Home' Army Acquisition Logistics and Technology Magazine : Army ALT October-December 2012 Contents ASC.ARMY.MIL 141
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create, use, and accept new technology in
A. Absolutely. I think there are very
different trajectories [of] technology
development, function, and use. And
some of those things are absolutely
about culture. Some of them are about
more complicated interplay of regula-
tion, history, existing infrastructure, and
culture. But you see it really strongly in
an incredible uptake of robotics in Japan,
for instance, in industry, in people's
homes, in elderly care, [whereas] there
are places where robots have been really
strongly rejected in the United States. I
think there are some religious and cul-
tural forces at play there about what
Q. So how do you see the United States
in that light when you look at technology?
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been very instructive. Some of the biggest
centers of innovation haven't actually
been in the U.S., but Silicon Valley is
still a really important hub. When the
global revolution happened ... comput-
ers kind of moved into the mobile space.
The biggest phases of this weren't in the
United States. It was clearly places like
Scandinavia, Japan, Korea, and to a dif-
ferent extent, India, that made all the
kind of mobile payment stuff; whether
it's using a mobile phone as payment,
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market is happening outside of the U.S.
before it happens here.
I mean, India went from having about 11
million mobile phones in 2001, and now
they have 850 million. It's the fastest-
growing mobile phone [market] in history
right now. There are now more mobile
phones on the planet than there are peo-
ple. But the U.S. is a really slow adapter to
mobile technology by comparison to the
rest of the world.
Q. Do you see a pattern emerging when
a relatively new technology is accepted
into a culture and begins to spread to
a mass audience?
A. I think the technologies are different,
rather than dependent on what they did
well. I mean it's quite clear that social
networking services have been very popu-
lar globally, but the different services are
popular in different places.
So China has RenRen and Qzone. In
India and Brazil, it's a site called Orkut.
Facebook has been popular globally, and
people do very different things with it.
Orkut ... is very much music-oriented;
it's more like Myspace in some ways.
Facebook is usually popular in Indonesia,
but they are not using it to exchange pho-
tos and their kids and their dinners.
Basic technology will bring a very differ-
ent kind of impact. Things have turned
up in different places. I don't think there
has always been a clean line. It's quite clear
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encounter the Internet, for many people
it's going to be on a phone. And it may be
through a payment structure as opposed
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Q. Are there any key things economically,
culturally, or politically that sort of facili-
tate the way a culture accepts these things?
Or is it culture-dependent?
A. No, I think it's just about culture. I
think it's about government. And gov-
ernment is a part of culture. There has
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ticular, to really strongly link technology
development and use to citizenship. The
future in Korea is tied up with it being a
broadband, fast Internet nation. They call
it the "U" society, the ubiquitous society.
And the government certainly underwrote
the rollout of the fastest broadband net-
work in the world and chose ... to make
it a two-way network, so that it was as fast
to upload and download, which meant
there were really interesting consequences
when broadband took off in Korea. It was
content creation as well as consumption.
I USUALLY START BY ASKING WHAT IS IT THAT PEOPLE CARE
ABOUT ... WHAT ARE THEY PASSIONATE ABOUT, WHAT
FRUSTRATES THEM, WHAT DO THEY WANT FOR
THEMSELVES, THEIR KIDS, THEIR COMMUNITIES,
AND I TRY TO MAKE THAT A STARTING
POINT TO DEVELOPING TECHNOLOGY.
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