issue? Mastering ICT’s (16) The most important applications for economic and social development: E- learning E- health E-elderly care E- business E- agriculture E- risk management E- government Analyzing the Digital Divide (1) Only a handful of nations can pretend mastering all the ICT’s just described. The exponential development of these technologies increases the difficulty for the other nations to maintain their active involvement in the process. Four aspects of the digital divide: The concentration of supercomputing power The inequality in Internet use The uneven growth of e-Commerce The language issue Analyzing the Digital Divide (2) In the world, among the 500 best equipped sites (based on total capability of supercomputers, operations and memory), 51% are in the US. Together with the European Union and Japan, they concentrate more than 90% of global supercomputing. (source: www.top500.org) 20 nations provide more than 90% of the world’s active Internet users (see next table). The Internet use per capita varies from 0.7 in Sweden to 0.0007 in Nigeria. (source: CIA’s World Fact book 2003) Analyzing the Digital Divide (3) Country Population Internet users United States 280.5 M 165.7 M Brazil 176 M 13.9 M Nigeria 129.9 M 100 000 France 59.76 M 16.97 M Sweden 8.9 M 6.02 M Oman 2.7 M 120 000 Armenia 3.3 M 30 000 Analyzing the Digital Divide (4) Such aggregate figures are useful but do not reflect the digital divide within the countries. In India, for example, 60% of the 2 million Internet users are concentrated in 3 States: Maharastra, Delhi and Tamil Nadu. Analyzing the Digital Divide (5) The total e-Commerce in 2003 will amount to about 4 Trillions $, with a predicted growth to 6.8 Trillions $ in 2004. 59% are in the US, 21% in Western Europe and 18% in the Asia Pacific region. 2% are left for the rest of the world. (source: Forrester Research, Inc; http://glreach.com) Analyzing the Digital Divide (6) In terms of language on-line use, the main issue is not the predominance of English but rather the balance to achieve between a strong demand for work in native languages and a weaker offer in such languages, as illustrated by the following data. Analyzing the Digital Divide (7) The on-line community using English represents 36.2% of the total Internet population while this language zone represents 33.4% of the world economy, a fairly proportionate relation. NonEnglish European languages are used by 35.5% of internauts while accounting for 30.3% of the economy. Asian languages total 28.3% of on-line use for 36.3% in economical terms. Analyzing the Digital Divide (8) The distribution of languages other than English used mainly by Internauts is as follows : Chinese 10.8% ; Japanese 9.7%; Spanish 7.4% ; German 6.6% Korean 4.5% ; Italian 3.8% French 3.5% ; Portuguese 3.0% Russian 2.9% ; Dutch 2.0% Analyzing the Digital Divide (9) In contrast, in terms of web pages existing in a specific language, about 70% are in English while non-English European languages are limited to about 18% and Asian languages to 12%.The offer is much more restricted. (source: http://glreach.com) Reducing the Digital Divide (1) What can be done for stabilizing or reducing the digital divide?: Be an intelligent user of ICT’s Identify niches for a possible supplier role In no case, one should attempt to copy the most advanced nations. It is illusory to believe that Silicon Valley can be cloned. Reducing the Digital Divide (2) India has established the nearest equivalent to Silicon Valley in an emerging country, Bangalore. In spite of its success, it has very little domestic output, “genius on the cheap” flows to the US. The Indian software industry exports amounts to 10 B$, important for India but only 2/3 of SAP sales. Reducing the Digital Divide (3) ITC developments should match local conditions: existing infrastructures, human resources, internal needs. Leapfrogging should be achieved whenever it appears as a realistic option . Regional cooperation should be encouraged, provided that it brings together actors with similar targets and capabilities. Geographical proximity does not constitute a sufficient criteria. Reducing the Digital Divide (4) An intelligent user of ICT’s –seizing the right opportunities: Ensure the minimum communication and computing infrastructures for being able to benefit from the global offer. Benefit as much as possible from resource sharing Perform an independent analysis of the areas where ICT’s could bring the most to the economic and social development of the country. Promote ICT awareness and learning. Reducing the Digital Divide (4) A niche supplier in the ICT’s field - the exploitation of assets: The use of the « thinking force » Software factories, call centers. Software for Internet access in own language Specialized software applications corresponding to national conditions e.g. in land and water management, telemedicine, risk management. The provision of specialized hardware components where a specific skill, or resource, exists In conclusion Information and Communication Technologies offer a tremendous potential for the economic, social and cultural development of all nations. Its successful exploitation by developing countries depends very much on the quality of the governance that will be exercised by the responsible authorities in terms of innovation and technology transfer. International cooperation can definitely help but the fundamental choices remain a national prerogative.