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NC State Economist Dr. Mike Walden – Futuristics

Many of us like to think about the future and what kinds of gadgets and technology might exist. When we look at what some of the experts are saying, how do they see our future world being different? N.C. State University economist Mike Walden answers.

“Well, and of course … this is also speculation, but if we look at the experts who are looking at where we are now and what kind of technology might develop, I think they certainly bear listening to and watching. I would say that, number one, they see the rise more of the machine, robots and artificial technology: Robots meaning that we’re going to have (in) factories, for example, robots … doing more of the work. Artificial intelligence and technology meaning the machines are going to think for us. Some say that’s very scary, but many see that’s where we’re going.

“Also, information modeling. We have so much data now, and we now have systems to be able to use that data to help us make predictions, better predictions, and therefore where those predictions are bad to be able to take preemptive action against disasters. For example, the airline industry is heavily using that right now.

“Another area where these futurists see us going is in terms of on-demand and in-house manufacturing. Down the road, it may be that we in our household manufacture our new microwaves and our new washing machines, et cetera, with new technology that will be put with standard homes.

“And then finally I call them the dualologies: nanotechnology and biotechnology. Nanotechnology, of course, meaning that we’re going to see increasingly the development of smaller and smaller units — smaller and smaller aspects for us to use in the home and the factory, as well as, of course, biotechnology blending biology and technology, particularly with applications in the medical area.” is dedicated to serving the agricultural industry in the Carolinas and Virginia with the latest ag news, exclusive regional weather station readings, and key crop market information. The website is a companion of the Southern Farm Network, provider of daily agricultural radio programming to the Carolinas since 1974. presents radio programs, interviews and news relevant to crop and livestock production and research throughout the mid-Atlantic agricultural community.